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Ten-man Danes stand firm

Wednesday, 13 October 2004

[1] Denmark held out for a home draw against FIFA World Cup qualifying Group 2 leaders Turkey despite playing for an hour with just ten men.

Uphill battle

[2] The Danes took the lead through Jon Dahl Tomasson's penalty but faced an uphill battle once Jesper Grønkjær had been sent off on 29 minutes for violent conduct. The visitors went on to dominate and Nihat Kahveci missed a second-half spot-kick before scoring a 70th-minute equaliser to square an untidy encounter.

Bright start

[3] Turkey started brightly and almost took an eighth-minute lead when Nihat's brilliant 16-metre half-volley brought out an acrobatic tip over from Peter Skov-Jensen, who proved himself an able deputy for the injured Thomas Sørensen in the Danish goal.

Perfect penalty

[4] On 25 minutes, Gravesen rolled a free-kick down the inside-right channel to Grønkjær, but the winger was pulled down in the box by Turkey's tough-tackling left-back Ibrahim Üzülmez. Tomasson, up to that point a peripheral figure, stepped up to sweep his right-footed penalty just beyond the fingertips of Turkey goalkeeper Rüstü Reçber.

Short-lived joy

[5] The Danes' joy proved all-too brief. An ambitious free-kick from Nihat, struck from 35 metres out, sailed over the bar. As Turkish players returned to their half, Grønkjær got himself involved in a heated exchange and was sent off for violent conduct, completely altering the face of the game. Morten Olsen's team, whose next game will see them travel to Georgia, were suddenly looking at defending a fragile lead for 60 minutes.

Turkey dominant

[6] After the break, the visitors took control of what was an increasingly heated battle. Jensen proved equal to almost everything Turkey threw at him - and even when the ball beat him, the woodwork came to Denmark's rescue. Nihat's 59th-minute penalty, given after the ball had struck Danish skipper Thomas Helveg on the hand, was fiercely struck but bounced back off the post.

Parity restored

[7] Turkey's dynamic No8 soon made amends, popping up 20 minutes from time to head the equaliser past the diving Jensen. The visitors, who face Ukraine at home next month, were sniffing victory, and maximum points were only denied them by Jensen. On 80 minutes, Emre's left-footed drive from the edge of the penalty area was parried brilliantly by the goalkeeper, and moments later Fatih Tekke was somehow denied from point-blank range.

Jon Dahl Tomasson of Denmark beats Turkey's Ümit Özat to the ball