Contributed by: Ian Hill
Saturday's international between Denmark and Sweden in Farum ended in a thrilling draw when an extraordinary after-the-siren goal from Dane, Jesper Gjørup levelled the scores for the first time since the four minute mark of the first quarter. The game had just about everything - except of course a winner and a loser. The following is a full match report and includes a link to some video of the game.
In order to balance the difference in experience of these two countries, it was decided to allow Sweden to play expatriate Australians - an offer they accepted happily with a total of twelve Aussies donning the blue and gold. Despite this, it is fair to say that the Danes fancied themselves as warm favourites going into the match.
This notion was very quickly dispelled. Upon winning the toss and kicking with a typical Windy Hill gale, the Swedes totally dominated the first quarter. A pair of goal-for-goal majors saw the teams locked at 2.0.12 early on, but thereafter it was all Elks. North Pole ring-in Jamie Thomas was showing much flare and the straightness of the wind was reflected in a scoreline of 7.0.42 to 2.0.12 before the first behind was registered. The true value of Sweden's 45 point quarter time lead would only be revealed in time as it was, even for Farum, an unusually strong and direct gale.
And sure enough, the Danes fired back with four quick goals early in the second quarter, before Sweden managed to stem the flow. With nine minutes remaining in the term, Sweden's Kes McCormick was tackled fairly but as a result very badly dislocated his hip. It was decided not to move him until the ambulance arrived and as such the game was held up for a good half hour. The break allowed the Danes the chance to regain the momentum and they pegged one more goal back for the (second) long break.
By now the wind was not as strong and the heavens had opened somewhat as Denmark took their dominance into the third quarter. Simon Myhre had been goalless at half time but was now getting into the game (and would finish with a game-high four). By three-quarter time, the Vikings has reduced the gap to eleven points, and with the rain having stopped and still a bit of a breeze, the home town crowd was expecting victory.
Sweden had other ideas. They successfully bottled up play in the final quarter and for 20 minutes the Danes remained goalless and the Elks even managed one themselves and with seven minutes to play there was 18 points in it and Sweden appeared poised for an upset victory.
However, the Vikings showed an admirable never-say-die spirit and managed a goal, but still went into the last three minutes two goals adrift. Denmark found another goal and in the dying seconds Gjørup found himself 40 metres out on the boundary line with a free kick for on-the-full. At this level, it was a shot you would not expect anyone to go for, especially as the ball was very heavy from the rain, but the siren sounded as he was running in for his kick, and he calmly slotted it through, to close out a remarkable contest and set off scenes of hilarity in the Danish camp. Denmark 15.8 (98) drew with Sweden 14.14 (98)
No doubt the Danes had pinched a share of the spoils as Sweden had lead for almost the entire match and probably deserved the win but a lack of match fitness may have told on them, not to mention that the rain effected more of their time with the wind. The inaugural Ingmar Lundquist Medal was awarded to Swedish captain Andreas Svensson, who seems to be totally incapable of setting foot on a Danish footy field without picking up a medal of some description.
All in all this was a great game, a fantastic result for the organizers, and a perfect way to re-launch international footy's newest rivalry. Swedish TV1 were at the game and a two-minute clip can be viewed at http://makeashorterlink.com/?G62022F3B. All the scores and goalkickers can be viewed on The Footy Record.
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