| LVIV, June 14
LVIV, June 14 Denmark's luck ran out at Euro
2012 against Portugal, leaving them short of players and
worrying about their prospects in the run-up to their last Group
B game against the powerful Germans.
Denmark started the tournament with a very fortunate 1-0 win
over the Netherlands, who amazingly wasted 28 chances.
But against Portugal the Danes wiped out a 2-0 deficit with
10 minutes left and then suffered the heartbreak of conceding a
goal in the 87th minute to lose 3-2 on Wednesday.
"We went for the one point and in a sense we succeeded but
the Portuguese were a bit luckier," said coach Morten Olsen.
He soon returned to the topic of fate, declaring: "It's hard
to be in these positions and sometimes you're the lucky one and
today I think we were a little bit unlucky".
If the team's luck has run out that spells trouble against
Germany, who are unlikely to be as profligate as the Dutch
attack or as lax as the Portuguese defence, which dozed off
twice to let Nicklas Bendtner head two goals.
In truth, Denmark could and should have been 4-1 down by the
time Bendtner equalised had Cristiano Ronaldo not wasted two
straightforward second-half chances.
Olsen's talk about the vagaries of fate may have been an
attempt to obscure an uneven performance by Denmark, who can
reach the quarter-finals with a draw against Germany if the
Netherlands beat Portugal.
Defender Pepe lost his marker far too easily to head
Portugal's opening goal and striker Helder Postiga made Simon
Kjaer look like an amateur when he slid in their second.
Apart from Bendtner, who has now scored five goals against
Portugal in four competitive matches, Denmark showed little
Time is surely running out for 33-year-old attacking winger
Dennis Rommedahl, who came off injured after his second
anonymous performance at the tournament.
Young playmaker Christian Eriksen was largely anonymous
again and, to make matters worse, a muscle injury forced off
midfield partner Niki Zimling.
"Our rhythm broke. Zimling is very important for our game
and that was a turning point," said Olsen, who was concerned
about the possible mental effect of Portugal's late goal.
"These are the kinds of games I hope many players only take
part in once, especially the young ones... now we have to pick
it up, we have a few injuries, but we'll pick it up before the
game against Germany."
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Ken Ferris)