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Denmark comeback denies Ukraine

Denmark 2-2 Ukraine
Two goals from striker Nicki Bille Nielsen helped Denmark come back from 2-0 down to share the spoils with Ukraine.

Denmark's Anders Christiansen (right) competes for possession with Ukraine's Vitaliy Vitsenets during their friendly
Denmark's Anders Christiansen (right) competes for possession with Ukraine's Vitaliy Vitsenets during their friendly ©AFP

Denmark 2-2 Ukraine
Ukraine were seemingly on their way to an impressive victory against their fellow UEFA European Under-21 Championship finalists thanks to goals either side of half-time from Maxym Biliy and Denys Garmash, only for Nicki Bille Nielsen to inspire a Denmark comeback.

Denmark dominated the opening exchanges with midfielders Anders Christiansen and Daniel Wass both coming close to breaking the deadlock while Mike Jensen and Bille Nielsen were also denied by Denys Boyko in the Ukrainian goal. However, it was the visitors who scored with their first opportunity of the game as Biliy raced through to slot the ball calmly past Jonas Lössl.

The goal seemed to lift Pavlo Yakovenko's side and they almost extended their lead through Roman Zozulya, but his header failed to find the target. Denmark were by no means out of the contest and Nicolai Jørgensen's effort just before the break served as a reminder of their attacking menace. Shortly after the break Ukraine doubled their advantage through Garmash, who received the ball with his back to goal 20 metres out before firing a low drive into the bottom right-hand corner.

Zozulya's header almost sealed the victory for Ukraine but moments later Keld Bordinggaard's charges were back in the game, Bille Nielsen getting his head on the end of Jesper Kristensen's long throw to make it 2-1. With 12 minutes remaining Bille Nielsen grabbed his second in similar fashion and, despite late Denmark pressure, both sides were left to settle for the draw.

"I was generally content with what I saw tonight, but it's a bit of a paradox that we played better in the first half than we did in the second," said Denmark coach Keld Bordinggaard. "It turned into at bit of a battle once we were 2-0 down but I am happy with our comeback."