Denmark closed their place in next year’s World Cup when they overcame Austria’s resistance to a 1-0 win in Copenhagen on Tuesday.
Joachim Mahel’s second-half goal at Parkin Stadium put the Danes seven points ahead of Scotland, who won 1-0 at the Faroe Islands with two rounds left in the match.
“It means a lot,” Mahal told Danish television. “It’s been one of the best nights of Parkin in a long time. It’s amazing.
“It wasn’t the most beautiful football of today, but fortunately neither team played well. The most important thing is that we win and we have a ticket to the World Cup.”
Denmark reached the Euro 2020 semi-finals in July, before losing to England in extra time. Since then, they have won all four of their World Cup qualifiers.
Roaring from the home crowd, Denmark attacked with a kick off.
Austria, weakened by injury and losing 4-0 when the two teams met in Vienna in March, were content to try to defend and counter-attack.
The Danes dominated the first half, but Austrian goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann turned his back on Andreas Skoff Olson and McCall Demsgard.
The home team won early in the second half.
Thomas Delaney collected the ball halfway through, spun into space and then spun into the top of the penalty area, drawing four defenders before passing the wing back mile.
The Atlanta player played the ball near Bachmann at a nearby post.
Deniz took the lead and attacked with less haste, but Austria failed to score in the 90th minute.
After eight qualifying matches, the Danes have yet to score a goal and join Germany in the early qualifiers for next year’s showpiece.
“You can only dream about things like that,” said midfielder Pierre Emile Hodgsburg. It’s too big for me, it’s too big for the team, too big for Danish football and Denmark.
“With age and quality we have, we just keep growing. It’s about being humble and putting your mind in the right place.”