UEFA Champions League: Copenhagen deny dominant Juventus in 1-1 draw


Thu, Sep 19, 2013 - Page 18

Despite a dominant second-half display, Juventus had to settle for a 1-1 draw in their Champions League Group B opener away to FC Copenhagen on Tuesday.

Nicolai Jorgensen gave the hosts a 15th-minute lead, but after riding their luck in the first half, the Danish team fell to a 54th-minute equalizer from Fabio Quagliarella.

Juve went on to dominate after the interval, but were thwarted by a combination of goalkeeper Johan Wiland’s brilliance as well as their own inaccuracy.

“It’s good to create so many chances, but we need to put the ball in the back of the net,” Juventus manager Antonio Conte said. “We’ve never had so many goal-scoring chances so close to the goalline, but that’s football and we can’t be unhappy about our performance.”

Conte made a number of changes from his usual starting 11 for the clash against the Danish title-holders, who have endured a mediocre start to their domestic season.

Striker Mirko Vucinic, midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah and defender Andrea Barzagli were all rested as Quagliarella, Federico Peluso and Angelo Ogbonna came in.

Although Carlos Tevez saw a fifth-minute strike go just wide following Andrea Pirlo’s delivery, Copenhagen were celebrating first when Jorgensen bundled the ball past ’keeper Gianluigi Buffon after the Juve defence had failed to deal with a free-kick.

Quagliarella almost leveled for Juve moments later when he tested Wiland after the goalie had spilled Tevez’s shot.

Wiland then produced two superb saves in succession to thwart the Italians.

First, he tipped a header from Giorgio Chiellini over the bar from close range and then, from the subsequent corner, he kept out Paul Pogba’s effort with his knee to send the ball hurtling over the bar.

The Bianconeri spurned another chance when Switzerland international Stephan Lichtsteiner scuffed a volley well over the bar from close in following Peluso’s cross.

Juve resumed in determined fashion after the break and, after Tevez shot straight at Wiland while unmarked from 9m out, Quagliarella beat the goalie with a first-time shot from Peluso’s incisive pass on the left.

It was the second consecutive year that the striker — used sparingly by Conte in Italy’s top flight — had rescued Juve in their Champions League opener, having leveled against Chelsea to secure a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge this time last year.

Quagliarella almost made it two 10 minutes later, but Wiland pushed the striker’s header over.

At the other end, Jorgensen slipped through Pirlo and Ogbonna to unleash a shot which sailed just over Buffon’s crossbar.

With 15 minutes to play, Conte replaced Quagliarella with Sebastian Giovinco, but it was Tevez who produced Juve’s next chance, with the Argentine’s volley forcing Wiland to parry down low.

Juve then produced a hatful of chances in the following 10 minutes.

Wiland stopped Arturo Vidal while on a one-on-one and then Pogba missed with a header from Pirlo’s cross.

Wiland also pushed Giovinco’s shot away while Tevez spurned a golden chance for an injury-time winner when he missed the net by centimeters with the goal at his mercy.