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Soccer News

Soccer-Eriksen strikes twice from the spot as Denmark down Iceland

STOCKHOLM, Nov 15 (Reuters) - A pair of penalties by Christian Eriksen, including a stoppage-time winner, capped a superb individual performance as Denmark beat Iceland 2-1 in Copenhagen on Sunday to set up a final-day showdown with Nations League group leaders Belgium.

Eriksen had put the Danes ahead from the spot early on and struck the winner two minutes into stoppage time after Vidar Kjartansson had levelled with five minute remaining.

The win put the Danes on 10 points after five games in League A Group 2, two behind Belgium ahead of their meeting in Leuven on Wednesday.

Outgoing Iceland coach Erik Hamren made eight changes from the team that conceded two late goals as they lost their Euro 2020 playoff 2-1 to Hungary, with only Gylfi Sigurdsson, Birkir Bjarnason and Hordur Magnusson retaining their places.

Hamren’s experimental side fell behind in the 12th minute when Ari Freyr Skulason was penalised for dangerous play, and Eriksen blasted the subsequent spot kick down the middle and high into the roof of the net for his 35th international goal.

Denmark keeper Kasper Schmeichel appeared to suffer a blow to the head when he collided with Albert Gudmundsson at the end of the first half, and he was replaced at halftime by Frederik Ronnow.

Eriksen continued to be at the heart of Denmark’s attacking threat and almost made it 2-0 in the first minute of the second half, but Iceland keeper Runar Alex Runarsson made a superb fingertip save to steer his stinging shot away for a corner.

Kjartansson thought he had won his side a point with an 85th-minute equaliser, but Eriksen dispatched a second penalty, this time for handball, to snatch a deserved victory for the home side.

Already relegated to League B, Iceland slumped to their fifth Nations League defeat in a row and they now travel to face England, who are third in the group on seven points, at Wembley for Hamren’s final game at the helm. (Reporting by Philip O’Connor Editing by Toby Davis)

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