Sports Round-Up: Denmark face stern Swiss challenge in Euro qualification - The Post

Sports Round-Up: Denmark face stern Swiss challenge in Euro qualification

Elsewhere, Brøndby wins New Firm, Towers miss out on Mermaid Bowl hattrick and Denmark dampens Olympic medal hopes

On October 12, it’s on like Donkey Kong (photo: DBU)
October 7th, 2019 4:50 pm| by Christian W

Denmark could take a big step towards qualification for Euro 2020 when they take on Switzerland at home in Group D on Saturday. The Danes are under pressure, though, as a loss would be catastrophic.

But the Danes will be buoyed by a sold-out Telia Parken Stadium for Saturday’s game, which kicks off at 18:00.

READ ALSO: Dane triumphs at World Road Championships

Do or die?
The Danes are currently second in the group on nine points from five games, behind leaders Ireland (eleven from five) and just ahead of the Swiss, who have eight points from four games.

A win against the Swiss would put the Danes in a good position to qualify as one of the top two teams in the group, while a defeat would see Åge Hareide’s squad probably needing to win their remaining games, including a showdown final game against the Irish in Dublin.

The good news is that Ireland face two tough games themselves before that: away to Georgia (who got a point out of the Danes in Tbilisi) and the Swiss.

Brøndby ends New Firm skid
The latest New Firm clash of the season was held on October 6, with Brøndby coming out on top for once in a 3-1 win at home. FC Copenhagen had won the previous four battles, but it was the Boys from the Western Suburbs who jumped into a 2-0 lead in the first half, thanks to efforts from Simon Hedlund and Kamil Wilczek. An own goal by Andreas Maxsø got the Lions roaring for a while, but a red card to Rasmus Falk and another strike by Wilczek settled the tie. The next New Firm will be on December 1 at Telia Parken Stadium.

Conservative Olympics medal hopes
Just 10 months before the 2020 Olympic Games kick off in Tokyo, the Danish athletics federation DIF has come with a reserved prediction for Denmark’s expected medal count. Although it won’t officially reveal  its ambitions until six months before the opening ceremony, DIF head Søren Simonsen admitted it might be difficult to live up to the 15-medal success of Rio 2016. Simonsen explained that a generation change in badminton and the removal of the men’s four in rowing (a medal machine event for Denmark over the years) from the Olympic program has put a damper on Danish medal hopes. Furthermore, a number of top Danish sailors have either quit the sport or have halted their DIF co-operation.

Towers miss out on hattrick
The US football team Copenhagen Towers missed out on their third consecutive Mermaid Bowl title after losing to their bitter rivals Triangle Razorbacks by a score of 20-14 at Gladsaxe Stadium on October 5. The Towers had won the previous two titles to pass the Razorbacks as the side with the most Mermaid Bowl titles, but the Vejle-based club tied it up again at eight titles each. The MVP of the game was running back Niko LeVahn Lester. The last Mermaid Bowl champion to be not be one of those two teams was the Søllerød Gold Diggers, who won in 2010.

Harder praises gay ice hockey player
Danish football star Pernille Harder has praised Jon Lee-Olsen for becoming the first Danish ice hockey player to reveal he is homosexual. Harder, who is gay herself, said that Lee-Olsen’s courage was an important step for gay men in sports. Peter Regin, the captain of Denmark’s national team, also praised Lee-Olsen, who came out on live television on the TV2 show ‘Go’ aften live’ on October 3. Lee-Olsen plays as a keeper for the Danish champions Rungsted Seier Capital. According to TV2, only two other ice hockey players in the world have come out during their active careers.

Not Nice to steal from Dolberg
Kasper Dolberg was at the centre of considerable drama at his club Nice recently, but not for his goals. A promising youngster at the French side, Lamine Diaby Fadiga, has been sacked after admitting that he had stolen Dolberg’s watch, which was worth an estimated 500,000 kroner. The 18-year-old apologised for the theft and offered to pay Dolberg back, but the club terminated his contract. Fadiga has several France under-18 caps to his name. Dolberg, meanwhile, has scored two goals in five league games since moving from Ajax Amsterdam this summer.

DBU supports UEFA anti-women boycott
The Danish football association has supported European football governing body UEFA in its decision to boycott games in countries where women don’t have access to stadiums, such as in Iran. The issue came to the fore after Iranian football fan Sahar Khodayari, 29, set fire to herself and died on September 2 after being arrested for dressing up as a man to watch her favourite team Esteghlal play. Iran have since stated that it will permit women to attend its World Cup qualification game against Cambodia on October 10, although they will be segregated into a women-only seating area.

FCK off to solid Europa League start
FC Copenhagen are off to a strong start in the Europa League following a win and a draw in Group B. The Lions beat Swiss side Lugano 1-0 at home on September 19, before battling to a 1-1 draw away in Malmö in the Battle for Øresund on October 3. FCK sits top of Group B with four points, on a par with Dynamo Kiev, who they will face away on October 24 and then again at home on November 7.