Soccer: Mexico 1, Denmark 1: Teams score on penalties for tie

43,345 - mostly fans of Mexico - enjoy friendly in Glendale
2013-01-31T00:00:00Z 2013-01-31T12:02:09Z Soccer: Mexico 1, Denmark 1: Teams score on penalties for tieDave Ord Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 31, 2013 12:00 am  • 

GLENDALE - It was rough and tumble for the Mexican national soccer team Wednesday night.

Denmark made it rough, and each goal in the 1-1 draw came with a tumble at University of Phoenix Stadium.

For 67 minutes, the teams went toe to toe and shin to shin without a goal.

Mexico had a half-dozen squandered opportunities before taking the lead when Fabian Marcos converted a penalty in the 68th minute, pleasing a crowd of 43,345 that was almost exclusively made up of Mexico fans, who were so pumped up they were doing the wave 45 minutes before the start of the match.

The penalty came after Denmark's Mikkel Kirkeskov tumbled over Javier Aquino just inside the box.

But another tumble in the box, 16 minutes later, resulted in the equalizer for Denmark.

Mexico defender Jorge Nilo Torres got caught up with Andreas Cornelius in the box, sending Cornelius to the ground.

The Dane, who scored three goals in Denmark's 4-0 demolition of Canada at Kino Stadium on Saturday, then took the penalty himself. Cornelius sliced it along the ground and into the left corner as goalkeeper Cirlo Saucedo dived the wrong way.

"Our guys were fighting, and I think it was a good result for us," Denmark coach Morten Olsen said. "I thought the referee could have given each as a penalty."

The match was the first of 25 this year for Mexico, which has World Cup qualifying, the region's Gold Cup and the Confederations Cup in Brazil on the horizon.

The man who will be guiding Mexico, Jose Manuel de la Torre, wasn't about to make controversy out of the penalties.

"If they are penalties or not, that's not my fault. That's the referee's call," de la Torre said through an interpreter.

With both teams putting out quality domestic-based elevens, the first 10 minutes went back and forth. The Danes managed three corners, and Mexico had a host of chances that either ended in poor crosses or offside calls.

Mexico began to dominate possession and had a brilliant chance in the 16th minute when, after a trio of nice passes in and around the box, Javier Aquino ripped a shot that was pushed wide by the left hand of goalkeeper Jesper Hansen.

Denmark also had an excellent opportunity when Cornelius flashed a header that went just wide in the 25th minute.

Six minutes later, with the Danes under attack, Angel Reyna's cross was almost poked in for an own goal by Danish defender Kris Stadsgaard. The ball struck the post before trickling over the endline.

After a scoreless first half, Mexico came out trying to put their stamp on the match. But the Danes usually halted their attempts with a key defensive stop. A key foot in by defender Jores Okore thwarted the Mexicans on a few occasions.

That set up the furious final 22 minutes that resulted in the two penalties.

MLS Today in Tucson

• What: Houston vs. Colorado

• Where: Kino Sports Complex Field No. 5

• When: 6 p.m.

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