A defiant Denmark side bowed out of Euro 2020 at the hands of England and a controversial penalty decision. But after what they have gone through in this tournament, they are the real winners.
When Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch during the opening game for Denmark versus Finland all hope seemed lost to the team and his life. Thankfully, he survived primarily because of his teammates and medics. But his team kept up the spirits but now have bowed out of Euro 2020 after losing 2-1 to England on the back of a controversial penalty decision.
Denmark Bow Out of Euro 2020 to Controversial Penalty
Denmark lost their first two games of the group stage to Finland and Belgium. However, to finish the game against Finland a mere few hours after Eriksen’s collapse is a testament to the Danish players. Numerous football pundits believed the game should have been the following day. Eriksen wanted his team to finish the game and UEFA decided for the game to resume. A very uncharacteristic mistake by Kasper Schmeichel led to the only goal of the game. The best part of the game was Denmark and Finland fans shouting Christian Eriksen. A symbol of unity and that it was bigger than the game.
The Danes put on a good fight against the Belgian’s but for a moment of brilliance from Kevin De Bruyne taking their chances of some points away. In their final group stage match, they had to beat Russia by a two goal margin and Belgium beat Finland.
Denmark played their best game of the tournament winning 4-1 and scoring two late goals to advance to the knockout stage. Clearly, Denmark played well under pressure especially since Belgium did not score until very late in the game. It should be noted that Denmark’s five goals in the group came from five different players.
Denmark Knockout Run
Denmark caught a break playing on the easier side of the bracket. They easily dismantled Wales four goals to nil and proved to be the far superior team. After the Netherlands were shocked by the Czech Republic 2-0 after Matthijs de Ligt was sent off.
The Danes held off the Czech Republic 2-1 to advance into the semi-finals and looking to recreate Euro 1992. The Czech Republic goal by Patrik Schick tied him with Cristiano Ronaldo as the leading goal scorer in the Euros.
Denmark played well enough against England to let the game be decided by a penalty shootout. Unfortunately, the game was decided on a penalty.
Harry Kane’s penalty was saved by Schmeichel but Kane was first to respond and bundle home the rebound. Without a doubt, England was the more talented team and had 22 shots compared to Denmark’s six shots.
England historically have had bad luck in penalty shootouts. In the end, Denmark exceeded expectations. The players should be praised for their efforts once they return home. Schmeichel was Denmark’s best player during the Euros. When the Euros ends on Sunday everyone will remember Denmark’s remarkable run and how they overcome tragedy to one of their players.
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