Troelsgaard 5, 45
Larsen 57, 90
K. Abel; E. Snerle (60 N. Christiansen), R. Sevecke, S. Troelsgaard, N. Nadim, P. Harder (46 S. Larsen), K. Veje, N. Sorensen, S. Andersen, S. Pedersen, S. Svava (68 M. Gejl).
J. Xuereb; J. Turner (56 A. Sultana), S. Farrugia, A. Said, J. Flask, N. Sciberras, S. Zammit, D. Theuma, B. Borg, R. Cuschieri (77 Y. Carabott), M. Farrugia (57 E. Xuereb).
Referee Angelika Soeder (Germany FA).
Yellow card E. Xuereb.
Four goals in the first half propelled Denmark to an 8-0 win over Malta women in their opening qualifier for the Women’s Euro 2021, in front of 5,000 people at the Viborg Arena.
Denmark, runners-up in the previous European Championship, surged to a comfortable lead in the first half to make sure of their victory win and kickstart their campaign on a high note as they bid to challenge Italy for top spot in the group.
As expected, Malta found it difficult to give a hard time to the Danish as the hosts dominated proceedings from start to finish and could have easily registered a larger win had it not been for goalkeeper Janice Xuereb who produced a string of fine saves.
Coach Mark Gatt shaped his team in a defensive 3-4-3 formation with foreign-based players Rachel Cuschieri, Nicole Sciberras and Maria Farrugia all in his starting XI.
Captain Dorianne Theuma was handed her 92nd cap as she closes in on becoming the first Malta female player with 100 caps.
Denmark, on their part, had former UEFA Player of the Year Pernille Harder partnering Nadia Nadim up front.
Harder created Denmark’s first chance when she dribbled her way into the box before letting fly a curving effort that was blocked by Xuereb.
However, the Malta goalkeeper was left helpless when Sanne Troelsgaard headed home a Sofie Svava corner to put the Danes ahead inside the first five minutes.
Sorensen came close to double her team’s lead on 14 minutes when she met Svava’s cross but her effort went wide.
Harder doubled the score when she hit home from point-blank range following a set-piece situation.
The Denmark captain came close to net her second of the evening but was denied by Xuereb.
A third goal arrived on the half-hour mark through Rikke Sevecke who darted into the box and capitalised on a Sorensen cross.
Ten minutes from half-time, Harder missed the chance to make it 4-0 for Denmark but her close-range header finished wide.
On the brink of half-time, Denmark made it 4-0 when Troelsgaard lobbed the ball over the onrushing Xuereb.
After the change of ends, Xuereb came to Malta’s rescue with two outstanding saves. First, she blocked a Nadia Nadim volley before she was forced to produce a finger-tip save on Sorensen.
Denmark, ranked 15th in the world, found a fifth through substitute Sanna Larsen who made her way into the box before slotting past Xuereb.
Moments later, Birkirkara captain Stephania Farrugia avoided a sixth when she cleared off the line a Nadim effort.
Nadim was continued to be a threat for the Maltese but she kept on squandering opportunities. This time, it was goalkeeper Xuereb that managed to recover the ball after being dribbled by the Paris-Saint Germain player.
Fifteen minutes from time, substitute Mille Gejl profited from a poor clearance at the back to blast the ball home 6-0.
In the closing stages, Sorensen made it 7-0 before Larsen sealed victory when she headed past the Malta custodian.
Other result: Italy vs Israel 3-2.
Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.Support Us