FC Midtjylland have been on the ascendancy in the Superliga in recent years, winning last year and coming second this season. But until the bank holiday weekend, they were the Buffalo Bills of the Danish Cup, as they had been on the losing end in their first four final appearances.
The losing streak finally came to an end on Friday night as FCM beat holders Brøndby in a thrilling and intense final that went to extra time and was eventually decided by a penalty shootout.
Kian Hansen put the Wolves ahead early via a deflected shot, but Brøndby responded soon after through a sublime finish by Dominik Kaiser.
Marred by trouble
Both sides had chances to add to the scoreline, but eventually it was keeper Jesper Hansen, playing his first game back after losing his younger brother in a traffic accident, who was the hero for FCM, saving two spot-kicks in the shootout.
Unfortunately, the game will also be remembered for the riot police having to subdue a group of Brøndby fans who began shooting fireworks into the FCM fan section following the end of the match. Several fans were arrested.
FCM’s Norwegian forward Gustav Wikheim was named man of the match (Årets Pokalfighter).
Despite not winning since the 1995-96 season, AGF Aarhus still have the most Danish Cup wins with nine, followed by FC Copenhagen (8), Brøndby (7), Vejle (6) and OB Odense (5).
Kenyan sets Danish marathon mark
Kenyan runner Jackson Kibet Limo ran the fastest time ever recorded on Danish soil when he won the Copenhagen Marathon on Sunday. With a time of 2 hours, 9 minutes and 54 seconds, Limo beat the record set by countryman Raymond Kiplagat Kandie in Odense back in 2010. Two Ethiopians, Victor Kiplimo and Gebre Roba Yadete, completed the podium. The fastest Dane was Simon Holbek Kønigsfeldt, who finished with a time of 2 hours, 21 minutes and 49 seconds. In the women’s race, Etalemahu Zeleke Habtewold of Ethiopia also set a Danish all-comers record with a time of 2 hours, 29 minutes and 29 seconds. The fastest Danish woman, Sandra Hartvich Lortenzen, came in at 2 hours, 41 minutes and 1 second.
Danes out of IIHF contention
The Danish ice hockey team are out of contention to reach the knockout stages of the IIHF World Championship following a 1-7 hammering at the hands of the US. The Danes got off to a decent start in Slovakia thanks to a tight win over France and a record 9-0 win over Britain, but close losses to Germany and Finland, along with the US dismantling, means they can’t reach the top four in the group. The Danes still have two games left, against Canada and the hosts, and can take solace that barring some unlikely results they’ll remain in the elite division again for next year.
FCK inks Solbakken extension
In a press conference last week, FC Copenhagen revealed that coach Ståle Solbakken has extended his contract until the summer of 2023. The Norwegian, who recently won his eighth Superliga title as manager of FCK, said that one of the key reasons for staying on was that his family would be joining him in Copenhagen in the near future. Solbakken has been at the helm at FCK for almost 570 games, from 2006-2011 and from 2013 until now. He also won a Superliga title as a player, before having to retire prematurely due to a heart attack.
Bears win third in a row
The Bakken Bears have been crowned Danish basketball champions for the third season on the trot following a sweep of Horsens IC in the final series. The Aarhus side comfortably won Game 4 in Horsens with a score of 91-76 to close yet another chapter of its intense rivalry with a win. The two sides have faced off in the last five Danish Basketball Championship series, with Horsens winning it in 2015 and 2016. Horsens have been in disarray recently, sacking their coach Arnel Dedic after Game 3 following an incident involving a player.
Asgreen turns heads in Cali
Cyclist Kasper Asgreen continues to impress in his breakthrough season, earning a stage win on his way to a podium finish in the Tour of California over the weekend. The Quick-Step rider, who finished second in the Tour of Flanders earlier this year, won his first stage as a professional when he won stage two and ended up third on the podium behind winner Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia and Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia of Colombia. Asgreen thus becomes the first Dane to ever finish in the top 3 at the Tour of California. He also won the sprints standings ahead of none other than Peter Sagan.
Denmark to co-host big cycling race
Along with Norway and Sweden, Denmark will co-host a new women’s cycling race that is scheduled to commence in 2021. Named ‘Battle of North’, the race has been billed as the women’s version of the Tour de France and will include three stages each in Denmark and Sweden, followed by four final stages in Norway. The news comes after it was revealed that the Tour de France will start in Denmark in 2021.
Danes set relay record at Worlds
The Danish women’s 4x100m relay team set a new national record in the preliminary heats at the ‘World Relays’ in Japan with a time of 43.90 seconds, bettering the old mark of 44.09 seconds set last year at the Euros in Berlin. Ida Karstoft (Sparta), Mette Graversgaard (Aarhus 1900), Mathilde Kramer (Frederiksberg IF) and Astrid Glenner-Frandsen (Københavns IF) ended up finishing last in the final, but their top-10 finish means they automatically qualify for the World Athletics Championships in Doha later this year.
Danish talent closing in on NHL
Alexander True has been named MVP for the San Jose Barracuda following a strong season in the AHL. The 21-year-old notched up 55 points in 68 games, just two points shy of Lars Eller’s Danish mark in the AHL of 57 points in 70 games. True is closing in on making his NHL debut, having been called up by the San Jose Sharks as a reserve for the ongoing NHL Playoffs.