Nimble Danes outclass Norwegians

Norwegians writhed in sports agony on Wednesday, the day after their much speculated-on national team was hopelessly outplayed 2-0 by a more nimble Denmark.

In a Euro 2012 qualifying match that mattered, the sprightly Danes outclassed their Group H counterparts. Now, Portugal or Denmark must lose a game to underdogs Iceland or Cyprus for Norwegian qualification hopes to stay alive.

“The team didn’t function,” said sidelined Norwegian star John Arne Riise. Norwegian newspapers echoed the sentiment as coach Egil "Drillo" Olsen was criticized for his choice of starters.

By the time Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner took a pass in the goal area to score his first of two goals in the 24th minute, the criticism appeared justified. A second attempt at Euro-tournament play seemed to be coming apart for the Norwegians.

“Norway has lived in the universe of an illusion where one has been better than one really is,” Danish reserve keeper Anders Lindegaard told Norwegian VGTV.

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