Denmark qualify for Euro 2020 quarter finals on 29th anniversary of historic win

Denmark qualify for Euro 2020 quarter finals on 29th anniversary of historic win
Denmark's forward Martin Braithwaite celebrates after winning the quarter final against Wales. Photo: Olak Kraak/AFP
Denmark marked the 29th anniversary of their 1992 Euro victory by marching on to the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 on Saturday, as Kasper Dolberg scored twice in an emphatic 4-0 win over Wales before an exultant travelling support in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is the city where Christian Eriksen — the Danish striker who collapsed on pitch during Denmark’s opening game against Finland — made his name. 

And it was Dolberg — another Danish former player at the Amsterdam team Ajax — who opened the scoring with a fizzing strike in the 27th minute.

That came after Wales had started so well but Denmark never looked back and Dolberg struck again just after the restart before Joakim Maehle and Martin Braithwaite added more goals late on.

Carried by a wave of emotion, Danish dreams are still intact in a tournament that began in such traumatic circumstances for them with Eriksen’s collapse in their opening match against Finland in Copenhagen.

They now go on to a last-eight tie in Baku against the Netherlands or the Czech Republic.

Eriksen, still recovering at home after his cardiac arrest, was present in everyone’s minds at the home of Ajax, and that combined with a vast Danish support inside the one-third full Johan Cruyff Arena made this occasion like a Danish home game.

“It is hard to believe that this is reality,” said coach Kasper Hjulmand.    “Johan Cruyff is one of my great inspirations and this was also Christian’s first home after leaving Denmark.

“I am really grateful for all the support we got, and the guys are true warriors. Being in the quarter-finals now is amazing.”

European champions on this day in 1992, Denmark finally have their first win in the knockout phase of a Euro since then and it would be an extraordinary story if they could repeat the feat this time.

Nobody in Denmark will want to get ahead of themselves but Wales — who finished with 10 men after Harry Wilson’s late red card — could have no complaints about the outcome and there will be no repeat of their run to the semi-finals at Euro 2016.

 Bale: ‘Frustrated’

“It is a tough one to take. I don’t think the players deserved to leave the competition with that scoreline,” said Wales coach Robert Page.

They needed a moment of magic from captain Gareth Bale or Aaron Ramsey which never came, but they were up against it from the outset.

Aside from the universal goodwill towards Denmark following Eriksen’s collapse, a ban on travellers from the United Kingdom entering the Netherlands meant there were few Welsh supporters inside the stadium.

Danes, meanwhile, descended in their droves on Amsterdam, creating an atmosphere not far off that seen at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen when they beat Russia to reach the last 16 — even Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen was in attendance.

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