Copenhagen: Copenhagen erupted on June 21 night as Denmark beat Russia 4-1 in stunning fashion to book a berth in the Round of 16 where they will face face Wales. Mikkel Damsgaard, Yusuf Poulsen, Andreas Christensen and Joakim Mæhle got on the scoresheet to script a famous win.
Once the match got underway, Denmark continued with the same aggression as in their defeats to Finland and Belgium but initially struggled to create chances against a Russia team who were content to keep things tight.
Against Russia, Denmark were once again at their best, but this time, they made their shots count. Against Belgium, they had twenty-one shots on goal, but only five were on target. Against Russia, they had sixteen shots on goal with ten on target. That made all the difference.
It was the Russians who had the first chance of the game, Aleksandr Golovin driving towards the goal and fashioning a great scoring opportunity only to shoot straight at Kasper Schmeichel from close range.
Denmark continued to press after the restart but their second came in almost comical circumstances on the hour mark. Daler Kuzyaev miscued a back-pass which fell neatly in front of Yusuf Poulsen who had plenty of time and space and just the keeper to beat. He converted to give Denmark a two-goal lead as Copenhagen erupted.
Denmark needed to win by two goals to go through and also needed Belgium to beat Finland by at least one goal.
Russia was awarded a penalty which Artem Dzyuba converted to reduce Denmark’s lead to one. But they were on their feet again with 15 minutes remaining thanks to Lukas Hradecky’s own goal which put Belgium a goal ahead and Denmark in second.
Meanwhile, Christoph Baumgartner’s first-half goal sent Austria through to the last 16 of Euro 2020 on Monday after a 1-0 win over Ukraine that left their opponents facing an anxious wait to see if they qualify. Hoffenheim midfielder Baumgartner turned in David Alaba’s corner on 21 minutes in Bucharest as Austria pipped Ukraine to second place in Group C behind the Netherlands.
Austria will play Italy at Wembley on June 26 after advancing from the group stage at a major tournament for the first time since the 1982 World Cup.
Ukraine, eliminated in the group stage at the past two European Championships, must wait to find out if they advance as one of four best third-placed teams.
Andriy Shevchenko had ruled out his Ukraine team playing for the draw they needed to finish as runners-up, having snapped a run of six straight losses at the competition with their 2-1 win over North Macedonia.
Austria coach Franco Foda recalled Marko Arnautovic after the forward missed the 2-0 defeat by the Netherlands while serving a one-match ban for insulting a North Macedonia player in their opening game.