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Denmark qualify, play-offs for Portugal

Denmark 2-1 Portugal
Goals from Michael Krohn-Dehli and Nicklas Bendtner booked Denmark's place at next summer's finals at the expense of their opponents.

Denmark qualify, play-offs for Portugal
Denmark qualify, play-offs for Portugal ©UEFA.com

Denmark ran out narrow winners against Portugal in Copenhagen to stamp their finals ticket and condemn their opponents to second place in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group H and a play-off berth.

Michael Krohn-Dehli gave Denmark an early lead before Nicklas Bendtner doubled the advantage just past the hour, and although Cristiano Ronaldo reduced the deficit in added time, the hosts held on to secure top spot.

Denmark had begun the evening level on points with Portugal but Morten Olsen's men moved out in front after 13 minutes at Parken Stadion when Krohn-Dehli cut in from the left and put a right-footed shot into the far corner with the help of a deflection off Rolando.

Denmark were winning the 50-50s and showing better precision with their passing, and by half-time they had contained Portugal's threat. With Sweden moving in front against the Netherlands early in the second period in Group E, Portugal knew that, if beaten, they risked missing out on direct qualification as the best second-placed team. Try as they might, though, they were regularly frustrated in their efforts to respond, Thomas Sørensen thwarting Carlos Martins when he threatened from Nani's cross.

Denmark tightened their grip on first place after 63 minutes when Christian Eriksen sent Dennis Rommedahl racing into the area down the right, which allowed the winger to cut the ball back for Bendtner to finish. The Danes could have added a third, and although Ronaldo found the top corner with a superb free-kick two minutes into added time, it was too late to save Paulo Bento's side.

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