Denmark have not failed to reach a UEFA European Women's Championship finals in over two decades and that run looks like continuing after they took control of qualifying Group 7 with a 2-0 win in the Czech Republic.
Their hosts in Prague were also unbeaten and only two points behind, but although the Czechs put up a brave fight, goals either side of half-time from Katrine Veje and Pernille Harder – the teenager's eighth of the campaign – gave Denmark their fifth straight win in the group. Victory in the 20 June rematch in Vejle could ensure Denmark's place in next summer's finals with two matches to spare, and coach Kenneth Heiner-Møller was delighted.
This was an enormous step towards EURO 2013 in Sweden, even though there are still three qualification matches left in our group," he said. "We played a terrific first half, when we were completely dominant, and it was surprisingly easy for us to create opportunities. We were controlling the game, our plans were being realised and we combined very well.
"In the second half the Czechs came into the game, but I think the Danish players were still controlling the match. Our win is fully deserved, after a really hard-working effort."
Beaten in the play-offs to the 2005 and 2009 finals, the Czech Republic are now level with Austria on ten points, and victory against them at home on 16 June would all but guarantee at least another two-legged tie. But coach Vladimír Hruška concedes it is going to be very difficult to deny Denmark automatic qualification.
"It's a pity we did not convert our chance at the very beginning, because maybe things might have looked a little different," he said. "The girls were afraid to concede and it restricted them.
When we let in the second goal, the girls forgot their fear and we started playing the way we wanted from beginning.
"Denmark have not conceded a goal in their last two qualifying groups [including the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup] so we can take the 2-0 result as a positive. But we wanted at least a point. After [Saturday's 5-2 win in] Portugal, the girls believed they could beat Denmark but our opponents were better this time. For us the key match is the one with Austria because of second place."