Denmark’s 2015 Bruising
• Euro 2016 defeat to Sweden
• Nisse Sauerland’s fighters battle
• Archery in Copenhagen
Denmark’s 2015 was nothing to write home about in terms of football but inside the boxing ring there was more than enough to satisfy even the more hardened sports gambler.
Denmark had a bit of a mixed year over all. There was plenty of excitement in cycling during the spring as the legend that is Bjarne Riis was sacked by Cult Energy boss Oleg Tinkov over accusations of systematic doping. Ironically there’s been talk that he might make a return to the peloton just in the last few weeks which could see the Denmark’s 2015 end pretty much as it began in at least one of Denmark’s big sporting figures.
FC Copenhagen won the competition once rather unfortunately referred to as the “Dong Cup” to become Danish champions with a 3-2 win against FC Vestsjaelland in front of their home fans, and indeed it was the same city that hosted the World Archery Championships, the 10,000 year old activity now apparently experiencing something of a revival with a record number of entrants Denmark’s 2015 event, although (as we pointed out at the time) not quite as many as attended Agincourt.
Unfortunately whilst there was some resurgence of interest in some of the old favorites, Handball, Floorball and even Badminton during Denmark’s 2015 it was a year that would be dominated by two sports in particular; boxing and football. At the former Denmark excelled, at the latter it failed in the worst circumstances possible, disappointing all those that had taken advantage of Danish gambling laws to bet on the team living up to its potential.
Euro 2016 A Play-Off Too Far For Denmark
Drawn in Group I in the qualifiers for Euro 2016 Denmark’s 2015 was to be dominated, it seemed, by matches against Portugal with perhaps a threat from Serbia, what transpired however was a disastrous group stage for the Danes, with Albania ranked 40th in the world at the time, making a fist of things whilst the Danes, ranked 14th and floundered unable to get crucial results against even Armenia and ended up third in the standings to go into the play-offs for the last few places.
They were perhaps unlucky that at this point the fickle finger of fate stepped in and gave the situation a fairly hefty prod and turned Denmark’s 2015 into a year overshadowed by two games of football, the two legs of their Euro 2016 qualifying play-off against long time rivals and geographic neighbors, Sweden. It required a do-or-die effort from the players and with the fans urging them on there seemed every chance they might just sneak by a somewhat sub-par Swedish team. They didn’t make it.
Not that they didn’t put on a dashed good show in the process. The first leg that ended 2-1 to the Swedes was one of the most entertaining matches of the year, with Denmark pushing hard at the end, but a little too late to equalize. The second leg ended in a fair draw, but that left Denmark’s 2015 marked by it’s failure to find a way through to the Euro 2016 finals, a tragedy to those us that like to bet on sports in Denmark. But elsewhere there were rays of success for which Danes could be proud.
Denmark’s 2015 Disappointment
Nisse Sauerland‘s promotion of boxing in Denmark has been relentless this year pushing fight after fight into ever higher levels of media profile and profitability. His themed “Nordic Fight Nights” have cleverly focused on setting local talent against international opposition in showcase events that have attracted huge numbers of gamblers and spectators alike. Fighters from the region put themselves on display and Denmark’s 2015 boxing crop didn’t disappoint at all.
The Nielsen boys perhaps the most obvious stand-out figures amongst the swathe of great boxers that the impetus Sauerland has given the sport in Denmark. Patrick Nielsen and younger brother Micki Nielsen have both taken to the ring this year with aplomb and settled accounts, with future fights the sort of thing that ComeOn! Sportsbook will do you great odds on in 2016. The big fight was Patrick Nielsen vs Rudy Markussen where old scores were settled once and for all – till next time.
You can bet that there will be more Nordic Fight Nights coming in 2016 so keep an eye out because they’re always entertaining nights of big bout boxing that are starting to earn the right to stage battles for belts and not just bets. If Denmark’s 2015 will be remembered for missed chances on the football pitch it may well be recalled in years to come as the year that Danish boxing showed itself to be a sport to watch and wager on, and I won’t be the only one gambling news coverage of that will grow in 2016.