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Denmark shines in 4-0 win at Austria in World Cup qualifying

VIENNA, Austria (AP) – Denmark could become the first European team to qualify for the 2022 World Cup at this pace. An impressive 4-0 win in Austria on Wednesday made it a perfect three wins for the Danes in Group F after the campaign’s first week. Europe’s top-scoring team has netted 14 goals so far – and none by playmaker Christian Eriksen – without allowing an opponent to score against goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

Denmark is already four points clear with a solid away win against two teams, Israel and Austria, who started last week with realistic hopes of contending. The group runner-up enters a playoff round next year.

Denmark’s next opponent in Copenhagen on Sept. 1 in Scotland rose to second place in the standings after beating the Faeroe Islands by 4-0. Austria’s players began the evening holding up a long banner that read “Protect Human Rights” while their national anthem played. They contained Denmark in the first half, then were swept away by four goals in 16 minutes midway through the second half.

The 21-year-old forward Andreas Olsen scored twice to bookend strikes by defender Joakim Maehle and midfielder Pierre-Emile Højbjerg. Højbjerg’s shot into an unguarded net got a spectacular assist from Martin Braithwaite. The Barcelona forward let the ball run on untouched while leaping to hurdle a wild sliding challenge by Austria goalkeeper Alexander Schlager far outside the penalty area.

Before the game, Denmark’s players again wore T-shirts in the “Football Supports Change” campaign by European national teams drawing attention to labor rights issues in World Cup host nation Qatar.

Scotland midfielder John McGinn scored twice against the Faeroes in Glasgow to extend his prolific run under coach Steve Clarke of 10 goals in less than two years.

Israel rose to third place in the standings by winning 4-1 in Moldova, taking the lead in the first half, and having forward Ion Nicolaescu sent off when the scores were level.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Molly Aronson

Molly Aronson is a 26-year-old government politician who enjoys bowling, running and jigsaw puzzles. She is creative and exciting, but can also be very greedy and a bit greedy.She is an australian Christian who defines herself as straight. She has a post-graduate degree in philosophy, politics and economics. She is allergic to grasshoppers.

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