Brondby (Denmark), March 23 (IANS) The hosts prevailed 1-0 over a combative Panama side who are preparing for their first-ever World Cup tournament.
The Panamanians stymied the Danes — headed to the World Cup for the fifth time — for long spells of the first half here on Thursday, seemingly surprising the Nordic squad with their physicality and intensity, reports Efe news agency.
Even so, the first chance of the night went to Denmark, in the form of a long ball from Nicolai Jorgensen that found Yussuf Poulsen alone in front of the goal, but Jaime Penedo turned the shot aside for a corner.
Michael Murillo had Panama’s lone clear opportunity of the first half and Danish keeper Kasper Schmeichel handled the shot with ease.
The Danes began to make greater inroads as half-time approached. Penedo was forced to make a stop against Pione Sisto and the home side would have gone to the dressing room with a lead if Jorgenson hadn’t misfired on a header from close range.
Denmark, undefeated in their last 11 matches, were brighter to start the second half and Panama showed signs of fatigue.
The decisive sequence of the contest began in the 66th minute, when Blas Perez’s foot struck Schmeichel in the mid-section with the cleats exposed, earning a straight red card to reduce Panama to 10 men.
Sisto scored for Denmark just three minutes later.