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Saturday, 15 June, 2002, 17:23 GMT 18:23 UK

Danes shocked by defeat

By Malcolm Brabant
In Copenhagen

The Danish World Cup party lasted all of five minutes.

The 15,000 or so people packed into Copenhagen's town hall square started in a festive mood but were stunned into sullen silence by the first English goal.

By the time the second goal went in, the sound system on the big screen had collapsed and the atmosphere turned distinctly funereal.

Some angry supporters in the middle of the crowd hurled beer bottles towards the screen.

When the third goal went in, Danish despair was complete.

Some began to turn for home, those who stayed prayed for a miracle, but it never came.

In the second half a storm began, the Viking god of thunder announced his verdict.

The crowd was drenched in a symbolic ending to Denmark's World Cup campaign.

But the Danes were gracious in defeat.

Many in the crowd acknowledged that England had played better and had deserved to win.


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