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Denmark kept alive their hopes of reaching the 2005 UEFA Women's Championship finals with a 2-1 victory against Scandinavian rivals Norway in Odense.
All to play for
The result means that Poul Højmose's side joined Norway on 16 points at the head of Group 2, but with a game in hand. Denmark play Belgium on 26 September before finishing their campaign with a trip to the Netherlands three days later, with Norway facing Spain the same day.
In front of 1,800 spectators, Denmark made an excellent start, taking the lead after only two minutes as Catherine Sørensen headed Gitte Andersen's long pass into the net.
It might have been two eight minutes later as Julie Bukh Rydahl found herself with only Bente Nordby to beat, but the Norway goalkeeper made a superb save. That proved the impetus her side needed and, after Trine Rønning had shot just over, Hege Riise's left-wing cross gave Heidi Pedersen the chance to equalise three minutes past the half-hour.
Riise went close with a free-kick just before half-time as Norway threatened again, and continued to look the more dangerous side but Danish goalkeeper Tina Cederqvist stood firm.
Denmark threatened regularly on the counterattack, with Merete Pedersen twice failing to convert when well placed. Nordby then denied Lene Jensen, Sørensen and Jensen again, but the winning goal did eventually arrive five minutes from time. A throw-in from the right was deflected perfectly for Jensen, who sent a beautiful shot into the far side of the goal to clinch three crucial points.
"We proved tonight that we were the better team," said Højmose. "We produced five or six great scoring opportunities in the second half, but we failed at the end; and then it is fantastic that Lene Jensen scored against Norway once again. I think this was a well deserved win and
I guarantee that we shall not fail in getting the points we need to qualify."
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