FC Copenhagen took another step towards qualifying for the Europa League knockout stage with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Dynamo Kiev at the Telia Parken stadium last night.
As was the case in the record-setting reverse fixture two weeks ago in Kiev, the Danish team started brightly and went ahead after just four minutes through Jens Stage, who bundled in a cross from Pierre Bengtsson.
But almost immediately afterwards, and for much of the rest of the game, the Lions were put under heavy pressure by the Ukrainian outfit.
Kalle Johnsson saved a penalty just before half-time, but he could do nothing when former FCK fan favourite Benjamin Verbic cut inside from the left wing and fired home from just outside the box early in the second half.
The Slovenian refused to celebrate in respect of his former club, but the Ukrainian team continued to pile on the pressure until the final whistle came to the rescue of FCK.
The result means the two teams are still join top of Group B with six points, followed by Malmö FF on five points and Lugano with two.
Up next for FC Copenhagen is Lugano away on November 28. A win along with dropped points by Malmö at home to Dynamo Kiev would see the Lions qualify from the group. Failing that, FCK would still qualify by beating their Swedish neighbours at home in the final fixture on December 12.
In related news, FCK’s inspirational captain Carlos Zeca has signed a new contract. The 31-year-old Greek midfielder’s new contract was extended to the summer of 2023.
Bjorkstrand nets NHL milestone and winner
Oliver Bjorkstrand made NHL headlines last night by getting the winning goal for the Columbus Blue Jackets in a 3-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes. The 24-year-old right winger also got an assist in the game. Bjorkstrand recently became only the sixth Dane to reach 100 career NHL points. The other five are Frans Nielsen (458), Mikkel Bødker (323), Lars Eller and Jannick Hansen (both 265), and Nikolaj Ehlers (213). Only Hansen is no longer playing in the league.
Parken ready for the future
The DBU national football association has announced that the Telia Parken stadium will continue to host the majority of games played by the men’s national team through to the end of 2022. At least seven to eight games will be played at the stadium, while two to three games and the Nations League games can be played at other stadiums. News has also emerged that the new lights, which the stadium requires to live up to Euro 2020 hosting demands, will be ready before the kick-off of the spring Superliga season.
Andersen on CL team of the week
Denmark defender Joachim Andersen made the Champions League team of the week this round for his performance for Lyon against Benfica on Tuesday night. The 23-year-old scored with a header after four minutes in a 3-1 win against the Portuguese side – the Dane’s first goal for the Ligue 1 side since moving from Sampdoria last summer.
Hot starts for Eller and Ehlers
Lars Eller and Nikolaj Ehlers have both made strong starts to the NHL season for their respective teams, the Washington Capitals and the Winnipeg Jets. Ehlers has racked up 14 points in 16 games for the Jets, while Eller has tallied 11 points in 17 games for the Caps. Of the other five NHL Danes, Bjorkstrand has six points from 16 games so far this season, while Mikkel Bødker has one point from five games for the Ottawa Senators. Veteran Frans Nielsen has struggled so far this season, not managing a single point in 13 games for the Detroit Red Wings – a sign that his epic career might be nearing an end. Patrick Russell has also failed to score a point so far this season for the Edmonton Oilers, while Frederik Andersen remains solid in goal for the Toronto Maple Leafs with a save percentage of 0.914 so far.
Rindom rules her kingdom
Anne-Marie Rindom became the first Dane to win the prestigious Rolex ‘World Sailor of the Year’ international award in late October. The 28-year-old European and world champ was given the ‘Across Sails’ award at the 2019 World Sailing Annual Conference in Bermuda. The Dane won a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio – a feat she hopes to better this coming summer in Tokyo.