Sørensen commits an all-time howler

Keeper’s phantom leap reminiscent of Devon Loch’s in the 1956 Grand National

Thomas Sørensen’s ‘miss’ is already well on its way to becoming viral, as football fans all over the world shake their heads in wonder at the Danish keeper’s bizarre attempt to save Andrey Arshavin’s shot that led to Russia’s second goal in their 2-0 win at Parken last night.

Much to the relief of Arsenal’s fans, the Russian forward was recently loaned out to Zenit St Petersberg. He had only scored twice all season, and not since October. So it was always going to be ‘one of those goals’, and Sørensen, 35, obliged with the kind of phantom leap not seen since Devon Loch in the 1956 Grand National

One down after four minutes, Denmark improved as the first half progressed, with Simon Poulsen, Nicklas Bendtner and Simon Kjaer all coming close to an equaliser. And with time running out on the clock, and aimless Arshavin on the ball, they looked a good bet to finish the half just one goal down.

But they hadn’t banked on wobbly Sørensen. Sure, Arshavin’s shot from outside the area was powerful, but it was straight at the Dane and only moved a little in the air. Still, Sørensen saw otherwise and jumped to his right, clean missing the ball in the process. (See it here)

Russia, undefeated in ten games, never faltered in the second half. The closest Denmark came to scoring was through substitute Tobias Mikkelsen, who was impressive in what was only his second start for the red and whites.

With Euro 2012 around the corner, Sørensen’s gaffe – and another similar one for his club, English Premier League side Stoke City – raises some serious questions about who should start in goal against the Netherlands on June 9. With Anders Lindegaard, 27, in fine form for Manchester United (before an ankle injury sidelined him in early February for six weeks), national coach Morten Olsen faces a tough decision over the coming months.

Meanwhile, the ladies’ international team have got off to a disastrous start in the Algarve Cup in Portugal, losing 5-0 to the US in their opening match of an annual tournament that is widely considered as the most prestigious in the game after the continental and world cups.

Denmark trailed 2-0 at half-time after conceding a goal in injury time, and then held out for half an hour before capitulating in the final 15 minutes.

The loss leaves Denmark at the bottom of the group and facing an uphill battle to secure a group win and qualify for the final. The 12-team tournament has a peculiar format that gives every participant a final placing. Heading into the cup, the worst Denmark could do was finish bottom of Group B with a worse record than the fourth-placed team in Group A, and then lose to the runner-up of Group C to finish tenth.

Denmark’s next game is against Japan on Friday, and their final group game is against Norway next Monday. 

Denmark have participated in every Algarve Cup since it started in 1994, finishing second five times, and in the top four ten times, but they have never managed to win.

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