Denmark established their last 16 ties with Wales in the European Championship after a strong and emotional victory over Russia on a critical night in Copenhagen.
The Danes are fully engaged, nine days after their team Christian Eriksen fell in the same pitch in their first match against Finland.
After a heart attack, Eriksen was discharged from the hospital. But the number of casualties last week was clear to Danish players with the final whistle.
There was a roar, fun celebrations, and love from the supporters in Copenhagen throughout the game.
Knowing that they needed to win and hoping that Belgium would beat Finland. The hosts did not hold back. And Mikkel Damsgaard set the stage alight with an exquisite long-range opener of the match.
Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen also went on strike as news of the Belgian’s lead in Finland entered the stadium.
But Denmark confirmed their move as runners-up as Christensen and Joakim Maehle made it 4-1 in three minutes of rampant. The result left Russia, who started the night in second place, below the table and out of the tournament.
Emotions, love, and passion
Parken Stadium had an electric shock before the start of the match as fans sang the national anthem with love. But it was nothing as compared to the scenes at the full-time.
The players and staff were crowded into the pitch center, waiting for Belgium’s confirmation of Finland’s victory. And there was a huge roar when the results were announced through in the pitch.
Denmark needed a win and brought in the fans. Damsgaard was kicking things with magic, becoming the youngest scorer (20 years, 335 days) in a major tournament.
Poulsen had been wet through beer thrown into the air by supporters when he netted for the second time in Denmark. And although Dyuba’s kicking of the ball caused a moment of concern, it did not last long.
Denmark detonated a Russian goalkeeper Matvey Safonov made an amazing save before Christensen’s strike erupted again.
Denmark is heading into the last 16 full of confidence.
Maehle’s finale is over, and Denmark is heading into the last 16 full of confidence, with Wales waiting next Saturday, June 26, in Amsterdam.
While the Danish players celebrated their victory over Russia, which sent them to the last 16 of the European Championship, it was pouring out emotions like the others.
After seeing their teammate, Christian Eriksen had a heart attack at the same stadium nine days ago. Danish players and supporters gathered for an unforgettable evening in Copenhagen.
With two defeats in their first two matches, earning a qualification in the knockout seemed impossible as Danish legends are famous for fairy tales.
Denmark’s victory is for Christian that you can see and hear what it means in Copenhagen.
It is another horrible story written in the world of Hans Christian Andersen. From tragedy and despair to utter great joy. But, unfortunately, they do not always write it that way.
‘We all hoped it to be a magical night.’
After huddling the phone to confirm the Belgian victory over Finland, which sent the Danes as runners-up, the players ran to the supporters to cheer.
“The circle was created that I think it’s crazy to run and have fun without a result in a Finnish game,” said manager Kasper Hjulmand.
“We were hoping it would be a magical night. I want to thank all the people who supported us and showed them so much, love. I felt like it affected the players so much, so thank you very much for the support the world said to us.
“The enthusiasm, the team spirit, the friendship between the players was amazing. If anyone deserves this, it is our players. I don’t think they were able to get back to what they went through.”
Later in the match, there was an uproar as the news was leaked about Belgium’s lead, with goals from Andreas Christensen and Joakim Maehle returning with a rampant end on the match.
Yussuf Poulsen found himself drenched in beer after scoring Danish’s second goal. And there was a clash when youngster Mikkel Damsgaard scored in the first half.
“This is the team involved there. They’ve been through the emotional rollercoaster, and it is great to see them go through,” ex-England defender Rio Ferdinand said.
Former Lioness Alex Scott added: “This is special. The emotions they should be feeling around that stadium. Playing the way they played in front of those fans and just being magically fit.”
How do the events unfold?
Denmark started the evening in Group B, knowing they needed to win to get any chance to qualify. However, Damsgaard made it 1-0 before the break, and Poulsen was awarded a second goal after 59 minutes.
With Denmark going 2-0 up, Belgium had an offside goal, leading to short celebrations from fans in Copenhagen. And minutes later, Russia was awarded a penalty for a foul by Jannik Vestergaard.
Russia captain Artem Dzyuba put it in the net 2-1. But Belgium came out on top in another game four minutes later thanks to a goal from Finnish goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky.
Danish fans cheered for their team, and it paid off as Christensen hit the third goal before Mahlehle made it 4-1.
Meanwhile, Romelu Lukaku had doubled Belgium’s lead, and Denmark was awaiting the final whistle to St Petersburg.
“In addition, they punched their fists hard. There was joy on their faces, tears streaming down from their faces. And the manager touched his heart. It’s just nice to see. You should have to look at the joy,” former England striker Dion Dublin said.
“Furthermore, you should have to look at the happiness and smiles on their faces,” said former England striker Alan Shearer. “You can tell what they have been through and how hard they have had to be in the game. They should enjoy it.”
Ex-Germany coach Jurgen Klinsmann added: “It’s amazing to see Denmark celebrate. They went through a rollercoaster over the past few days with what happened with Christian Eriksen, and seeing them pass is a wonderful thing.”