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Denmark come from behind to beat Malta U-21

Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

MALTA               1           

Attard 52

DENMARK        3           

Laursen 68; Damsgaard 84

Lindstrom 90

Denmark moved six points clear on top of Group 8 of the UEFA Under-21 Championship qualifying round as they came from behind to beat Malta 3-1.

Following a goalless first half, Malta went surprisingly ahead with Denmark equalising mid-way through the second half, scoring twice towards the end to register the seventh win in eight matches.

Malta coach Silvio Vella was forced to make wholesale changes from the last game due to the absence of the injured Jean Borg, Michele Sansone, Zachary Brincat and Andrei Spiteri and the unavailability of Dejan Debono, Carlo Zammit Lonardelli and Nicholas Pulis.

Added to that Kurt Shaw, Matthew Guillaumier, Myles Beerman, Shaun Dimech and Paul Mbong are currently with the senior squad.

As expected, Denmark, held the initiative right from the start and went close with efforts by Nikolai Laursen that were well saved by Timothy Aquilina.

On 27 minutes, the Malta goalkeeper parried a header from the left by Fredrik Alves Ibsen.

The Danes maintained the pressure and Mikkel Damsgaard, served by Mohamed Daramy, had a low shot ending just wide on 31 minutes.

A minute later, following a Magnus Kofod Andersen corner from the left, Aquilina performed a great save on a Victor Nelsson header.

Four minutes from the end of the first half, Malta had the first attempt at goal with Darren Borg trying his luck with a cross shot from the left which ended just wide.

On the restart, the Maltese started to show greater determination and on 52 minutes, they managed to open the score.

Aidan Friggieri served Ayrton Attard who controlled the ball outside the area before hitting low past goalkeeper Oliver Christensen.

In a bid to recover from this cold shower, the Danish coach made three substitutions and the visitors were soon in control once again.

Mikkel Damsgaard was unlucky to hit the crossbar with a shot from outside the area on 67 minutes.

But a minute later, Denmark equalised. Nikolai Laursen received an assist just outside the area and beat Aquilina with a low shot in the bottom left corner.

On 75 minutes, in a counter-attack for Malta, Alex Satariano served Aidan Friggieri whose conclusion from the right was saved by the Danish goalkeeper.

Six minutes from time, Denmark went 2-1 ahead thanks to Mikkel Damsgaard whose well-placed shot from the edge of the area beat the Malta custodian.

Three minutes in added time, the visitors added another.

A Gustav Isaksen effort from the right was partially saved by Aquilina and off the rebound, substitute Jesper Lindstrom placed the ball at the back of the net.

Standings provided by SofaScore LiveScore

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