Undermanned Denmark defeated by Slovakia with 'honour intact' - Christian Offenberg
Denmark's stand-in amateur players said they were proud of their performances despite a 3-0 loss to Slovakia in an international friendly on Wednesday.
"I think we're leaving here with our honour intact," said Christian Offenberg, one of 16 players to wear the red-and-white Denmark kit for the first time in Slovakia.
"We stood up well on the pitch, and they largely weren't able to come forward," Offenberg, who plays in Denmark's third division, told Denmark's Channel 5. "I think it was really good, I'm proud."
The Danish football association was forced to assemble a squad of lower-tier and futsal players for the match after failing to strike a new collective agreement with the players union in regards to commercial rights.
Midfielder Rasmus Johansson was one of the futsal players to start the game for Denmark, along with goalkeeper Christoffer Haagh, and said it was "an insane experience."
"Of course it's a strange situation we've ended up in, but I've always dreamed of making my national team debut. It's big. And I think everyone performed well."
While the team was predictably outplayed, the Danish association -- known as DBU -- also described the result as "an honourable defeat" on its website.
The DBU had feared a massive fine from UEFA or even a ban from internationals if they failed to field a team for the game.
It remains unclear whether the same makeshift squad will also have to face Wales this weekend in their UEFA Nations League opener, or whether a deal with the union can be reached by then.