Denmark, Iraq draw in Olympic opener

2016-08-04 21:16
Olympics 2016 (Getty Images)

Cape Town - There was no separating Iraq and Denmark as they played to an entertaining goalless draw in the opening football match at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil on Thursday.

Denmark made flying start to the contest and very nearly found a way past Iraq goalkeeper Mohammed Hameed in the third minute, Vibe's powerful shot from the centre of the box crashing back of the left-hand post.

Iraq were quick to post a response, though, as Sherko Kareem forced Hojberg into action following some good work in the build up from Dhurgham Ismail.

However, Denmark had the best chances of the opening half-hour and twice went close to breaking the deadlock. Nicolai Brock-Madsen fired over the centre of the box in the 10th minute, before Casper Nielsen saw his goal-bound effort snapped up by Hameed in the centre of the Iraq goal.

Iraq grew in confidence as the half progressed and created a series of chances, although they failed to show a cutting edge in front of goal.

Efforts from Hammadi Ahmed and Saad Abdulameer failed to find the mark, while Ali Adnan saw two long-range efforts denied by Hojberg.

The second half progressed in similar fashion as Denamrk started brightly, before Iraq rallied strongly and ended the half in the ascendancy.

Casper Nielsen and Jens Jonsson both went close finding the back of the net, but Denmark seemingly shut up shop after hour mark as they faced barrage of attacks in the final half-hour.

Hojberg was up to the challenge, however, keeping his side in the contest with series of fine saves.

Saad Abdulameer, Humam Tariq, Ali Adnan, Mahdi Kamil and Mohanad Abdul Raheem were all denied by Denmark keeper, who produced a top-notch performance to ensure his side claimed a share of the spoils at Mané Garrincha Stadium.

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