Brøndby, FC Midtjylland and SønderjyskE were all hoping to emulate FC Copenhagen’s emphatic win in Champions League qualification on Wednesday night. And last night, all three came through.
A miracle in the western suburbs and two nail-biting finishes in Jutland all added up to a special night for Danish teams in the penultimate round of Europa League qualifying.
Brøndby needed to win by two goals against Hertha Berlin to overturn a 0-1 loss in Germany last week, which is easier said than done against a Bundesliga team, although they went ahead after just three minutes through their Finnish striker Teemu Pukki.
Danish hearts sank on the half-hour mark when veteran Bosnian striker Vedad Ibisevic scored the important away goal, but just four minutes later Pukki was at it again, giving the Boys from Vestegnen hope once more.
And Pukki wasn’t done. The diminutive, dazzling Finn popped up to seal his hat-trick after 52 minutes and the Danish side somehow managed to hold on for a historic triumph – their biggest since ousting Schalke 04 in 2003.
High noon draw
SønderjyskE will also be in the hat for today’s Europa League playoff draw. The south-Jutlanders managed to hold on to a 2-1 first leg away with a tough 1-1 draw at home against Polish outfit Zaglebie Lubin.
And it was a real nerve-wracking match in Herning last night as FC Midtjylland needed extra time to get past Hungarian team Videoton. A 1-0 win in Hungary last week was almost squandered as the away side scored with ten men late in the second half, but Filip Novak turned up to seal the game for the Danes after 113 minutes.
The three Danish teams will be in the Europa League playoff draw today at 13:00 in Nyon, Switzerland. FCK will be in the Champions League play-off draw at 12:00.