COPENHAGEN (UEFA.com) — Teenager Pierre Højbjerg and Thomas Kahlenberg grabbed the goals as Denmark battled back in Copenhagen to down Armenia 2-1 and make a winning start in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group I.
Beaten 4-0 by the same visitors in June 2013 on the road to the FIFA World Cup, Denmark looked set for another damaging loss when Henrikh Mkhitaryan found the net shortly after half-time. There was to be no repeat, however, as Morten Olsen’s men responded in style, Kahlenberg heading the winner with ten minutes remaining.
Denmark had begun the game on top as well, though their dominance faded as the first half unfolded. The interval came without clear chances for either team and if Olsen imagined his charges would retake control after the restart, he was in for a shock.
Instead, Armenia delivered the opening blow on 50 minutes as Borussia Dortmund playmaker Mkhitaryan drove a powerful shot beyond Kasper Schmeichel from distance. Suddenly, Denmark’s supporters were left fearing the worst, and that sensation was magnified when Michael Krohn-Dehli had a goal disallowed for offside moments later.
Relief nonetheless came when FC Bayern München midfielder Højbjerg levelled the scores midway through the half. A long throw from the right was only half-cleared by the Armenian defence, and the 19-year-old met the ball with a sweetly timed volley from 25 metres which flew into the corner past Roman Berezovski.
Denmark then completed their comeback via Kahlenberg, the Brøndby IF midfielder registering six minutes after coming on by connecting with a perfect Nicklas Bendtner cross. The Scandinavian hopefuls will aim to continue their good start in Albania next month, when Armenia host Serbia.