A superb double from Kasper Dolberg inspired a convincing 4-0 win for Denmark over Wales on Saturday and took them into the quarter-finals of Euro 2020.
Dolberg was selected in place of the injured Yussuf Poulsen.
However, he stepped up brilliantly with his tournament’s first goals in Amsterdam; where he used to play club football with Ajax. The 27th minute opener was a fi
ne finish curled into the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty box.
The second, just three minutes after the restart, was a clinical poacher’s effort after a defensive error. Joakim Maehle then added a third with two minutes remaining. Also, Martin Braithwaite added a late fourth to cap a memorable win for Denmark; with Harry Wilson’s dismissal concluding a miserable day for Wales.
Victory takes Denmark into the continental last eight for just the second time since their surprise title win in 1992. It also sets up a Baku date with the Netherlands or the Czech Republic next Saturday.
The win also ensures their emotional roller-coaster of a tournament which began with the shock collapse of Christian Eriksen continues.
Denmark manager Kasper Hjulmand said his team had been optimistic before the tournament. But “when Christian collapsed that’s when everything changed.
“For me at least, we were put in a totally different situation. I just want to say it’s hard to believe this is reality. I’m really grateful first to all the Danes who came all the way down here. Also, I’m grateful for all the support we keep receiving.
“I admire the boys. I admire that we can fight back no matter who plays. We knew that everything wasn’t perfect during the game. But we improved and that’s something we’ve done several times.”
Wales offered little and ended their second Euro 2020 campaign in considerably more low-key fashion than their fairy-tale run to the semi-finals five years ago.
In the day’s other last 16 game, Italy had to wait until extra time to beat Austria 2-1.
The tie was a keenly-contested one which saw Austria come so close to knocking the Azzurri out. Striker Marko Arnautovic scored what looked like the winner late in the second half after a barren game. However, the VAR ruled it out for offside.
This saw the game go into extra time.
Italy took the lead in first half extra time through Juventus star, Federico Chiesa. The goal galvanized the side who went on to double their lead in the second half of extra time through Matteo Pessina.
Austria pulled one back late in the half but it was too little, too late