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Højbjerg double helps Denmark deny Slovenia

Published: Friday 11 October 2013, 20.52CET
Denmark 2-2 Slovenia
Two goals up at half-time, Slovenia were denied a first win in qualifying Group 2 by Pierre Højbjerg's goals in the second period.
by Pelle Rasmussen
from Aalborg Stadion
Højbjerg double helps Denmark deny Slovenia
Pierre Højbjerg scored twice for Denmark ©Getty Images

Standings

Published: Friday 11 October 2013, 20.52CET

Højbjerg double helps Denmark deny Slovenia

Denmark 2-2 Slovenia
Two goals up at half-time, Slovenia were denied a first win in qualifying Group 2 by Pierre Højbjerg's goals in the second period.

Denmark recovered from two goals down to rescue a second 2-2 draw with Slovenia inside a month to stay second in Group 2.

Having drawn in Slovenia on 10 September, Jess Thorup's Danes would have been hoping for a positive start but instead goals from Enej Jelenič and Andraž Šporar rewarded the visitors for a high-tempo first-half display. Denmark came back strongly, and Pierre Højbjerg pulled one back with a memorable goal in the first minute of the second half before ensuring the spoils would be shared again, equalising with a free-kick 16 minutes from time.

The September draw was Slovenia's first point in 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying at the third attempt, yet Tomaž Kavčič's side harried their opponents from the off. The pressure paid off in the 17th minute as Jelenič scored from the edge of the area, and when Šporar was sent through by Haris Vučkič's lofted pass and gave Frederik Rønnow no chance seven minutes later, Slovenia were flying.

Almost immediately, however, Jonas Knudsen missed the chance to bring the Danes back into it after being set up by Rasmus Falk, but the tide had turned. Højbjerg's fine effort found the top corner in the 46th minute to halve the arrears and, though keeper Ažbe Jug denied Nicolai Brock-Madsen from close range, Højbjerg capitalised after Nemanja Mitrovič had brought down Falk on the edge of the box, finding the bottom corner.

Both teams might have won it a hectic final ten minutes, although the point gives each something to build on on Tuesday, when Denmark – with two wins and two draws – visit group leaders Russia and Slovenia welcome third-placed Bulgaria. "We knew this match was going to be difficult and Slovenia pressed us and made life difficult," Thorup said. "At half-time I told the players to throw caution overboard and we played a very good second half. Of course we would have liked three points, but we are satisfied with the draw.

"Our next outing in Russia is a key match. After Russia's [3-3] draw with Bulgaria I feel it is going to be between the three of us to decide who qualifies. Russia are favourites and still undefeated. They are very good opponents, but we go there with confidence."

Last updated: 05/06/15 8.26CET

http://www.uefa.com/under21/season=2015/matches/round=2000412/match=2011410/postmatch/report/index.html#højbjerg+rescues+denmark

Lineups

Denmark

Denmark

Slovenia

Slovenia

1
RønnowFrederik Rønnow (GK) (C)
1
JugAžbe Jug (GK)
2
RemmerChristoffer Remmer
5
MitrovičNemanja Mitrovič (C)
Yellow Card67
3
ChristensenAndreas Christensen
6
KrajncLuka Krajnc
4
K. LarsenKasper Larsen
7
ŠporarAndraž Šporar
Goal24
5
KnudsenJonas Knudsen
8
ČrnicMatic Črnic
Yellow Card45
Substitution85
6
Vigen ChristensenLasse Vigen Christensen
9
VučkičHaris Vučkič
7
PoulsenYussuf Poulsen
Substitution68
10
JeleničEnej Jelenič
Goal17
Yellow Card90
8
ThomsenNicolaj Thomsen
13
TrajkovskiDejan Trajkovski
9
Brock-MadsenNicolai Brock-Madsen
Substitution81
14
VrhovecBlaž Vrhovec
Substitution74
10
HøjbjergPierre Højbjerg
Goal46
Goal74
20
PalčičMatej Palčič
Yellow Card54
11
FalkRasmus Falk
21
DerviševićAmir Dervišević
Substitution62

Substitutes

16
BuskJakob Busk (GK)
12
CotmanAljaž Cotman (GK)
12
BanggaardPatrick Banggaard
2
KousŽiga Kous
Substitution85
13
JønssonJens Jønsson
3
JanžaErik Janža
14
AndersenLucas Andersen
Substitution68
4
BlažičMiha Blažič (GK)
15
GehrtMathias Gehrt
11
PučkoMatej Pučko
Substitution74
17
JradiBassel Jradi
17
BratanovičElvis Bratanovič
18
IllumJeppe Illum
Substitution81
19
MajerŽan Majer
Substitution62

Coach

Jess Thorup (DEN) Tomaž Kavčič (SVN)

Referee

Andreas Pappas (GRE)

Assistant referees

Christos Baltas (GRE), Ilias Alexeas (GRE)

Fourth official

Athenasios Giachos (GRE)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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