Ten-man Bulgaria survived more than an hour of constant pressure from Denmark to keep intact their unbeaten record in FIFA World Cup qualifying Group B.
Having taken four points from the first two home games against Italy and Armenia, Bulgaria made the best possible start as Dimitar Rangelov headed them into a seventh-minute lead. The game turned when Bulgaria's Ivan Bandalovski was sent off in the 26th minute but, though Nicklas Bendtner levelled for the visitors before the break, the hosts held firm in the second half to stay second in the section.
Perhaps inspired by their previous showings at the Natsionalen Stadion Vasil Levski in Sofia, Bulgaria began brightly and got their reward when right-back Bandalovski delivered the perfect cross for Rangelov to nod in from close range. The former's evening took a turn for the worse before the half-hour when he was dismissed for a tackle on Daniel Wass, meaning PFC Litex Lovech defender Ilia Milanov came on for his debut.
The defensive reshuffle failed to do the trick, however, as Denmark drew level in the 40th minute. Michael Krohn-Dehli was allowed too much time time and space to find Bendtner, who duly headed in the equaliser.
Bulgaria defended deeply in the second period, with Christian Eriksen twice coming close to a winner for the visitors. The midfielder's long-range shot came back off the crossbar in the 51st minute, while late on he was brilliantly denied by Nikolay Mihaylov to ensure Bulgaria go to the Czech Republic on Tuesday still unbeaten. Denmark play Italy in Milan the same night.