Once again, Denmark’s qualification chances are in the balance, and once again the opponent in their way is Portugal.
On Thursday October 8 the two teams will meet in Braga, and the match is critical to Denmark’s Euro 2016 qualification hopes.
Since drawing 1-1 with Portugal in Euro 1996 in England, the Danes have met Portugal no less than eight times, and seven since 2006. The past six games have all been critical matches that have included World Cup and European Championship qualifiers and a match at Euro 2012, which the Danes lost 3-2 in a heart-breaker.
Most recently, Denmark lost another close game in Copenhagen last October when Cristiano Ronaldo silenced the Parken crowd with a last-minute header to give the Portuguese a rare win in the Danish capital.
“We were disappointed after the last two games. We know we can play better, so we must be aware of our own strengths,” Morten Olsen, Denmark’s coach, told Ekstra Bladet tabloid.
“We must also pay attention to Ronaldo. We would be idiots not to. But we must believe, have courage and be clear in everything we do on the pitch.”
Look to the ladies
With Portugal leading Group I on 15 points, three points ahead of Denmark and four ahead of Albania, a draw will put the Portuguese through with a game left to play.
Denmark, with just one game to play, would have to hope that Albania fails to win more than one point against Serbia (home) and Armenia (away) should they lose on Thursday night. A draw would mean Albania must win at least one of the games. A win would mean Albania would have to win both games to advance.
Perhaps the Danes should draw inspiration from the ladies national team. In 16 games against Portugal, the ladies have won 14 and drawn two games. Muito Bem!