Denmark maintained their unbeaten record in FIFA World Cup™ in Group 1 of European Zone qualifying with victory over Scandinavian rivals Sweden. Thomas Kahlenberg scored the only goal in the first half after Kim Kallstrom had missed from the penalty spot for the Swedes.
The victory means that Morten Olsen's men have opened up a three-point gap over Hungary at the top of Group 1, with Sweden now ten points behind their neighbours. Denmark felt the heat in the early stages and home striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic fired an early warning with a free-kick in the opening minute which curled inches wide.
The Swedes continued to press forward and were awarded a penalty after 12 minutes when Simon Kjaer, making his debut for the Danes, was punished for a tug on Olof Mellberg. Kallstrom stepped up to take the spot-kick, but goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen guessed correctly and made the save.
Kallstrom tried to make amends seven minutes later, but could only drive a shot over from distance. And the Danes were gifted the lead after 22 minutes following a terrible mistake by Mikael Nilsson. The defender made a mess of his attempted clearance and Kahlenberg was able to tap home from a few yards out.
Dennis Rommedahl could have added another seven minutes later, but he turned Lars Jacobsen's cross over the bar. Martin Jorgensen also fired wide for Denmark shortly before the interval while, at the other end, veteran striker Henrik Larsson was thwarted by Kjaer in his attempts to pull Sweden level.
Larsson should have scored for the hosts after 64 minutes though, but fired wide of an open goal following Ibrahimovic's headed assist. Denmark launched one of their familiar counter-attacks five minutes later, but Nicklas Bendtner was unable to provide the finish, blazing high over the crossbar.
Sweden were beginning to show signs of impatience and Viktor Elm tried a couple of shots from distance, but they failed to trouble Sorensen. It was left to Ibrahimovic to try to rescue a point for his side in stoppage time, but the Inter Milan striker fired wide from close range as the Danes clung on for the win.