Denmark makes honorable exit from Euro 2012

Associated Press Modified: June 18, 2012 at 7:01 am •  Published: June 18, 2012
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KOLOBRZEG, Poland (AP) — Denmark can go home with heads held high after putting up a good fight against some of Europe's biggest teams and spoiling Euro 2012 for one of them.

The 1-0 upset win over the Netherlands in their opening Group B match sparked hopes that Denmark once again could stun the football world, like it did 20 years ago when it became a surprise European champion.

Instead, narrow losses to Portugal and Germany in one of the toughest groups of the tournament eliminated a tightly knit squad whose team spirit made up for a lack of big stars.

"I am not disappointed in the team, absolutely not," Denmark coach Morten Olsen said after Sunday's 2-1 loss to Group B winner Germany. "They have delivered a fantastic effort and in between they've also played some good football. We were up against the world's elite."

Towering center forward Nicklas Bendter was the biggest name in Denmark's squad and its most important player in the tournament.

With two goals against Portugal and an assist against Germany, the Arsenal striker who was loaned to Sunderland last season should have improved his odds of finding a new club this summer.

Liverpool defender Daniel Agger put in three strong performances while his partner in the central defense, Simon Kjaer, was less assertive.

Second-string goalkeeper Stephan Andersen rose to the occasion as he replaced injured Thomas Sorensen but the biggest positive surprise was Michael Krohn-Dehli.

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