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Rohdén own goal gifts Esbjerg knockout berth

Esbjerg fB 1-0 IF Elfsborg
Marcus Rohdén's own goal secured the three points for the Danish side in Group C, guaranteeing progress to the knockout phase.

Rohdén own goal gifts Esbjerg knockout berth
Rohdén own goal gifts Esbjerg knockout berth ©UEFA.com

Marcus Rohdén's own goal secured a single-goal triumph for Esbjerg fB against IF Elfsborg to seal a place in the knockout phase for the Danish side, while ending their opponents' hopes in the competition.

A 2-1 win in Boras a fortnight ago gave Niels Frederiksen's men a five-point advantage over the Swedish outfit in Group C, and Rohdén's unfortunate intervention in the 71st minute made that gap insurmountable. Esbjerg's focus will turn to usurping FC Salzburg at the top of the section, with a three-point gap currently separating the two leading clubs.

The home side dominated a scrappy first half, but it was the visitors who were closest to going ahead as Kian Hansen's mis-hit clearance lobbed over his goalkeeper, Frederik Rønnow, only to bounce to safety off the crossbar. At the other end, both Jakob Ankersen and Emil Lyng failed to test Kevin Stuhr-Ellegaard when well-placed, Elfsborg's No1 nonetheless doing well to deny Davidson Drobo-Ampem and block Mushaga Bakenga's close-range header before the half.

After a quiet opening to the second period, Esbjerg's Lyng crashed a powerful strike against the post from 25 metres, while Peter Ankersen was denied twice in quick succession. Simon Hedlund's low strike fizzed past Rønnow's post at the other end, and the home side's dominance finally paid off as Rohdén deflected Peter Ankersen's left-wing cross into his own goal under pressure from substitute Mick Van Buren. Frederiksen's charges had chances to make it safe but were almost denied the three points when Viktor Claesson shot just wide in the dying moments.