Sunday, June 15, 2014

15 June 1924 - They Come From The Land Of The Ice And Snow

On 15 June 1924, Sweden came from behind to win the inaugural match of the Nordic Football Championship, defeating Denmark 3-2 at the Idrætsparken in Copenhagen before a crowd of 25,000.

That first tournament was played over the course of five years, with each of the three participating countriesSweden, Denmark, and Norwayplaying each other team twice each year. Finland joined in 1929 at the start of the second tournament and both Iceland and the Faroe Islands joined in 2000.
In that opening match, Denmark took a 2-0 lead early in the second half with goals from Alf Olsen (2') and Ernst Nilsson (47'), before Sweden surged back. Striker Per Kaufeldt started the rally with a goal in the 56th minute and then 19-year-old Sven Rydell equalized in the 65th minute. Rydell completed his brace with the game winner in the 74th minute.

When the tournament ended in 1928, Rydell was the leading goal scorer with 15 (12 of which came in matches against Norway, including two hat-tricks and one match in which he scored four). Denmark claimed the first title, however, finishing with 7 wins, 2 draws, and only 1 loss to top the table with 16 points, three more than second-place finisher Sweden. Norway was last with a single point.

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