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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

Students, futsal players and a YouTube superstar - Denmark's 'Replacements' in pictures

Slide through gallery to see who Denmark's heroes during football friendly against Slovakia were

Call this the Danish version of the Hollywood movie The Replacements, except the game in focus was football - and not the American variety - and there was no happy ending either.

For those who missed the story, here is the gist.

Denmark were forced to field a severely weakened team against Slovakia containing footballers from the third tier of the national league because of a pay dispute involving its best players, including the likes of Tottenham Hotspur's Christian Eriksen and Kasper Schmeichel of Leicester City.

The Danes, whose side included students, futsal players and a social media superstar, were beaten 3-0 in Wednesday's friendly for which organisers dropped ticket prices to €1 (Dh4.27) because of the depleted visiting team.

Sneak peek into X-Games star Rasmus Johansson

Slovakia, who fielded top performers such as Napoli midfielder Marek Hamsik and former Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel, said before the game that their squad had been harmed by the Danish dispute and asked European football's governing body Uefa to deal with the case, and confer "adequate consequences".

The home side went ahead when forward Adam Nemec beat Denmark goalkeeper Christoffer Haagh, who is a futsal player, with a header in the 11th minute.

Albert Rusnak made it 2-0 in the 37th minute before substitute Adam Fogt put through his own net with 11 minutes left.

Negotiations collapsed between the Danish footballers' union and the national federation (DBU) over a new collective bargaining agreement regarding commercial rights, and players from the original squad were sent back to their club teams on Monday.

The previous collective bargaining agreement expired on July 31 and the two parties have been unable to agree a new one.

Slide through the gallery above to see who Denmark's heroes on Wednesday were.

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Our Uefa Nations League coverage:

Gareth Southgate's England hope to use World Cup feel-good factor against Spain

Southgate's England challenge: to ensure a rise is not followed by a fall

Is the new tournament a welcome addition or calendar clutter?

Explainer: How it works and fixtures in UAE time

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Eriksen and Co back for Wales game

Meanwhile, the Danish FA reached a short-term agreement with the country's players' union that means senior players will return for the Nations League game against Wales on Sunday.

The FA and senior squad failed to reach a new agreement over commercial conditions, but a joint statement said a deal was in place for the match against Wales in Aarhus.

"It is good for the national team and for everyone in Danish football that we can play the important Nations League match with the real national team and once again focus on the sporting aspect," FA chairman Jesper Moller said.

Denmark, ninth in the world rankings, reached the last 16 at this year's World Cup.

"The agreement is a step in the right direction, and the national team players are pleased that they can now focus on the game against Wales on Sunday," players' union representative Mads Oland said.

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