Wednesday, October 19, 2016

19 October 1908 - There Was Something Rotten Here, But It Wasn't Denmark

On 19 October 1908, Denmark played their first official international, beating France 9-0 in the opening match of the Summer Olympics.

The Danish Football Association formed in 1899, but waited several years before forming their first international squad. In 1906, an unofficial Denmark team composed of players from the Copenhagen Football Association participated in--and won--the 1906 Intercalated Games (an informal version of the Summer Olympics) by beating an Athens team 9-0. They followed up by registering their first official side for the 1908 Summer Olympics.

There were two matches scheduled for the tournament's opening day, but Hungary withdrew from their game against the Netherlands for financial reasons. As a result, Denmark and France contested the first official Olympic international.

Playing before a crowd of 2,000 at London's White City Stadium, Nils Middelboe (pictured) scored the first official Olympic goal when he put Denmark up in the 10th minute. He scored another in the 49th minute, while the Danes also got goals from Vilhelm Wolfhagen (15', 17', 67', 72'), Harald Bohr (25', 47'), and Sophus Nielsen (78') en route to a 9-0 victory. (The French team was their "B" side; their "A" side met Denmark three days later and suffered an even greater defeat, losing 17-1 with a staggering 10 goals from Nielsen.)

Denmark reached the tournament final, but lost to Great Britain 2-0.

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