Mikel Damsgaard opened the scoring in the first half before Yussuf Poulsen, Andreas Christensen and Joakim Maehle added three goals after the break .
Denmark thrashed Russia 4-1 in a thrilling encounter at Copenhagen to go through to the last 16 of Euro 2020 by the finest of margins. The Danes came into the match desperately needing a victory. They were also hoping Belgium would get the better of Finland in the other match. When the French referee Clement Turpin blew the final whistle the Danes eagerly waited for the final whistle at Saint Petersburg to celebrate with the home crowd.
Kasper Hjulmand’s side deservingly go through after a topsy turvy tournament so far. The unfortunate incident of their talisman Christian Eriksen suffering a heart attack during the first game and miraculously coming back to life, then losing the first two games before beating the 2018 FIFA World Cup quarter-finalists convincingly to go to the next round as runner-ups behind Belgium seems like a fairy tale story.
Mikel Damsgaard, who came in for Eriksen started the scoring in the 38th minute. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg gave the ball to Damsgaard outside the penalty area. The 20-year-old midfielder controlled the ball with his left foot and then cut inside to beat Georgi Dzhikiya. He then slotted the ball into the top corner of Russian goal with a superb right footed curler. Even Eriksen would be proud of the Sampordia man’s beautiful strike.
Russia, who needed just a point to ensure qualification, sat back until the first goal. After the break the game opened up a bit more and the Danes extended the lead courtesy of an error by Roman Zobnin. The Spartak Moscow player’s careless back pass to the goalkeeper went straight to Danish striker Yussuf Poulsen inside the penalty. The RB Leipzig forward went wide of goalkeeper Safonov before slotting the ball into an empty net.
Twenty minutes from time the Russian’s were awarded a penalty for Jannick Vestergaard’s foul on Aleksandr Sobolev inside the penalty box. Artem Dzyuba stepped up and calmly converted the spot kick to pull one back for Stanislav Cherchesov’s side. The goal must have given Russia hopes of a comeback but it wasn’t to be as Andrea Christensen scored Denmark’s third of the night in the 79th minute. Safonov made two superb saves to deny Martin Braithwaite and Kjaer from inside the penalty box. However the ball then rolled into the path of Christensen who fired in a thunderous shot from 25yards out that went straight into the back of the net.
Three minutes after Chirstensen’s goal, Joakim Maehle completed the thrashing with a fourth one. Hojbjerg led the counter attack and gave the ball to Maehle, who cut inside from the right side and slotted the ball past Safonov at the near post to make the score 4-1 in favour of Denmark.
The win helped Denmark to second spot in the group with three points from as many games. Although both Finland and Russia also have three points the Danes go through on better goal difference. Kasper Hjulmand’s side will face Wales at Amsterdam on June 26 in the round of 16.