Pierre-Emile Højbjerg’s 86th-minute goal gave Denmark a 1-0 win over Finland on Sunday to take a big step toward qualifying for the European Championship in Germany next year.
Denmark dominated the game but couldn’t break through the Finnish defence. With the end of the match in sight, Finland dropped deep into its own penalty area, giving Højbjerg time and space on the edge of the box to line up a powerful, low shot which beat goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky.
Denmark goes top of Group H on 13 points, one ahead of Finland and surprise contender Kazakhstan, which beat Northern Ireland 1-0. Kazakhstan has never before qualified for a European Championship or World Cup.
Another country staging a surprise push for its first tournament appearance is Moldova, which beat the Faeroe Islands 1-0 to stay in contention in Group E. Moldova is in second place for now but will drop out of the top two when third-place Albania and fourth-place Poland play later Sunday.
Montenegro beat Bulgaria 2-1 on a goal from Stevan Jovetić in the seventh minute of added time to put pressure on qualification rivals Hungary and Serbia in Group G. Montenegro played most of the second half with 10 players after a red card for Igor Vujačić.(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed - Associated Press)