Rapturous Crowd Support Propels Denmark to Win Against Russia

In Copenhagen, they take care of their own! That was the overwhelming feeling as a full stadium and Denmark’s squad found the ideal way to honor Christian Eriksen. The Danes, who had lost their first two Euro 2020 fixtures, end their group with a 4-1 victory over Russia and qualify to the Round of 16.

The story of Denmark in 2021, much like their fabled 1992 performance, is one of sadness, followed by glory. In a match that will come to define this fine generation of players, manager Kasper Hjulmand started with a 3-4-2-1 formation. It was the same squad that had fought so valiantly against Belgium in the previous game.

Denmark needed a victory against Russia. They also required a victory from Belgium against Finland in the other game being played at the same time.

Meanwhile, Russia, a team that has rarely shone throughout this tournament mirrored the 3-4-2-1 of their opponents. The team’s chief hopes hinged on Aleksandr Golovin and Aleksey Miranchuk, the team’s most accomplished players.

And, in the 17th minute, Golovin’s silky footwork nearly put his team in front. However, after dribbling past the Danish defenders with ease, his shot was saved by Kasper Schmeichel.

The Danes went looking for a goal, spurred on by the support of an entire stadium decked in red and white. They found it in the 38th minute. Sampdoria’s Mikkel Damsgaard scored with a superb long-range effort.

Denmark continued to attack in the second half. And, fortune was about to smile on them. Roman Zobnin’s awful back pass arrived at the feet of Yousuf Poulsen. The RB Leipzig striker dinked the Russian keeper, Matvey Safonov, gratefully.

Russia pulled one back in the 70th minute. Aleksandr Sobolev earned his team a penalty. The team’s long-standing striker, Artem Dzyuba, converted from the spot.

However, it was all heading in the only one direction, as news that Belgium had finally broken the deadlock against Finland sent the Copenhagen stadium into a frenzy.

In the 79th minute, Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen scored the kind of goal he will likely remember throughout his life, shuttling the ball from outside the penalty area and into the back of the net.

Denmark weren’t done just yet. In the 82d minute, Joakim Maehle’s great control and excellent shot capped up another impressive Denmark counterattack.

Back in Saint Petersburg, Belgium were earning their nine points after a convincing victory over Finland. Meanwhile, in Copenhagen, a whole stadium was chanting Christian Eriksen‘s name and celebrating a memorable victory.

Denmark joins Belgium in the Round of 16. Russia are eliminated after failing to properly capitalize on the creativity of Golovin and Miranchuk. Finland continue to hope that their three points and the negative two-goal difference will be enough to earn them a spot in the next round as well.

For Denmark it has been an incredible 10 days. It all began with a terrible accident of their star player, Eriksen. It was followed by two home defeats. And, it all ended with a brilliant nation-uniting performance. The Euros were made for nights like this!