Spain led from start to finish as Denmark was on the losing end of the most lopsided game in World Cup final history, 19-35. The Danes are now zero for three in World Cup finals.
The Danish coach, Ulrik Wilbek, was stunned over the horrendous performance, which led to the biggest defeat of his illustrious career.
“I can’t explain it. I just can’t explain it,” Wilbek stuttered to TV2 after the match was over. It was the most lopsided final since Sweden beat Czechoslovakia 22-12 in 1958. Denmark lost by 16 goals, their worst defeat in decades.
The beginning of the game was an ominous harbinger of things to come. Spain quickly jumped to a three-goal lead and although the Danes clawed back within one, they looked nervy and lacked confidence early on, quickly letting the game slip from their hands.
Spain’s keeper, Arpad Sterbik, was a dominating figure, his massive two metre, 119 kilo frame time and time again repulsed the Danish efforts finishing the game with an impressive 46 percent save rate. And while the Danes couldn’t get their counter attack going, Spain punished their Scandinavian opponents on the break continuously.
El Toro was simply brilliant on the night, with Joan Cañellas and Valero Rivera scoring at will while big forward, Julen Aguinagalde, bullied the Danish defensive line. Cañellas finished the game as top scorer with seven, while Denmark’s top marksman was Henrik Møllgaard with four.
Denmark’s best player was reserve keeper Jannick Green, who turned aside eight Spanish shots, and came away with a save percentage of 32 percent. But, Mikkel Hansen, arguably the world’s best player, was invisible throughout the match and finished with only two goals and a handful of turnovers and errors.
On a night when it all went wrong for Denmark, they can look back on one positive at least. Winger Anders Eggert finished the World Cup tournament as top goal scorer with 55 goals.