Monday 14 October 2019

Swiss stunned as Dalsgaard completes Danish comeback

Switzerland 3 Denmark 3

Denmark's Henrik Dalsgaard celebrates scoring their third goal with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Photo: Reuters
Denmark's Henrik Dalsgaard celebrates scoring their third goal with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Photo: Reuters

John Fallon

Mick McCarthy's mood upgraded from happiness to joy last night as Denmark staged a dramatic late comeback in Basel to pinch a point off Switzerland in the meeting of Group D's top seeds.

Remo Freuler's first international goal on 19 minutes followed by two more after the break by Granit Xhaka and Breel Embolo had the Swiss in command with 14 minutes left.

Switzerland's Granit Xhaka scores their second goal. Photo: Reuters
Switzerland's Granit Xhaka scores their second goal. Photo: Reuters

Swiss manager Vladimir Petković then made the mistake of withdrawing captain and local hero Xhaka with 12 minutes remaining.

That coincided with a remarkable comeback at the St Jakob's Stadium which saw Denmark score three times in nine minutes.

Goals by Mathias Jorgensen and substitute Christian Gytkjaer seemed to be consolations but the Danes conjured an equaliser deep into stoppage time.

Henrik Dalsgaard completed the late siege by rising highest after a goalmouth scramble.

Denmark's Yussuf Poulsen challenges Switzerland's Steven Zuber. Photo: Reuters
Denmark's Yussuf Poulsen challenges Switzerland's Steven Zuber. Photo: Reuters

Swiss stopper Yann Sommer had just denied Christian Eriksen from a free-kick but was powerless to prevent the late leveller.

Switzerland are now second behind Ireland but they don't face each other until the latter stages of the campaign, in September and October.

By then, Ireland will have travelled to Copenhagen to face their familiar foes, the nation that ended their World Cup - and to a lesser degree, UEFA Nations League - hopes.

Not renowned for dominating teams, the Swiss utilised their wing-backs early on in the new formation adopted by Vladimir Petković.

It afforded Embolo, the great hope of Swiss football, licence to operate in a free role and the Schalke attacker had a part in the breakthrough.

After his initial cross from the left, the ball was zipped back into Albian Ajeti with his back to goal.

Handball

With Denmark appealing for handball, the local striker teed the ball off for Freuler to rattle a first-time low shot past a static Kasper Schmeichel.

Xhaka, playing in his home town, rippled the net with their second on 66 minutes before Embolo embarrassed Schmeichel by nicking the ball through his legs for the third 10 minutes later.

With the Arsenal star substituted, Denmark hit back.

Huddersfield defender Jorgensen nodded in Eriksen's free-kick on 84 minutes and Gytkjaer made it 3-2 four minutes later.

Then came the final intervention to stun the home crowd.

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