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Saturday, October 10, 1998 Published at 23:30 GMT 00:30 UK


Sport: Football

Welsh warriors conquer Denmark

Denmark's Mikkel Beck surrounded by Welsh defence

Wales 2-1 Denmark

Click here for England-Bulgaria match report

Click here for Scotland-Estonia match report

Wales provided the main shock in Saturday's round of qualifying matches for the European Championships in 2000, with a remarkable away win against Denmark.

The 2-1 victory in Copenhagen was Wales's first competitive win on foreign soil since 1985.


Ed Marriage reports on Wales' win in Copenhagen
The Welsh defence withstood constant pressure in the second half before Craig Bellamy sneaked the winner minutes from time.

Manager Bobby Gould has been under pressure - with only six wins in 22 games - but said afterwards: "It was a magnificent performance. We believed there was a victory there for the taking and the commitment and pride the players showed was all I could have asked for."


[ image: Bobby Gould - proud of his boys]
Bobby Gould - proud of his boys
"All I saw was 14 fantastic Welshmen out there giving everything. They were all heroes. Paul Jones was outstanding, and people like Mark Hughes and Gary Speed found all their experience on the night.

"It was like going into the lion's den but they defended so well and showed so much resilience. When Craig scored the winner we were all sitting on the bench blowing it over the line."

Breaking the jinx

Substitute Bellamy, only on in the 69th minute, arrived in the box with just four minutes left to guide a header just inside the far post from Darren Barnard's cross.

The tiny band of Welsh fans who had made the journey to the Danish capital had been chanting for boss Bobby Gould's departure during the second half.


Bobby Gould: 'Bellamy is a very special talent...' (BBC Radio 5 Live)
But they changed their tune to one of delight when Bellamy scored and were still dancing long after the final whistle.

The last time Wales won an away match against a world-rated side was way back in 1988 when they came out on top in a friendly with Italy.

You have to look three years earlier to 1985 to find a competitive away win for Wales when Ian Rush scored the winner against Scotland in a World Cup tie.

Wales survived a fierce Danish barrage in the thirty minutes during which keeper Paul Jones saved the day.

Kit Symons kicked one effort off the line and deep into injury time Martin Jorgensen hit the post with the Southampton keeper finally beaten.

Manager Gould went into the game knowing fans wanted to see the back of him. One banner amongst the travelling support read: "Win, lose or draw, Gould must go."


[ image: Denmark's Ebbe Sand and Wales' Adrian Williams fight for possession]
Denmark's Ebbe Sand and Wales' Adrian Williams fight for possession
But he should hold onto his job for a while at least after such a dramatic win.

His heroes now go back to Cardiff to face Belarus on Wednesday in a crucial group match they still must win.

In front of keeper Jones, defenders Chris Coleman, Adrian Williams and Kit Symons were outstanding.

Veteran Mark Hughes and skipper Gary Speed were tireless and courageous in midfield, while all around them were Welshman playing the game of their lives.

Denmark tough on Welsh warriors

Denmark were without the Laudrups (retired) and the injured Peter Schmeichel but still had Wales under pressure right from kick-off.

A string of Danish chances were only held out by Welsh valiance.

Hughes, winning his 68th cap, produced a thundering tackle on Bolton's Per Frandsen, but ended with a damaged face as the two fell.

He was taken off for treatment with blood coming from his forehead and Wales played for 10 men for several minutes awaiting his return, in which time Ole Tobiason headed a corner narrowly wide.

Jorgensen was next to test Wales, cutting in from the left and firing inches wide across goal.

Hughes gave the ball away to Frederiksen after 34 minutes but, with Chris Coleman backing off, the Dane fluffed his shot as he entered the box.


[ image: John Robinson and Gary Speed celebrating victory]
John Robinson and Gary Speed celebrating victory
Frederiksen, one of only three Danish based players in the home side, almost scored after 39 minutes, dragging a near-post shot wide of the far upright from a corner.

Speed was booked after 42 minutes for a foul on Jorgensen, and that being his second of the qualifying group, he will miss Wednesday's home game with Belarus.

Two minutes into the second half Blake twisted and turned in the box and fell under a challenge, but was denied a penalty despite loud appeals.

The Danes seized the initiative and a spell of pressure ended with them taking the lead in the 57th minute.

It was a sloppy goal from Wales' point of view, Frederiksen sliding the ball home in a packed area at the second attempt after a corner was not cleared properly.

Wales hit back within 60 seconds when Barnard fired over a left foot free kick and Williams rose beyond the far post to drop a towering header over Mogens Krogh.

The ball was hacked away but a linesman flagged that it had crossed the line.

Jones made three top quality saves from Jorgensen twice and then Frandsen as Wales clung on.


Mark Hughes: "Everyone in the squad has tremendous pride...."
Just when fans thought that one point would be the fruit of their trip, Bellamy popped up as Wales broke with pace from deep defence.

Seconds later the ball was nestling in the back of the net and Welsh celebrations were just beginning.

Denmark: Krogh, Toefting, Rieper, Hogh, Heintze, Helveg, Steen Nielsen, Frandsen, Frederiksen, Joergensen, Beck. Subs: Colding, Henriksen, Thomsen, Gravesen, Kjor, Tomasson, Sand.

Wales: Jones, Savage, Barnard, Symons, Williams, Coleman, Johnson, Saunders, Blake, Hughes, Speed. Subs: Jenkins, Trollope, Bellamy, Roberts, Pembridge, Robinson, Ward.

Referee: S Piller (Hungary)



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