Fairytale for Denmark as rout of Russia puts them in last 16
Denmark's Joakim Maehle celebrates scoring their fourth goal with Thomas Delaney and Christian Norgaard. (Photo: Reuters)
Despair turned to exhilaration for Denmark as they claimed an astonishing 4-1 victory over Russia to scramble into the last 16 of Euro 2020 on a wonderful night in Copenhagen on Monday (Jun 21).
Needing a victory to have any chance of progression, Mikkel Damsgaard lit the touchpaper with a 38th-minute wonder goal on a head-spinning night in the Parken Stadium.
A dreadful mistake by Russia's Roman Zobnin allowed Yussuf Poulsen to double the lead on the hour.
Russia threatened a comeback when Artem Dzyuba converted a 70th minute penalty but Andreas Christensen's screamer made it 3-1 before Joakim Maehle completed the rout.
It was only half the story though as Denmark's fate was never in their own hands and they were still indebted to Belgium who beat Finland 2-0 in St Petersburg.
Having lost their opening two games in the wake of Christian Eriksen's cardiac arrest in the opener against Finland, Denmark went through as runners-up and will face Wales next.
Relentless Belgium win again to leave Finland's Euro 2020 hopes hanging
Belgium's Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates. (Photo: Reuters)
Belgium outclassed Finland 2-0 on Monday to continue their perfect start to Euro 2020 and finish top of Group B, leaving the Finns facing a nervous wait to see if they can sneak into the last 16.
A much-changed Belgium side dominated the game but only found a breakthrough in the 74th minute courtesy of an own goal from keeper Lukas Hradecky, who fumbled a Thomas Vermaelen header over the line after it had crashed off the woodwork.
Striker Romelu Lukaku clinched the victory in the 83rd minute by swivelling to thump home a Kevin de Bruyne pass and score his third goal of the tournament.
Belgium, who became the third team after Italy and the Netherlands to win all three group games, will face one of the third-placed sides in Seville on June 27.
Finland, who came third with three points, must wait until the end of the group stage to see if their adventure in a first ever major tournament will continue and they need a series of results to go their way if they are to make the last 16.
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