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Huseklepp spares Norway from Denmark defeat

Norway 1-1 Denmark
Erik Huseklepp pounced to take a share of the points for the Group H leaders, cancelling out Dennis Rommedahl's first-half volley.

Henning Hauger looks to hold off Denmark goalscorer Dennis Rommedahl
Henning Hauger looks to hold off Denmark goalscorer Dennis Rommedahl ©Getty Images

Norway dropped their first UEFA EURO 2012 Group H points at home against Denmark but still had reason to be relieved after Erik Huseklepp snatched them a 1-1 draw with nine minutes remaining.

The AS Bari striker latched on to a pass from Daniel Braaten to beat Thomas Sørensen and deny the visitors a hard-fought victory at Ullevaal. Until then, Morten Olsen's Denmark had looked to be in control against a Norway side seemingly short on creativity, but coach Egil Olsen's decision to bring on Toulouse FC winger Braaten threw the visitors.

Having taken nine points from their first three Group H games, Norway knew victory would give them a huge boost as they bid to reach the finals in Poland and Ukraine, with the match being billed as the game of the year in both nations. However, the hosts fell behind on 26 minutes when Rommedahl connected beautifully with a loose ball from a corner to send a dipping shot past Rune Jarstein.

The Danes had been the more composed side on the ball in the first half, and even though Norway seized the initiative after the break, they were rarely allowed a sight of Sørensen's goal until Huseklepp struck. After that, Norway moved in to grab all three points, but despite passionate backing in Oslo, there were to be no more clear-cut chances.