Watch: Biggest ever Women's EURO shocks
Sunday, 30 July 2017
Where does Denmark's elimination of Germany rate among the great UEFA Women's EURO upsets? We look back at some of the biggest surprises in final tournament history.
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Denmark's 2-1 quarter-final defeat of Germany was the latest upset in a UEFA Women's EURO 2017 full of shocks. We look back at the biggest surprises in the competition's history.
2017: Germany 1-2 Denmark (quarter-finals)
When Denmark beat Germany 3-1 on 3 July 1993 for third place in the UEFA Women's EURO, few of the 500 fans present in Cesenatico, Italy, thought they would be witnessing something not to be repeated for nearly a quarter of a century. It was to be more than 24 years until Germany lost another knockout game in the competition, Denmark coming from behind to win 2-1 in Rotterdam thanks to Nadia Nadim and Theresa Neilsen, who said: "Everybody dreams about scoring, but doing it is another thing! Why not today?"
2017: Norway 0-2 Belgium (group stage)
The early kick-offs in the 2017 finals were not short of surprises. The Netherlands beating Norway in the opener may have counted as a shock had the Dutch not had home advantage, while few predicted Russia defeating Italy and Austria overcoming fellow debutants Switzerland. But all those were outdone by Belgium's victory against 2013 runners-up Norway courtesy of Elke Van Gorp and Janice Cayman. Norway, against all odds, were to finish bottom of the group, while Belgium were only just pipped to the last eight by a certain Denmark side ...
2013: France 1-1aet, 2-4pens Denmark (quarter-finals)
France had reached the semi-finals of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup and 2012 Olympics, and were expected to do so again after they sailed through from their group with three wins. Between them and a last-four spot was a Denmark team only through as a second best third-placed team with two points following the drawing of lots.
Johanna Rasmussen gave Denmark a 28th-minute lead, but Les Bleues were rampant and when Louisa Necib converted a penalty 19 minutes from time a France win seemed inevitable. Somehow, Denmark goalkeeper Stina Petersen kept them out all the way to penalties. In the shoot-out, Petersen denied Necib and Denmark inflicted France's second straight UEFA Women's EURO quarter-final penalties elimination. Four years later, history was to repeat itself for Denmark.
2009: Netherlands 2-1 Denmark (group stage)
The Netherlands had won their debut finals match against Ukraine, but a loss to Finland meant they needed a point off Denmark to make it out of the group. The more experienced Danes dominated, but in the second half Sylvia Smit and Manon Melis scored in quick succession. Although Rasmussen reduced the deficit, the Dutch were through. They then became France's quarter-final shoot-out nemeses before losing to England.
2005: Finland 2-1 Denmark (group stage)
Denmark must have been grateful to see off Belgium on debut this year as newcomers have given them problems in the past. Four years before their dreams were dashed by the Dutch, the Danes suffered the same fate at the hands of Finland. Denmark actually led the group at kick-off with four points, three ahead of Finland. But early goals by Laura Kalmari and Heidi Kackur proved enough for Finland, despite Cathrine Paaske Sørensen's consolation making for a grandstand finish as her side were knocked out.
2001: Denmark 1-0 Norway (group stage)
So if Denmark always lose to underdogs, why were they ever favourites in the first place? Well, look to 2001, when Merete Pedersen's late goal gave Denmark a 1-0 win against reigning Olympic champions Norway and took them into the semi-finals as group winners. It was some revenge for Denmark, who four years earlier had lost 5-0 to Norway – the competition record win until England put six past Scotland on Wednesday.