Toothless Lions poached in Farum
With four matches left in the season, only three points separate the Superliga's two top teams after FC Nordsjælland beat league leader FC Copenhagen 1-0 thanks to a second half strike by Mikkel Beckmann.
Copenhagen had the lion’s share of the possession, and were especially dominant in the first half, but missed a series of big opportunities to ice the game and wrap up the title. Instead, Nordsjælland were clinical and scored on a deadly counter attack ten minutes after the break and then defended admirably.
Nordsjælland head coach Kasper Hjulmand admitted that FC Copenhagen was still in the driver's seat, but felt that the title race was now wide open.
“They have four matches remaining and they need to drop points in two of them for us to win, but it’s not an easy schedule they have left so it can happen," he told MetroXpress newspaper. "We can only do our part and win our remaining matches.”
As the referee blew the final whistle, the Copenhagen players hung their heads knowing that they had squandered a golden opportunity to seal the title while Hjulmand and his staff ran onto the pitch roaring in triumph.
“If Copenhagen had won tonight then it would have spelled the end of our title aspirations,” Nordsjælland goalkeeper Jesper Hansen told MetroXpress. “Now we are in it and we must see how the next rounds pan out. We’re definitely going for it, and I can see why we can’t keep it going and surprise everyone by winning the title.”
Despite the loss, Copenhagen's coach Carsten V Jensen was confident in his team's three point advantage.
“The result was disappointing, but there is nothing to do about that now,” Jensen told MetroXpress. “The title race has become more open, but we lead by three points and have a better goal difference, so I’d rather be in our shoes than FC Nordsjælland's.”
FC Nordsjælland's win adds further fuel to a potential climactic end to the season, where the winner not only gets to bask in the glory of the league trophy, but also automatically qualifies for next season's Champions League group stages.
FC Copenhagen host strugglers OB on Sunday in a bid to win their fourth consecutive title, while FC Nordsjælland travel to Lyngby on Saturday, to take on a team that has already been relegated.
Lyngby, second from bottom in the league table, were automatically relegated on Tuesday after their Superliga licence was revoked because the team does not comply with a league rule requiring that all league stadiums have heating under their pitches and at least 3,000 seats. Lyngby stadium currently only seats 1,400.