COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – A superb header from substitute Thomas Kahlenberg helped Denmark fight back from a goal down to beat Armenia 2-1 in their opening European Championship Group I qualifier in Copenhagen on Sunday.
The Danes, who missed out on the World Cup finals in Brazil after a disappointing campaign, did little to lift the spirits of the home fans in a dour first half.
Armenia took the lead early in the second when Henrikh Mkhitaryan finished a flowing move by rifling the ball past the despairing dive of Kasper Schmeichel in the 50th minute and a repeat of their 4-0 win in Denmark a year ago in a World Cup qualifier looked possible.
Denmark were denied what looked like a certain penalty on the hour mark when substitute Lasse Vibe was shoved in the back by Robert Arzumanyan.
However, the Danes equalised with 19-year-old midfielder Pierre Hojbjerg scoring his first goal for his country in the 65th minute with a rasping left-foot drive.
Five minutes later Kahlenberg replaced captain William Kvist in midfield and in the 80th minute he thumped in a header from Nicklas Bendtner’s left-foot cross.