Denmark advanced to the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Wales in Amsterdam.
Wales had the better of the opening exchanges, with Gareth Bale prominent, before Denmark took over. Kasper Dolberg deservedly put them ahead with a low shot into the bottom corner after 27 minutes.
Dolberg doubled Denmark’s lead soon after half-time after a mistake by Neco Williams. Denmark controlled the match thereafter and Joakim Maehle drilled a high shot into the net in the final minutes. Harry Wilson was then red carded for a reckless tackle on Maehle, before Martin Braithwaite added the fourth in injury time.
Denmark will now travel to Baku, where on Saturday they will face the winner of Netherlands versus the Czech Republic.
How far can Denmark dare to dream in Euro 2020? After two games in this championship Denmark looked pretty much done; their two defeats were overshadowed by the harrowing episode with Christian Eriksen in the opening game, and the defiance of their performance in defeat to Belgium thereafter felt like it might be an understandably one-off trip to the well.
Since then, they have been outstanding; back-to-back wins, eight goals and eviscerations of Russia and Wales so emphatic that they are a serious proposition for anyone left in the tournament. They can do it in the emotional atmosphere of Copenhagen, and now they’ve shown they can do it on their travels. A young, dynamic team, powered by emotion and underpinned by fearlessness.
That manager Kasper Hjulmand has been able to draw such performances from a group of players who were utterly shell-shocked two weeks ago is remarkable, and a feelgood hit for the world in these troubled times. They’ve already won one European Championship with the odds stacked against them, could they possibly do it again? This is Denmark; no one drafts endings like they draft endings.
MAN OF THE MATCH – Joakim Maehle (Denmark)
It could have been any one of half a dozen players for Denmark, but another dynamic performance down the right flank from Maehle really caught the eye. He capped an energetic display with a superbly taken goal in the final minutes.
Wales (4-3-3): Ward 6; Roberts 6, Mepham 5, Rodon 5, Davies 6; Allen 6, Morrell 5, Ramsey 6; James 6, Moore 5, Bale 6
SUBS: Williams 5, Wilson 4, Brooks 5, Roberts 6
Denmark (3-4-3): Schmeichel 6; Christensen 7, Kjaer 6, Vestergaard 7; Stryger Larsen 6, Hojbjerg 7, Delaney 7, Maehle 8; Braithwaite 7, Dolberg 7, Damsgaard 7
SUBS: Jensen 7, Norgaard 6, Cornelius 7, Boilesen 6, Andersen 6
10’ CLOSE! A good few minutes for Bale here. After a few crosses from the right, he picks the ball up on the right touchline and cuts diagonally infield. No one challenges him, and his shot from 20 yards out flies half a yard wide of the far post with Schmeichel at full stretch.
27’ GOAL! Wales 0 Denmark 1 (Dolberg 27) A beauty for Denmark. They weave a quick passing move through the inside left position, with Damsgaard reversing a ball into Dolberg. He opens up his body from 20 yards out and fires an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner past Ward.
32’ CHANCE! The Danish tails are right up here. A quick one-two by Damsgaard bets him to the byline; he fires it into the six yard box to Dolberg, whose first time flick at the ball as well saved by Ward from close range.
45+1’ CHANCE! A simple cross from the right by Damsgaard finds two Danish players completely unmarked at the back post. Maehle takes charge, and tries to whip a shot into the near post which Ward pushes behind for a corner.
48’ GOAL! Wales 0 Denmark 2 (Dolberg 48) Denmark are two ahead, and it’s Dolberg again! Wales are furious that they didn’t get a foul on Moore in the Danish half; it’s not given though, and they break down the right through Braithwaite. He runs into the area and fires in a low cross; Williams tries to clear but can only scuff it straight to Dolberg, who drills a low shot through Ward from seven yards out.
86’ WHAT A MISS! Jensen clips a lovely cross to the back post where Andersen heads back across goal from six yards out. Ward gets a touch and the ball falls to two free Braithwaite at the back post, who somehow clips the ball off the post from no distance and a teammate contrives to slash the follow up wide.
88’ GOAL! Wales 0 Denmark 3 (Maehle 88) Denmark have deserved this, they’ve been brilliant tonight. Jensen picks out Maehle with a cross-area pass. Maehle is all alone, and cuts inside one sliding challenge before launching a left foot shot high into the net past Ward.
90’ RED CARD! It’s all falling apart for Wales, as Wilson gets a straight red for hacking down Maehle as he ran away from him. That seems unusually harsh for such a challenge, but it’s not going to be reviewed any further.
90+4’ GOAL! Wales 0 Denmark 4 (Braithwaite 90+4′) It’s four! This is an utter hiding. Denmark break again, Cornelius cushions a cross into the path of Braithwaite who checks onto his left foot and drills the ball into the bottom corner past Ward. It’s VAR checked for a long time, but Braithwaite was played just onside by Mepham.
- Denmark are the first team in the history of the European Championship to score four or more goals in two consecutive matches.