Sunday, November 17, 2013

17 November 1993 - Denmark Goes Down

On 17 November 1993, Denmark started the day on top of their World Cup qualification group and ended it with elimination from the tournament.

Denmark, who were hoping to reach the World Cup for only the second time ever, were in Group 3 along with Spain, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Albania. With the top two spots securing passage to the World Cup, the Danes went into the final day of qualification at the top of the group, two points clear of their opponents Spain and one point ahead of Ireland, who were away to Northern Ireland.

The games kicked off at the same time. Playing in Seville, Denmark looked certain to reach the World Cup when Spain lost Andoni Zubizarreta to a red card in the tenth minute. But despite the advantage, they could not score and instead went down 1-0 in the 63rd minute with a goal from Fernando Hierro. The game in Belfast remained scoreless; in a live table, that combination dropped Denmark into the group's third spot.

They got a reprieve, however, when Northern Ireland's Jimmy Quinn scored in the 74th minute, pushing Denmark back ahead of the Republic for the second qualifying place. But Ireland's Alan McLoughlin equalized four minutes later and the game ended 1-1.

Denmark's 1-0 loss and Ireland's draw put the two teams level on points and goal differential, but Ireland got the nod by having scored nineteen goals to Denmark's fifteen. The Irish team reached the Round of 16 before losing to the Netherlands. Denmark, meanwhile, qualified for the 1998 tournament, where they made it all the way to the quarterfinals.

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