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2 vs 2
Played
October 11, 2013 2:15 PM EDT
Parken — København
Referee:‬ S. Lannoy‎
Attendance:‬ 35305‎
 
Top of the Match
Nicklas Bendtner
Nicklas Bendtner
Denmark
Nicklas Bendtner
Nicklas Bendtner
Denmark
Flop of the Match
Federico Balzaretti
Federico Balzaretti
Italy
Federico Balzaretti
Federico Balzaretti
Italy

Denmark 2-2 Italy: Aquilani denies hosts vital win

Nicklas Bendtner had looked to have given his side three vital points but the Fiorentina midfielder struck deep into stoppage time for the Azzurri

Nicklas Bendtner Denmark Italy 2014 World Cup Qualifier 10112013
Getty Images
Denmark's hope of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup via the playoffs hang in the balance following a 2-2 draw with Italy thanks to Alberto Aquilani's late equalizer.

The Fiorentina playmaker struck in injury-time to extend the visitors' unbeaten run in World Cup qualifiers to 26 matches, depriving Morten Olsen's side of the three points that would have moved them clear in second spot.

As it is, the Danes now face a four-way scrap for a playoff place in Group B after failing to fully capitalize on Bulgaria's shock defeat to Armenia, despite Nicklas Bendtner's double having cancelled out Daniel Pablo Osvaldo's opener.

The Arsenal striker netted in either half and looked to have wrapped up the win for Denmark, but Aquilani provided late drama to stun the home crowd.

Olsen's men face rock-bottom Malta in their final game but will need to rely on results elsewhere to keep their hopes of reaching Brazil alive.

Gianluigi Buffon became Italy's most-capped player, making his 137th appearance to move the goalkeeper one ahead of Fabio Cannavaro.

Southampton's Osvaldo, who was sent off in the reverse fixture, was also handed a start as Cesare Prandelli utilized his squad depth, with a place in next year's finals already secured.

Mario Balotelli scored in the 3-1 win over the Danes last October, but illness deprived the in-form Milan forward of any involvement.

Olsen opted to play Bendtner in the lone striker role, supported by wide men Michael Krohn-Dehli and Martin Braithwaite.

And it was Denmark whch started much the brighter, Toulouse winger Braithwaite narrowly failing to make contact with Krohn-Dehli's dangerous delivery inside the first three minutes.

Krohn-Dehli went for goal himself four minutes later as he cut inside before steering a right-footed effort just wide.

But Prandelli's men seized the advantage in the 27th minute, with Osvaldo getting the better of Daniel Agger before curling a measured finish past Stephan Maigaard.

Denmark sought to mount a prompt response but Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen saw his attempted throughball intercepted by Riccardo Montolivo.

And in first-half stoppage time they got their reward as Bendtner rose above Federico Balzaretti to head the impressive Krohn-Delhi's cross past Buffon at his near post.

Olsen made a change at the break, bringing on Emil Larsen for Braithwaite, but just six minutes in they almost went behind again, Alessandro Diamanti wrong-footing Andreas Bjelland only to see his shot hit the side netting.

The post came to Italy's rescue soon after when Eriksen's free kick deceived Buffon but bounced back into play before being hacked to safety.

It signaled the start of a period of dominance from the home side, which forced two excellent saves from Buffon and struck the bar in a promising five-minute spell midway through the second half.

The pressure finally told in the 79th minute as Bendtner demonstrated his aerial prowess to nod home, only to see his goal eclipsed by Aquilani's scrambled effort with just seconds remaining.

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Denmark

30
Stephan Andersen
Goalkeeper
3.50
-
3.00
5
Daniel Agger
Defender
3.00
15
N. Boilesen
Striker
93′
3.00
2
Lars Jacobsen
Defender
3.00
7
Niki Zimling
Midfielder
72′ 82′
3.50
6
3.00
23
Christian Eriksen
Midfielder
3.50
23
4.00
-
3.00
23
4.50

Italy

2.00
1
2.00
23
1.50
42
3.00
3
3.50
87
2.00
8
2.50
29
2.50
18
3.00
8
Thiago Motta
Midfielder
28′
3.00
-
4.00
17

Substitutes

-
Jesper Hansen
Goalkeeper
 - 
1
 - 
-
P. Ankersen
Defender
 - 
14
Simon Kjaer
Defender
 - 
-
Casper Sloth
Midfielder
 - 
-
Emil Larsen
Midfielder
46′
3.00
19
Jakob Ankersen
Midfielder
 - 
2
Leon Andreasen
Midfielder
82′
 - 
27
Thomas Delaney
Midfielder
 - 
22
 - 
35
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
22
 - 
30
 - 
19
 - 
24
 - 
16
Andrea Poli
Midfielder
 - 
11
Alessio Cerci
Midfielder
77′
 - 
21
Andrea Pirlo
Midfielder
 - 
23
 - 
16
3.50
10
 - 
24
 - 
49
 - 
11

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
Group A Matchday 10
Times In EDT
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Robin van Persie Robin van Persie
Striker
Man. United
11 2
Edin Dzeko Edin Dzeko
Striker
Man City
10 0
Mesut Özil Mesut Özil
Midfielder
Arsenal
8 3
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Striker
PSG
8 1
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
8 0