Denmark Downs Team Poland In A Thriller

Team Denmark followed its game plan almost to a tee in defeating Poland 37-35 in an international friendly game Saturday at the Olympic Training Center in Poland.

Denmark’s head coach Lars Carlsen made sure he had a good look at everyone on his 45 man squad in the first half, falling behind 21-15 at the break and then 28-15 midway through the third quarter before roaring back. Carlsen’s plan was to play everyone no matter what the score was and then see how his troops performed under pressure in the second half.

The plan worked. The Danes scored three straight touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters, before giving up a late score, for the win.

Frederick Myrup who was voted Game MVP, used his blazing speed to score two touchdowns for Denmark while constantly causing problems for the Polish defense. Quarterback Kasper Skyum threw a touchdown pass (to Myrup) and Aske Klixbüll, Lars Larsen and Lasse Lykke added one each for Denmark.

Poland - Poland-Denmark action 2016

Photo credit: Piotr Piekut, Interception

Poland’s quarterback Bartek Dziedzic threw three touchdown passes, two of them to Tomasz Zubrycki and one to Patrick Matkowski.

Special teams played a huge role for both Denmark and Poland. Poland’s Mikolaj Ciesla picked up a blocked field goal and returned it for a touchdown while Lykke took a blocked punt all the way to the end zone for the Danes.

After a scoreless first quarter, Frederick Myrup scored the opening touchdown for Denmark off of a screen pass from Skyum. However, Team Poland then began finding some momentum with Wroblewski scoring on a 37 yard pass. Myrup then shocked the Poles with a 100 yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

Poland responded before halftime as Dziedzic connected with Zubrycki and Matkowski to take a 21-15. lead. Poland extended the lead early in the third as Ciesla returned the blocked field goal 70 yards to give the hosts a 28-15 lead.

Carlsen’s strategy of putting his team under pressure began to pay dividends. Klixbüll, Lykke and Larsen all scored giving Denmark a 37-28 lead with little time left on the clock. But Dzieddzic found Zubrycki again, this time on a four yard touchdown pass with 10 seconds left, to close the gap to 37-35. Denmark recovered the onside kickoff though sealing the win.

Winning head coach Lars Carlsen was not surprised by his opponents:

“We have followed developments in Poland closely. Despite the fact that the Polish national team is one of the youngest in Europe, we did not expect an easy match today. Our expectations were one hundred percent confirmed on the field. It was a good, balanced encounter, which may well have finished with a Polish victory. Today’s game, and a few days of preparation in Poland was a great experience for us, not just in football.”

Poland will now play Denmark’s rival Sweden on September 10.


Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.