Denmark moved two points clear of Norway at the top of UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifying Group 2 with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Luxembourg on Wednesday.
Denmark, who beat Norway 1-0 on Saturday to go level with their Scandinavian neighbours on ten points ahead of tonight's fixtures, completely dominated the game, but found it difficult to turn their possession into goals.
Charlton Athletic FC midfield player Claus Jensen gave the visitors the lead after 22 minutes as he latched on to a Morten Wieghorst pass to fire past Alija Besic. The travelling fans then expected the floodgates to open, but Allan Simonsen's side defended doggedly and held out until half-time.
Enjoyment for Olsen
Jensen, Morten Wieghorst, Martin Laursen and Ebbe Sand all had opportunities to add to the lead but Luxembourg held firm. There was a great atmosphere at the Stade Josy Barthel with an estimated 4,500 Danish 'rooligans' in the 6,869 crowd and Denmark coach Morten Olsen was able to sit back and enjoy the sight of his side picking up their second win in four days.
Everton FC's Thomas Gravesen added a second goal five minutes into the second half with an unstoppable shot into the left-hand corner, picking up a Niclas Jensen pass and leaving Besic with no chance.
There was also a debut for Vfl Borussia Mönchengladbach forward Morten Skoubo, who replaced Ebbe Sand after 73 minutes with the three points assured. Wieghorst and Jesper Gronkjær also came off in the second half but the substitutions had little effect on the game.
Olsen was delighted after the final whistle, saying the victory meant that his team had "completed their mission". He added: "I didn't feel that we were nervous at any time. Our relatively early goal gave us some peace and quiet but we knew all along that we would have to be patient. We also knew that the chances would come and when they come it is just a question of taking them."
Denmark have now opened up a two-point lead at the top of their group as Norway were held 1-1 by Romania in Oslo in tonight's other fixture in the section. The Danes next play Romania at home in September, needing only a point to be sure of at least making the play-offs.