epa05463693 Rivaldo Coetzee of South Africa reacts during the men's preliminary round group A match between Denmark and South Africa of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Soccer tournament at the Mane Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia, Brazil, 07 August 2016. EPA/ANDRESSA ANHOLETE BRAZIL OUT
Monday Aug 08, 2016. 08:33
Robert Skov's second-half goal earned Denmark a 1-0 win over South Africa in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Group A game played at the Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha in Brasília on Sunday night.
Denmark move to position two on the Group A standings, while South Africa slipped down to fourth place.
The Danes played balls behind the South African defence in search of goals in the opening stages of the group encounter, but the Africans were alert.
In the 15th minute, South Africa midfielder Gift Motupa was brought down in the Denmark box, but the referee waved play on.
Jens Jonsson should have put Denmark into the lead six minutes later and somehow the unmarked midfielder's header sailed just over the crossbar.
At the other end, Lebogang Mothiba's effort deflected onto the crossbar as South Africa searched for the opening goal on the night in the 26th minute.
With five minutes left before half-time, Denmark goalkeeper Jeppe Hojbjerg was beaten, but Keagan Dolly's attempt hit the woodwork.
The South African midfielder had a chance to score from inside the Denmark box ten minutes after the restart, but his tame shot was saved by Hojbjerg.
In the 61st minute, Denmark head coach Niels Frederiksen introduced Robert Skov for Emil Larsen as the Europeans looked to break the deadlock.
Skov did make an immediate impact as the attacker fired Denmark into the lead with a good finish from inside the box eight minutes later.
South Africa nearly responded with a goal with fifteen minutes left on the clock, but Motupa's free-kick was well-saved by Hojbjerg.
Denmark contained South Africa in the dying minutes of the Group A encounter and former walked away 1-0 winners in Brasília.
Denmark (0) 1 (Skov 69')
South Africa (0) 0
Denmark: Hojbjerg, Puggaard, Gomes, Mathiasen, Maxso, Vibe, Brock-Madsen (J.B.Larsen 64'), Borsting (Laursen 83'), Larsen (Skov 61'), Gregor, Jonsson.
South Africa: Khune, Mobara, Mathoho, Coetzee, Moerane (Masuku 46'), Mngonyama (Ntshangase 77'), Dolly, Motupa, Modiba, Mekoa, Mothiba (Morris 61').