Nordsjaelland holds Juventus to 1-1 draw in CL


COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) -Danish side Nordsjaelland held Italian champion Juventus to a 1-1 draw in a Champions League Group E game on Tuesday.

Mirko Vucinic equalized for the visitors in the 81st minute after Mikkel Beckmann struck early in the second half to give Nordsjaelland the lead against the run of play.

And despite repeated attacks the Italians failed to find a winner. Juventus was the more adventurous of the sides with efforts from Sebastian Giovinco, Alessandro Matri and Arturo Vidal all coming close, but Nordsjaelland held firm.

Beckmann struck in the 50th on a free kick from just outside the box with his right foot as the ball curled over the wall and past Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

Juventus increased the pressure but Nordsjaelland goalkeeper Jesper Hansen was equal to the task and the Danes held on.

"I was very impressed by my boys," Nordsjaelland coach Kasper Hjulmand said. "This is not just any team. This is Italy's best team."

The Italian giants started brightly and midfielder Andrea Pirlo came close in the eighth minute. However, the Danes eventually found their legs and started to come into the game halfway through the first half as Buffon comfortably blocked a left-footed shot by Beckmann in the 17th.

The Italians' pressure in the second half was relentless but they failed to find the target. After Nordsjaelland took the lead, the home side clung to its lead courtesy of its first ever Champions League goal and initially withstood the pressure.

Pirlo had another chance in the 70th when he shot at Hansen, who held out several other Juventus attempts until Vucinic turned in a ball from Mauricio Isla on the right nine minutes from time.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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