Finland and Denmark emerged with victories after this week’s World Cup qualifiers for 2010, while Sweden and Norway could only manage draws. The 1-0 Finnish victory over Azerbaijan was a big relief as it lifted Finland off the bottom of their group and keeps their qualification dreams alive. Mikael Forssell scored the decisive goal on a penalty kick in the 62nd minute.
Denmark produced a more emphatic win over Malta, notching up three goals to easily win 3-0. Soren Larsen scored two, while Daniel Agger added the third. The Danes had full control over the match, keeping Malta’s keeper Justin Haber busy in goal.
Sweden will be ruing its missed chances in the first half by striker Johan Elmander, as Portugal held them to a goalless draw. “I sure am pleased with my players and their accomplishments tonight, although I am a little disappointed with the result. We should have won this game,” said Sweden coach Lars Lagerback, alluding to his team’s squandered goal attempts.
Denmark lead this group with seven points, but the draw kept Sweden in second place with five points, just one ahead of Portugal, who sit in third. Norway’s goalless draw against Scotland will probably be best remembered for Chris Iwelumo’s international debut and the worst miss of his career as he somehow managed to put the ball wide of an empty net, impressively silencing an entire stadium.