After last month’s sensational first round victory over FC Basel in the UEFA Youth League, It was time for round 2 against FC Midtjylland of Denmark. It was a memorable night in South Lanarkshire a few weeks ago with over 2,000 fans coming to watch the youth game at The Hope CBD Stadium, and I’m sure they weren’t disappointed. The Scottish side picked up an excellent and rather unexpected 2-2 in Switzerland at the start of October, which I also attended. They returned to Hamilton with a huge chance of progressing and they looked even more likely to, after Andrew Winter scored a screamer from distance after 19 minutes to put Hamilton ahead. The game was turned on its head however ,when Tician Tushi pounced on a mistake from Ross Connolly in the Accies net to level the tie, but it got even worse for the hosts as substitute Leonardo Guadiano put the Swiss side ahead 5 minutes from the full time whistle, which looked like ending Accies European dream. However, on the 95th minute and the last kick of the game, Sean Slaven burst the net to equalise, sending the Hamilton fans wild and to take it to penalty’s. The hosts won 4-3 in a dramatic penalty shoot-out. The Danish side won both their first round ties 2-1,against Irish side, Bohemian Dublins. Oliver Sorensen and striker, Casper Tengstedt were on target for the home side but Steven Nolan did pull one back for the Irish side to keep the tie in the balance. Bohemians took the lead in the second leg through a Ali Reghba penalty just before half-time which put them in control, however, Midtjylland scored 2 second half goals to progress.
My View Of Denmark And The MCH ARENA
After 17 hours of travelling, and waiting overnight in Stansted Airport I was to tired to do anything on Tuesday so took the lazy option of watching some other UEFA Youth League Games and some Champions League football later on in the evening. On Wednesday I did get out early to explore Herning and took a trip down to the stadium a couple of hours before kick off. Herning is a beautiful city, with so many shops and beautiful buildings and things to look at. However, it is incredibly difficult to find places to eat and their isn’t much to do, so I definitely wouldn’t go longer than a few days. Now, The MCH Arena. Beautiful. The new stadium was built in 2004 to be made home of FC Midtjylland and can fit up to 11,544 (4,126 standing) supporters. It was originally called the SAS Arena but was changed after a naming right deal. The staff were very helpful and kind and spoke great English so we communicated well. The only downfall about the MCH Arena is that it is in the middle of nowhere and fans will struggle to get a drink and food nearby before the game, with the main bus and train station being 3 miles away.Team News
Home boss, Dahl Andersen made 2 changes from their victory in Ireland with Centre-Back Tobias Anker and Victor Dawa dropping out and in came Oliver Sorenson and Jibril Abubakar, lining up what looked like a 4-3-3.
Jason Scotland made only 1 change from the memorable victory over Basel with goal scoring hero, Sean Slaven regaining his place up-front in place of Kyle Munro. Accies also lined up what looked like a 4-3-3.
The game got underway in a freezing MCH Arena. The hosts started best, with Hamilton struggling and second best to everything and looked well out of shape. The first chance was a free-kick for Hamilton, which Regan Mimnaugh stepped up and took but fired wide. The combination of Casper Tengstedt and Nicholas Dyhr was causing Hamilton full-back, Adam Douglas all sorts of problems and the two of them combined to make it 1-0 to the home side after 14 minutes. Oliver Sorensen beat a few men in midfield before switching it across to Dyhr, on his left hand side. The left-back found himself in acres of space before driving forward and sliding in Tengstedt ,who took a touch and slammed it into the far corner . Hamilton responded well and had two decent opportunities. Firstly, Leon McCann chipped a ball into the box which found Regan Mimnaugh. The midfielder opted for the acrobatic over-head kick attempt, which was a good one,however Midtjylland keeper Elias Olfasson wasn’t troubled. It was McCann creating the next chance also, when the left-back burst down the line before cutting it back to Lewis Smith, who took a touch and rifled his effort high into the stand. Out of no where it was 2-0. It was deja vu for the Scottish side, when once again Accies were left stretched by a Oliver Olsen pass which found Nicolas Madesen, who drove forward and switched it to goal-scorer Casper Tengstedt. He played a one-two with Nikolas Dyhr before cutting it in and drilling a low effort under Ross Connolly. Hamilton responded well once again and were inches away from pulling one back almost instantly. It was good work down the left by Leon McCann once again before this time he picked out Mimnaugh, who fired just wide of the Midtjylland net. It should of been 3-0 and a hat-rick for Casper Tengstedt, on the 40th minute mark when a cross landed right on the Dane’s head, before he directed his header onto the bar.
Half Time- Midtjylland U19 2-0 Hamilton U19
Hamilton obviously changed a few things at the break and came flying out the traps at the start of the second half. On the 46th minute, Lewis Smith picked out the run of Leon McCann at the back-post but his cross just failed to connect with the outstretched left-back. On the 62nd minute, Lewis Smith broke free down the right before cutting inside and curling an effort at goal which was blocked by Olafsson. Adam Douglas scored twice in the away leg in the last round in Switzerland and nearly scored again in Denmark, when he ran forward with loads of free space before taking a long range effort from 25 yards which was tipped over the bar by the Midtjylland keeper. The Scottish side’s best chance of the game was on the 70th minute. A corner by Regan Mimanugh was headered away straight to Andrew Winter on the edge of the box before being switched back to Mimnaugh. The midfielder whipped it in, causing chaos in the Midtjylland box. It eventually fell to Sean Slaven to swung a boot at it which looked to be going in, but was denied the very tall Olafsson, who used his huge height to his advantage in that situation. Accies will feel disappointed not to have scored what could’ve been a vital away goal, which they definitely deserved. The final chance of the game led to another piece of luck for the Danish side, when a ball was launched in by Regan Mimnaugh before, Jamie Hamilton flicked on a header to find Andrew Winter by himself. The Scotland U17 international flicked it by Olafsson in the Midtjylland net but there was Nikolas Dyhr to clear it off the line to sum up a frustrating night for the Scottish side.
Midtjylland U19 XI
Olafsson, Odeh(68), Olsen, Sery, Dyhr, Sorensen, Madsen(90), Martis, Isaksen(84), Abubakar(67, Tengstedt
Subs- Mwimba, Kristian-Hansen, Dawa(67), Tue(90), Dahl-Bagger(84), Giessing(68), Christensen
Hamilton U19 XI
Connolly, McCann, Stranger, Hamilton, Douglas(73), Reilly(79), Meikle, Mimnaugh, Winter, Slaven(73), Smith(88)
Subs- Smith, Wilson(73), Scullion(79), Joseph(88), Blair, Munro(73)
Players To Watch
Lewis Smith- The Hamilton fan has a big reputation and is hoped to be the next big thing at Hamilton. The winger looked dangerous all evening in Herning, always beating his man and delivering a good ball. The 17 year old made his first team debut against Aberdeen on the 31st October after being on the bench for the last few games. The winger has also made numerous caps at under 16 and 17 level for the Scottish national team.
Casper Tengstedt- The Dane has scored 4 goals in his last 3 games in the UEFA Youth League. The winger is very tricky and knows how to find the back of the net. He has scored 8 goals in 9 games in the U19 league in Denmark as well as 1 goal in 2 appearances in the Midtjylland reserve team. The 18 year old looks like a future first team player for sure.
Referee- Paul McLaughlin (IRL)
Assistants- Robert Clark(IRL) & Phillip Harrison(IRL)
Fourth Official- Morten Krogh(DEN)
Attendance- 712 (4 Away)
Yellow Cards- Olsen(39), McCann(89)
Red Cards – 0