Denmark produced a fairytale Euro 2020 win to make the next round, just 9 days after Christian Eriksen's harrowing on-field collapse
- Denmark secured an emotional victory against Russia at Euro 2020 on Monday night.
- A 4-1 win put the Danes through to the last 16 of the tournament, where the team will face Wales.
- Victory came just nine days after Christian Eriksen's terrifying on-field collapse against Finland.
Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen scored the pick of the goals as Denmark defeated Russia 4-1 on an emotional night in Copenhagen, which saw the team progress to the last 16 of Euro 2020 just nine days after Christian Eriksen's terrifying on-field collapse.
Mikkel Damsgaard opened the scoring in the first half before Yussuf Poulsen doubled the Danes' advantage just before halftime. Despite a penalty from Russia's Artem Dzyuba in the 70th minute, the game was put beyond doubt when Christensen rifled in a long-range shot from outside the area nine minutes later.
Joakim Mæhle applied the final flourish, scoring Denmark's fourth just three minutes later.
The scene after the final whistle could scarcely have been further from the one seen nine days before when the players formed a shield around their collapsed teammate Eriksen during the team's opening match against Finland.
This time, the faces of horror were replaced by ones of joy as the players and staff crowded around a phone, desperate to see the final result of Belgium versus Finland, which was taking place simultaneously in St. Petersburg.
Denmark needed Finland to lose to progress to the round of 16, and it did so, going down 2-0 to Belgium in Russia.
Finland, which finished the group on three points, can still progress but needs other results to go the right way if it is to do so.
-BBC Sport (@BBCSport) June 21, 2021
Denmark started the evening at the bottom of its group, knowing the team needed a win to stand any chance of progressing.
When Damsgaard curled the ball past a helpless Matvei Safonov from outside the penalty area in the 38th minute, the atmosphere erupted.
It only grew louder when the Danes were gifted a second in the 59th minute. Roman Zobnin's wayward back-pass fell kindly to the feet of Poulsen, who could hardly miss.
The evening did threaten to sour for the Danish fans in the 70th minute when Dzyuba converted from the spot, but Denmark responded in style with Christensen's wonder goal. A scramble in the box saw the ball roll out to the Chelsea defender, who did not even break stride as he rifled the ball goalward.
For the third time that evening, Safonov could only stand and watch as the shot flew past him into the net.
-UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 21, 2021
The result was put beyond doubt in the 82nd minute, when Denmark countered and Mæhle slotted the ball into the bottom-left corner, confirming the first points of the tournament for the Danes.
"We hoped it would be a magic night," manager Kasper Hjulmand said.
"The motivation, the team spirit, the friendship among the players was amazing. If someone deserves this, it's our players. I can't imagine how they managed to come back from what they went through."
Hjulmand also paid tribute to Eriksen after the game, saying: "I think about him a lot and he is, as I have always said, our heart. He's a great inspiration to us."
Denmark will now face Wales on June 26 at the Johan Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam.
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