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Denmark back on track with Malta success

Malta 1-2 Denmark
Ryan Camilleri's second-half own goal gave the Morten Olsen's side a narrow but morale-boosting win in Ta' Qali to revive their stuttering challenge.

Leon Andreasen is congratulated after putting Denmark ahead
Leon Andreasen is congratulated after putting Denmark ahead ©Domenic Aquilina

Denmark earned just their second win in seven FIFA World Cup qualifying Group B matches in Malta to preserve their play-off chances.

Coming off the back of a heavy home defeat to Armenia, Morten Olsen's Danes responded well to that setback by going ahead after just two minutes through Leon Andreasen. Clayton Failla responded for the hosts before the break but a Ryan Camilleri own goal after the break gave Denmark a win that moves them to within a point of second-placed Bulgaria.

The visitors got off to a flying start as a ball over the top was latched on to by Martin Braithwaite on the left. The forward pulled a cross back into the area where the onrushing Andreasen met it with a low first-time effort which whistled past Justin Haber.

A peach of a free-kick on 38 minutes pulled the hosts level, as Failla curled a beauty in to the top corner with his left foot from 25 metres. Spurred on by the partisan home crowd, it appeared that the hosts could repeat their win in Armenia as captain Michael Mifsud went close before the break.

Instead it was Denmark who went back ahead as a jinking Christian Eriksen run took him past two defenders and the goalkeeper before his effort struck the crossbar only to deflect into the net off the back of defender Camilleri. There was no way back for Pietro Ghedin's men, who stand six points adrift at the bottom of the group.