Football: Euro 2000: Tomasson completes Denmark's triumph

Denmark 3 Israel 0 Denmark win 8-0 on aggregate
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The Independent Online
DENMARK SECURED their place in the Euro 2000 finals last night as they beat Israel 3-0 in the second-leg of their play-off game, advancing on an 8-0 aggregate.

Ebbe Sand and Brian Steen Nielsen scored early goals and Jon Dahl Tomasson, the former Newcastle United striker, added a third in the second half. Denmark, runners-up to Italy in their group, had trounced Israel 5-0 on Saturday in the first leg and the Israelis were again dominated for the 90 minutes.

Sand opened the scoring in the fourth minute when Israel's goalkeeper Shavit Elimelech pushed away a shot by the midfielder Martin Joergensen but Sand was on hand to smash home the rebound. Ten minutes later Nielsen's powerful free-kick found the top right-hand corner.

Receiving heavy applause, Denmark's veteran goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel left the field in the 17th minute because of a sore Achilles tendon. Schmeichel, capped a national-record 118 times, was replaced by the 23-year-old Thomas Sorensen.

The first chance for Israel did not materialise until the beginning of the second half when Celtic's Eyal Berkovic shot over. The pressure was short-lived, however, and in the 63rd minute, Tomasson took Jorgensen's through ball and scored.

Despite the easy win, Denmark's coach, Bo Johansson, was visibly moved after the game when the players pulled him on the turf to be cheered by the fans. "It was a good game despite the fact that we led 5-0," he said. "The Israelis knew they couldn't reach us. It was an odd situation."

DENMARK: Schmeichel (Soerensen, 17); Heintze, Hoegh, Henriksen, Helveg (Larsen, 69), Groenkjaer (Schjoenberg, 82), Nielsen, Toefting, Joergensen, Tomasson, Sand.

ISRAEL: Elimelech; Harazi, Amsalem (Badir, 44), Shelach, Talker, Hazan, Banin, Tal (Talasknikov, 26), Turgeman, Berkovic, Benayoun (Gershon, 73).

Referee: V M M Pereira (Por).