Football: Danes kill off Welsh hopes

Wales 0 Denmark 2

WALES ENTERED a new era at Anfield last night much as they emerged from their last one, searching desperately for the next decent result. Bobby Gould, the reviled Englishman abroad, has gone, but whoever succeeds him is extremely unlikely to have qualification for the European Championship as a welcome present.

A defeat, courtesy of Jon Dahl Tomasson's 85th minute goal and Stig Tofting's injury-time penalty, was marginally better than the rout by Italy on Saturday, but not by much, and it almost certainly ended Welsh hopes that they will qualify via the play-offs by finishing second in Group One. Indeed, but for a series of saves from Paul Jones, the result could have been just as embarrassing.

The only noticeable difference was that a Welsh home game did not ring out to "Gould must go", but even the songs exulting the caretaker manager, Neville Southall, had a hollow ring to them. If this is the brave new world, the consensus was, you can keep it.

For 84 minutes Wales answered Southall's plea for passion, but as their legs ran out of energy so did their luck. The dragons breathed fire in midfield but extinguishing foam up front and Peter Schmeichel, on probably his last appearance in Britain, did not have a shot to save. His only problem was the taunts from the Welsh crowd - and even that was mild by Anfield standards.

Nevertheless, Southall was happy. "The players showed more commitment, character and bravery than they have for a long time," he said. "They were prepared to die for their country and you can't ask for more than that. I'm very proud to be Welsh tonight and the Welsh public should be too."

Proud, but bereft. The fact Wales had to play in England while Cardiff Arms Park is being rebuilt seemed to encompass their problems. Leaderless and groundless, the team could hardly have been encouraged by the sight that greeted them when they took to the pitch. The Kop and the Centenary Stand were half empty and Anfield Road would have been totally deserted but for a small knot of Danish supporters. This after an unpopular manager had departed and there had been appeals from Southall to turn this pocket of Merseyside into Wales for a night.

Ryan Giggs curled a free-kick 25 yards out into the side-netting after 18 minutes and Gary Speed also grazed a post with a header, but when Ebbe Sand drifted a header wide after 38 minutes and then Jan Heintze was denied by Jones' charge after a delightful one-two with Miklos Molnar, the trend was set.

Wales moved Giggs forward and inward from the left flank in a forlorn attempt for him to get the ball, but the pattern had been set and Denmark's flow was irresistible. At least it was for everyone but Jones, who made a series of brilliant saves, none better than his one-handed tip over the bar from Sand's point-blank header after 47 minutes. Even when the Southampton goalkeeper was beaten Andy Melville popped up on the line to clear Sand's shot.

It was hugely ironic, then, that Jones should be at fault for Denmark's first goal six minutes from the end. He went for and failed to gather Tofting's long throw and, as the ball fell from his grasp, Tomasson, the former Newcastle striker, turned and lashed the ball into the net.

Wales looked like they had been on the wrong end of a heavy punch but worse was to follow in injury time. Chris Coleman challenged Tomasson clumsily and, when the referee awarded a penalty, Tofting scored from the spot, sending Jones the wrong way with a chip into the right-hand corner.

WALES (4-4-2): Jones (Southampton); Jenkins (Huddersfield), Coleman (Fulham), Melville (Fulham), Barnard (Barnsley); Robinson (Charlton), Hughes (Southampton), Speed (Newcastle), Giggs (Manchester United); Hartson (Wimbledon), Saunders (Benfica). Substitutes: Pembridge (Benfica) for Robinson 85; Bellamy (Norwich) for Hartson, 87; Legg (Cardiff) for Barnard, 90.

DENMARK (4-4-2): Schmeichel (Manchester Utd); Colding (Brondby), Henriksen (AB Copenhagen), Hogh (Fenerbahce), Heintze (Bayer Leverkusen); Jorgensen (Udinese), Goldbaek (Chelsea), A Nielsen (Tottenham), Gronkjaer (Ajax); Sand (Brondby), Molnar (Seville). Substitutes: Tomasson (Feyenoord) for Molnar, 70; Tofting (Duisburg) for A Nielsen, 82; Frandsen (Bolton) for Jorgensen, 90.

Referee: A Ancion (Belgium).

Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
Russell Brand has written a book of political analysis called Revolution
peopleFilm star says he is 'not interested in making money anymore'
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites those Star Wars rumours
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Chastain during an interview in Los Angeles.
filmsOscar hopeful Jessica Chastain reveals the secret to her breakthrough success
News
people

Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

News
news
Life and Style
Meow! ... Again, Kim Kardashian goes for a sexy Halloween costume, wrapping her body with a latex catsuit and high heeled knee boots
fashionFrom Heidi Klum to Kim Kardashian
News
news

Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

Arts and Entertainment
On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch
tv

Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge
booksChristmas comes early for wizard fans
Arts and Entertainment
filmsOculus Rift offers breathtakingly realistic simulation of zero gravity
Sport
footballAccording to revelations from Sergio Aguero's new biography
Life and Style
tech

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Senior Research Fellow in Gender, Food and Resilient Communities

£47,334 - £59,058 per annum: Coventry University: The Centre for Agroecology, ...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker