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Record-breaker Healy keeps hope alive

Published: Sunday 18 November 2007, 0.30CET
Northern Ireland 2-1 Denmark
David Healy's 13th goal in Group F kept his country's hopes intact but also confirmed Denmark's elimination.
 
Published: Sunday 18 November 2007, 0.30CET

Record-breaker Healy keeps hope alive

Northern Ireland 2-1 Denmark
David Healy's 13th goal in Group F kept his country's hopes intact but also confirmed Denmark's elimination.

David Healy struck a record 13th goal in UEFA European Championship qualifying to earn Northern Ireland a 2-1 victory over Denmark and retain their hopes of qualifying from Group F.

Danes eliminated
After Warren Feeney had cancelled out Nicklas Bendtner's opener, Healy claimed a famous winner with ten minutes left, turning in the box and delivering a sublime chip over the stranded Thomas Sørensen and into the far corner. In doing so he surpassed the 12 goals Croatia's Davor Šuker scored in EURO '96™ qualifying and ensured Northern Ireland will travel to Spain for Wednesday's decisive final qualifier in good heart. For the Danes, however, this defeat confirmed their elimination and they might be tempted to curse their luck after Dennis Rommedahl's free-kick hit a post and Dennis Sørensen's strike deflected away off Sammy Clinghan's arm in a tense climax.

Difficult conditions
Torrential rain before the match meant there were doubts about whether it would actually go ahead and when the action did start, fluent football was not easy on the sodden surface. The best chance of the first period fell to Rommedahl who blazed over from Bendtner's far-post cross but the game certainly burst into life after the break. Bendtner was denied by Maik Taylor as he raced through but the Denmark front man made no mistake soon after. Turning sharply on to Leon Andreasen's low centre on 51 minutes, he had his first attempt at a shot blocked but reacted quicker than the green shirts around him to stab the ball home.

Feeney header
Northern Irish heads did not drop, Nigel Worthington's men showing just why they had won their four previous qualifiers at Windsor Park. With 62 minutes on the clock, they drew level as Feeney got in front of Per Krøldrup to turn in Chris Brunt's cross from the left. Feeney then lashed a long-range volley against the woodwork but instead it was his strike partner Healy who stole the glory.

Last updated: 18/11/07 0.28CET

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