European Qualifiers: Late Vibe equaliser saves Denmark in Albania
Last Updated: 13/10/14 6:41pm
Albania took a surprise lead against Denmark before the Lasse Vibe grabbed a late equaliser to keep the pair level in European Championships qualifying Group I.
Albania, who shocked Portugal 1-0 in their opening game, took the lead in Elbasan when midfielder Ermir Lenjani surged through the middle and unleashed a speculative shot in the 38th minute.
His strike from outside the box clipped Simon Kjaer's leg and wrong-footed Kasper Schmeichel in the Danish goal to send the home crowd wild.
The same player went close in the 73rd minute when, after a quick break by the Albanians, he collected a through ball from Sokol Cikalleshi and shot from the left hand side of the box only to see it go wide to the right of the goal.
The Danes, seeking a second win after their opening 2-1 defeat of Armenia, had several chances before the break.
Kjaer rose to meet a cross from Michael Krohn-Dehli but his header was saved by Etrit Berisha. Christian Eriksen and Yussuf Poulsen both then missed the target for Morton Olsen’s side.
And ten minutes into the second half they almost equalised when, despite their generally pedestrian passing and toothless attack, substitute Vibe's low cross was turned onto the post by Albania captain Lorik Cana.
Then in the 81st minute, former Arsenal forward Nicklas Bendtner was upended inside the box for what looked like a certain penalty, but Vibe pounced on the loose ball before the referee could blow his whistle to score the late equaliser.
The result means Denmark top the five-team group on four points, the same as Albania but with more goals scored. Serbia, who host Albania next week, and Armenia both have one point after drawing earlier on Saturday.
Portugal, who visit Copenhagen to play Denmark on Tuesday, are bottom of the group having lost their only game to date against Albania.