Northern Ireland showed last month's 3-2 win against Spain was no fluke as they dealt with all Denmark could throw at them in Copenhagen in UEFA EURO 2008™ Group F.
Denmark had opened their campaign with an impressive 2-0 victory in Iceland, the team who had started their own programme with a 3-0 success in Northern Ireland. The home side began brightly again tonight as Peter Løvenkrands threatened early on, before Martin Jørgensen forced Maik Taylor to save on eight minutes. Jon Dahl Tomasson sent a header just wide, while the visitors' first real chance did not come until Kyle Lafferty's speculative effort on the half-hour. Jørgensen then had the best opportunity of the half, but his attempt was deflected narrowly off target and not long after Jonny Evans cleared off the line.
Northern Ireland took confidence from holding out for the first period and emerged for the restart in determined mood. David Healy, their hat-trick hero against Spain, made goalkeeper Thomas Sørensen save after pouncing on a Daniel Agger slip, though the defender made up for that eleven minutes later with a timely tackle on the striker. Sørensen was substituted with 22 minutes left with a shoulder injury, FC København's Jesper Christiansen taking over on his club ground.
Yet Denmark's concerns were at the other end, with Northern Ireland resisting comfortably and continuing to press on occasions. Thomas Kahlenberg did threaten as his shot beat Taylor but also the post, while Christian Poulsen's effort was touched wide. Agger curled a tremendous strike on to the bar but time ran out on the hosts. The draw leaves Denmark and Northern Ireland level on four points, five behind leaders Sweden. Lawrie Sanchez's men, whose nightmare against Iceland is fading fast, welcome Latvia on Wednesday when Morten Olsen's Denmark go to Liechtenstein.