Sports News in Brief: Under-21s lethal against Lithuania

Elsewhere, FIFA honour hat-trick hero Delaney, Danes dominate flag football Euros and DBU embroiled in another dispute

The Danish men’s football team has struggled to reach a major tournament in recent years – and indeed, qualification to the 2018 World Cup in Russia hangs in the balance. But the under-21 side keeps delivering the goods.

The young guns kicked off their Euro 2019 qualification in style thanks to two wins and nine goals, without conceding once. The Faroe Islands were dispatched 3-0 away on Thursday, before Lithuania were handed a 6-0 drubbing in Aalborg yesterday evening. Right back Rasmus Nissen got a hat-trick, midfielder Robert Skov scored two and striker Marcus Ingvartsen redeemed a missed penalty by also netting against the Lithuanians.

The results leave Denmark ahead in a Group 3 that also features Poland, Georgia and Finland. Up next for the Danes will be Georgia at home on October 6 and away to Finland four days later. The sternest challenge, Poland, will be faced on November 14, when the Danes travel to Poland.

Delaney’s delight
The international football governing body FIFA has named Danish midfielder Thomas Delaney as the best player out of the nine World Cup qualifiers played on Monday night. Delaney, whose three goals against Armenia, is the first Dane to notch up a hat-trick in a World Cup qualifier since Ebbe Sand did it in 2001. The midfielder also scored in Denmark’s 4-0 defeat of Poland three days earlier.

Flag football Euro champs
The European Flag Football Championships was an unbridled success for hosts Denmark over the weekend. Held in Valby, the Danish women pummelled Israel in the final 33-6, before the men followed suit with a 39-19 win in their final – also against the Israelis. Denmark’s men have dominated the sport in recent years and have now won the last five Euros going back to 2009. For the ladies, the triumph was their first.

DBU in new conflict
It wasn’t so long ago that the Danish football association, DBU, was embroiled in a long drawn-out conflict with the players’ association Spillerforeningen regarding the men’s national team and better conditions for the players. Now, DBU is facing a similar dilemma – this time with the women’s team and the under-21 team. “We’ve presented some clear and reasonable demands for improvement. It has to work for us when we play for the national team, and right now it doesn’t,” said striker and Euro 17 hero, Pernille Harder. So far, DBU has refused to accept the demands.

FCK boss in exclusive committee
FC Copenhagen boss Anders Hørsholt was yesterday voted in to one of the most influential and exclusive committees in football, the executive board of the European Club Association (ECA). The ECA has 230 members from 53 nations, but only 15 are part of the executive board. On the board, Hørsholt joins representatives from some of the biggest clubs in Europe, including Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Barcelona, PSG, and Manchester United. The ECA is known as the clubs’ representative and holds seats in various committees in UEFA and FIFA.

That’s Hørsholt in the back row (fifth from left) (photo: ECA)