Sunday, June 02, 2002

Denmark 2, Uruguay 1

Associated Press Writer

Denmark's Jon Dahl Tomasson (center) celebrates with teammates Martin Jorgensen (left) and Niclas Jensen. Tomasson scored both Denmark's goals.
(AP photo)
| ZOOM |
        ULSAN, South Korea — A victory over Uruguay wasn't enough to convince Denmark it is the favorite in Group A.

        “France is still the favorite for me,” coach Morten Olsen said after Denmark beat Uruguay 2-1 in its tournament opener Saturday.” I think they will be very difficult to play against. I think Denmark and Senegal will have to fight it out for second place.”

        Jon Dahl Tomasson scored two goals as Denmark avoided the same type of first-game upset suffered by France one day earlier. France lost its opener 1-0 to Senegal.

        “Of course, France is still the favorite. They won the 1998 World Cup and then the Euro 2000. They're a great team,” Tomasson said.

        “It would have been better for us if France had won, because they would have been more relaxed by the time they play us.”

        On a humid evening in front of 30,157 at Munsu Stadium, the teams attacked early. For the first 20 minutes, the match went from end to end with almost no midfield play.

        Tomasson scored from 8 yards off a pass from Jesper Gronkjaer in the 45th minute. He scored the winner with seven minutes left, heading Martin Jorgensen's cross off the underside of the crossbar.

        “It was a great achievement, I'm very proud,” Tomasson said. “I'm really happy for the whole team. We played perfectly.

        “They were two brilliant passes for the goals. It's perfect to score two goals in our first match of the World Cup.”

        Uruguay's Dario Rodriguez tied it at 1 in the 47th minute, scoring on a left-footed volley that curled away from leaping Danish goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen and sailed above his outstretched right arm.

        “After 25 minutes, we had a good grip on the game,” Olsen said. “Everybody knows the first game is very important in a World Cup for your confidence, and I think we deserved to win it. Physically, we were the better team.”

        The result left Denmark tied with Senegal atop Group A. Denmark plays Senegal on Thursday and Uruguay meet France the same day.

        “Now Uruguay is forced to win its next game, but so is France,” Alvaro Recoba said.

        “We played a good match, but the Danish cashed in when they needed to. We'll fight in the remaining games,” Uruguay coach Victor Pua said.

        The last time the teams met in 1986, Uruguay lost 6-1 to Denmark.

        Denmark's Stig Toefting injured his left foot and was taken to a hospital for an X-ray. Uruguay's Dario Silva had his right shin heavily bandaged when he left the stadium.


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