Fri, Mar 27, 2015 - Page 18 News List

Bendtner nets hat-trick as Denmark rally to down US

Reuters

Nicklas Bendtner scored twice in the final seven minutes to complete a superb hat-trick as Denmark came from behind to beat the US 3-2 in a friendly international in Aarhus, Denmark, on Wednesday.

It turned out to be a double celebration for captain Christian Eriksen as he became the youngest Denmark player to win a half-century of caps.

The hosts enjoyed most of the possession, but it was Jozy Altidore who put the US ahead after 19 minutes, latching on to a cross and thumping it home with his left foot.

VfL Wolfsburg forward Bendtner leveled the score after 33 minutes by slotting the ball into an empty net from close range.

Altidore turned provider in the second half, flicking the ball into the path of Aron Johannsson, who poked home to take the lead again, before Bendtner netted twice in the final seven minutes to steal the win for his side.

The visitors frustrated Denmark for most of the second half with some dogged defending, before Bendtner popped up unmarked at the far post to sweep home the equalizer. He then smashed home the winner in the final minute to complete the comeback.

It was Bendtner’s first hat-trick for Denmark and it drew praise from US coach Juergen Klinsmann.

“When you score three goals in a game you deserve all the compliments in the world, and Bendtner deserves them,” Klinsmann told a press conference, adding that a draw would have been a fair result.

Having joined VfL Wolfsburg in Klinsmann’s home country of Germany last year, Bendtner has struggled to adapt, but the US coach told reporters that he believes the 27-year-old has a bright future.

“Sometimes it goes well, and you score and gain confidence, and three goals is the right medicine for Bendtner. I wish him the best in the future,” Klinsmann said.

Denmark take on Euro 2016 hosts France in Paris on Sunday, while Klinsmann’s side continue their Gold Cup preparations by taking on Switzerland in Zurich on Tuesday.

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