Football: Elleray red card fires up Danes

DENMARK BOOKED their place in the European Championship finals by thrashing Israel 5-0 in the first leg of their play-off in Ramat Gan. Put 2-0 ahead by the former Newcastle striker Jon Dahl Tomasson, the Danes gave themselves what should be an unassailable advantage for the home leg on Wednesday after David Elleray sent off Israel's best player, Haim Revivo, for a tackle from behind in the 57th minute.

Denmark dominated from the outset and scored with their first attack in the second minute when Tomasson scored from a cross by Ebbe Sand. Tomasson's second goal in the 33rd minute put the Danes in control, but Israel rallied, and Yossi Benayoun forced an acrobatic save from Peter Schmeichel in the Danish goal eight minutes after the interval. Four minutes later, though, the game was effectively over when Revivo was dismissed for a foul on Martin Jorgensen.

Stig Toefting scored with a 30-yard free-kick in the 67th minute for Denmark's third goal, a minute later, the unmarked Jorgensen headed the fourth and Brian Steen Nielsen added the fifth from 25 yards in the 73rd.

A spectacular goal from 50 yards gave Slovenia a 2-1 victory injury-weakened Ukraine, who had two men sent off. Slovenia's substitute, Milenko Acimovic, scored the 82nd-minute winner when he returned a clearance over the goalkeeper's head.

Zlatko Zahovic had pounced on a defensive error in the 53rd to cancel out Andriy Shevchenko's opener, a potentially vital away goal for Ukraine, who fell apart after Dmitry Parfenov, a defender called up because of the injury crisis, was sent off for a second bookable offence on the hour. In the last minute, Ukraine had the influential Andriy Husin sent off for his second foul in a two-minute spell.

Gordon Milne, the former Coventry and Leicester manager, has joined Bobby Robson's coaching staff at Newcastle. Milne, back from a spell in Turkey, has signed a contract until June. Milne represents the second addition to the management team since Robson took charge, with Mick Wadsworth, the former Scarborough manager, joining the staff recently.

Tommy Burns has ruled himself out of the running for the vacant manager's job at Dunfermline, whose short-list includes the former Wales coach Bobby Gould. The former Celtic and Reading manager was among the favourites for the post after Dick Campbell's resignation last month.

The Chelsea chairman, Ken Bates, was in celebratory mood after Hammersmith and Fulham Council granted planning permission for the renovation of the West Stand at Stamford Bridge. The project, due to start between January and March 2000, will increase the ground capacity by 4,400 to 42,000 by April 2001.

Germany's Lothar Matthaus will equal the world appearance record held by Thomas Ravelli, the Swedish goalkeeper, when he earns his 143rd cap in today's friendly against Norway in Oslo.

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