Sports Round-Up: 25th anniversary of the 'Miracle in Madrid' - The Post

Sports Round-Up: 25th anniversary of the ‘Miracle in Madrid’

Elsewhere, Danes bow out of handball worlds, Denmark seeded third in Nations League and a new golf starlet bursts onto the scene

It’s all over … OB makes history (photo: Screenshot)
December 9th, 2019 5:20 pm| by Christian W

There is no doubt that Denmark’s unlikely triumph at Euro 92 remains the country’s greatest footballing achievement. But what about at club level?

Sure there have been some memorable moments over the years. B1903 smashing Bayern Munich 6-2, Brøndby upsetting Liverpool at Anfield and FC Copenhagen beating Manchester United in the Champions League rank right up there.

But it’s actually OB Odense that holds the glorious distinction of providing Denmark’s biggest ‘shock the world’ moment. And they did it 25 years ago.

On 6 December 1994, OB faced tremendous odds. The striped lads from Funen took on mighty Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu in the third round of the UEFA Cup.

READ ALSO: Skinning the mighty bear: The game that united a nation

Høgh on fire
Having already lost the home leg 2-3, the Danes were forced to win by a two-goal margin away at the Spanish giants, who had Danish legend Michael Laudrup in the line-up.

But Laudrup, who scored the winner for Real in the first leg, wouldn’t be the Dane of the day on December 6. No, instead it was keeper Lars Høgh who played the game of his life, keeping OB in the game with save after save until Ulrik Pedersen put them ahead on a counter-attack with 20 minutes to go.

Then, deep in injury time and with nearly all hope lost, Morten Bisgaard pipped in at the far post to score OB’s second, sending the Danes through and knocking mighty Real into oblivion.

Check out the highlights in the video below.

Denmark out at handball worlds
Denmark have been knocked out of the World Women’s Handball Championships in Japan despite a 27-24 win over the Netherlands in the middle-group stage today. Their chances of progressing to the semi-finals were snuffed out after Norway beat South Korea a few hours later. However, the Danes can still qualify for the 2020 Olympics by beating Serbia on Wednesday. Earlier in the tournament, the Danes beat reigning world and European champs France to help them progress from their group, but a loss to Norway over the weekend put them on the back foot.

Danish golf has a new champion
A young Dane, Rasmus Højgaard, burst on to the European Tour stage on Sunday by winning the Mauritius Open at the ripe old age of just 18. Højgaard’s triumph came courtesy of a playoff against two other players in just his second tournament. The title is Denmark’s 38th on the European Tour, with Thomas Bjørn winning 15 of those. The young Dane hit an eagle, four birdies and two bogeys on the final day to finish joint first, before winning it all on the third playoff hole.

Denmark seeded third in Nations League
After winning their Nations League B-group against the Republic of Ireland and Wales earlier this year, Denmark have been promoted to the A-group and will be seeded third ahead of the next NL draw on March 3. UEFA ranked the Danes in the same seeding bracket as Sweden, Ukraine and Bosnia-Hercegovina. The NL games will be played between September and November next year. By that time, Kasper Hjulmand will be the new coach of Denmark.

Dolberg heating up with Durmisi set to arrive
With three goals in as many games, Kasper Dolberg is really starting to heat up for his French side OGC Nice. His solid run of form saw him voted the player of the month by the Nice fans. Meanwhile, news has also emerged that the 22-year-old Silkeborg lad will get a Danish teammate in January, with left back Riza Durmisi joining Nice on a loan deal from Italian giants Lazio. Durmisi, who has 23 caps for Denmark, will stay with Nice for the rest of the season.

Astralis coach first eSport hall of famer
Danny ‘Zonic’ Sørensen, the coach of the successful Danish eSport team Astralis, became the first person to be elected into the Danish eSport hall of fame at the Danish Game Awards in Odense on December 5. Sørensen, who was voted the best coach in the world at the Esport Awards earlier this year, was a former Counter Strike player himself before turning to coaching in 2016. Dota 2-gamer Johan Sundstein (aka N0tail) was named eSport star of the year at the Danish Game Awards.

Cycling talent hit by car
Young Danish cyclist Mathias Norsgaard Jørgensen just celebrated signing a professional contract with Moviestar. But now he faces an extended period out of the saddle after being hit by a car during a training session in Spain. The 22-year-old suffered a double-break of his shin and is currently in hospital in Girona. He is expected to be out of action for six months.

Denmark wraps up swimming Euros
The Danish swimming team finished the short-course European Championships in Glasgow with five bronze medals, including the 4x50m mixed medley. Aside from the medals, the team notched up four Nordic records and eight Danish records during the championship. Stefan Hansen, the coach of the Danish swimming national team, has announced that he is satisfied with the medal haul.

New Davis Cup captain
Frederik Løchte Nielsen is the new captain of Denmark’s Davis Cup team following the dismissal of Kenneth Carlsen. Nielsen, who famously won the men’s doubles in Wimbledon in 2012, has played for the Danish Davis Cup team since 2003 and will continue playing doubles. The 36-year-old’s first task will be preparing Denmark for a challenge against Puerto Rico in March. Carlsen had been Denmark’s captain since 2009.

Knudsen takes final bow
One of Denmark’s handballing greats, Michael V Knudsen, has announced he will call it a day on a career that has spanned over two decades at the top level. Since starting out at Viborg HK in 1997, the 41-year-old has won a host of trophies, including the Euros, Champions League, the European Cup and the Super Cup. He also won a silver and a bronze at the World Championship. He managed to rack up 797 goals in 244 games for the Danish national team, which ranks him fourth overall behind Lars Christiansen, Erik Veje Rasmussen and Mikkel Hansen.

More Ballon d’Or woe for Harder
Pernille Harder couldn’t improve on her second place in the Ballon d’Or voting last year, falling out of the top three for the 2019 trophy. Despite enjoying another strong season, Harder was outdone by a number of players who shone at the 2019 World Cup, including US veteran Megan Rapinoe, who finished first followed by Lucy Bronze (UK) and Alex Morgan (US). Denmark failed to qualify for the World Cup last summer.