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Sports

No winners on opening day of women's football Euros

Hosts Sweden have earned a narrow 1-1 draw against Scandavian rivals Denmark on the opening day of the women's European Championship. Italy and Finland finished scoreless in the evening's other match.

Sweden earned two penalties against Denmark on Wednesday at the Nya Gamla Ullevi stadium in Gothenburg, yet could only manage a draw.

Mariann Knudsen put Denmark ahead in the 26th minute, but just nine minutes later Nilla Fischer scored the equalizer. It was in the second half, however, where the real drama played out.

Coach Pia Sundhage's Sweden side were awarded two penalties in the 67th and 95th minutes. Star forward Lotta Schelin and later her striking partner Kosovare Asllani both attempted to score from the spot, but neither could beat goalkeeper Stina Lykke Petersen.

The Danish held off Sweden's attack and prevented a home victory for the hosts, who are looking for their first European Championship title since 1984.

In Wednesday's other match, Italy drew 0-0 with Finland in Halmstad. The Italians dominated the match, but could not translate their superiority into a goal.

The best chance fell to Melania Gabbiadini in the 28th minute when her shot from ten meters was placed just off target. Just over ten minutes before the final whistle Alessia Tuttin looked set to score the winner, but was denied by a brilliant save from goalkeeper Tinja-Riikka Korpela.

Six-time defending champions Germany begin their Euro 2013 campaign on Thursday with a match against rivals the Netherlands in Vaxjo. They round out their other Group B matches against Iceland on Sunday and Norway on July 17.

dr/jr (SID, dpa)