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Jørgensen stunner keeps Denmark dreaming

Nicolai Jørgensen had a hand in the first goal and scored the winner as Denmark revived their ambitions of reaching the semi-finals with a 2-1 defeat of Belarus in Aarhus.

Jørgensen stunner keeps Denmark dreaming
Jørgensen stunner keeps Denmark dreaming ©UEFA.com

A sublime strike from Nicolai Jørgensen reignited Denmark's ambitions of reaching the semi-finals as the host nation beat Belarus in a high-quality Group A encounter on Tuesday.

Omitted from the starting lineup for his nation's opening defeat at the hands of Switzerland, Jørgensen fully justified coach Keld Bordinggaard's decision to start with him in Aarhus. After Dmitri Baga had put Belarus ahead on 20 minutes, Jørgensen provoked the penalty that allowed Christian Eriksen to equalise two minutes later before the Bayer 04 Leverkusen winger arced an imperious effort into the far corner to win it with 19 minutes left.

The Danes now know victory in their final group game against Iceland will give them a great chance of sealing a last-four spot, while Belarus could still join them with the right result against Switzerland.

There was expectation aplenty from the sell-out crowd in the Aarhus Stadion, and Denmark appeared determined to please. However, though their slick passing promised much, an end product was not forthcoming, and Belarus showed them how to do it. Stanislav Dragun, who had earlier gone close with a glancing header, beautifully picked out Baga's diagonal dart, and he confidently skipped round Mikkel Andersen before flicking the ball in.

Bordinggaard had brought three new faces into the starting lineup following his team's opening-game reverse, and one of them, Jørgensen, was the catalyst for the Danes' immediate response. Eriksen's impish back-heel released the Bayer 04 Leverkusen man, who tumbled under Mikhail Sivakov's challenge. Eriksen saw his penalty parried by Aleksandr Gutor, but the AFC Ajax man casually tucked away the rebound.

Back on level terms, Denmark upped the tempo. Another of the new faces, Henrik Dalsgaard, saw Gutor touch a drifting cross onto the bar before the Belarus No21, who had kept Iceland at bay at the weekend, won his one-on-one with Nicki Nielsen.

Like Nielsen, Eriksen is likely to form the bedrock of the Danish national side of the future, and the Ajax midfielder gave a glimpse of his abundant talent with a devastatingly rapid burst that took him beyond two defenders, but Gutor matched the quality of the run with an equally fine save.

With his team-mates unable to retain possession, the FC BATE Borisov goalkeeper was kept busy. A low shot from the neat-and-tidy Mike Jensen was turned away by Gutor's feet, and his hands smothered Daniel Wass's drilled effort. He was powerless to stop Jørgensen, though, when the winger cut in from the left before sending a peerless shot into the net to keep the host nation in contention.