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Gatecrashing Denmark down Germany

Published: Sunday 5 October 2003, 14.52CET
Denmark 2-0 Germany
Goals in either half by John Jensen and Kim Vilfort completed the EURO '92 fairy tale for Richard Møller Nielsen's last-minute entrants.
Gatecrashing Denmark down Germany
Denmark celebrate their unlikely success ©Getty Images
Published: Sunday 5 October 2003, 14.52CET

Gatecrashing Denmark down Germany

Denmark 2-0 Germany
Goals in either half by John Jensen and Kim Vilfort completed the EURO '92 fairy tale for Richard Møller Nielsen's last-minute entrants.

Despite a strong start by Germany, goals in either half by John Jensen and Kim Vilfort, and a stoic display from goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, ensured Denmark pulled off one of the greatest surprises in international football by winning the 1992 UEFA European Championship.

Germany began as they meant to continue, dominating their opponents and forcing Schmeichel into early action, the Manchester United FC goalkeeper saving from Stefan Reuter and Guido Buchwald. Denmark had barely emerged from behind the barricades when they scored against the run of play.

Vilfort won a tussle with Andreas Brehme and passed to Flemming Povlsen who cut the ball back for Jensen. The midfielder's aim had been decidedly awry against the Netherlands but here he made no mistake, smashing high into the net from the edge of the area, in spite of Stefan Effenberg's headlong efforts to block. It was only Jensen's second goal in 48 internationals.

Germany came straight back at the Danes, but Schmeichel denied Jürgen Klinsmann with a superb save at full stretch before denying Effenberg as Berti Vogts' side turned the screw. There was no let-up after the interval either as Kent Nielsen cleared off the line with Karlheinz Riedle poised to bury Klinsmann's cross. The FC Internazionale Milano striker might have scored himself but for yet another reaction save from Schmeichel, this time tipping his bullet header over.

It seemed only a matter of time before a goal, and it duly arrived – for Denmark. Vilfort, who had screwed Richard Møller Nielsen's side's only other chance of the half wide, bringing the ball under control before turning inside to shoot low in off Bodo Illgner's left post to settle the contest.

It was a touching end to the fairy tale, Vilfort having twice left the Danish camp – and missed a group match – to visit his ailing seven-year-old daughter who was suffering from leukaemia.

Last updated: 09/01/12 17.20CET

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