Monday, June 21, 2021

Danish Delight

It is great to be wrong, and I was wrong about the end result in group B, where I had thought the two final matches between Belgium and Finland, and Russia and Denmark, respectively, would end 0-0.

For a long time the Belgians appeared unable to open the Finnish lock that would have put the Nordics through in their first tournament ever. In the end it is a pity for Finland, but they lacked the luck when their goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky pushed a rebound into goal. And when the great Romelu Lukaku made it 2-0 for the Belgians there was little the Finns could do.

The Belgians win the group with three victories, and although they have not been spectacular, they confirm that they can go all the way.

At the same time in Copenhagen Denmark started a bit nervously against Russia, who had a big chance to go ahead. But after the young Mikkel Damsgaard scored a spectacular goal to put Denmark ahead, the Danes were in control. Russia was forced forward and this gave the Danes the space they had lacked in the first half, but it was only a gift from a Russia defender, who passed the ball to an unmarked Youssuff Poulsen in fron of goal, that Denmark scored for 2-0. Despite Andrem Dzyuba scoring on a penalty for the Russians, Denmark were in control, and great goals by Andreas Christensen and Joakim Maehle put the Danes in the unlikely second spot in the group.

Finally the Danes improved their scoring statistics, which had been dreadful after the first two matches, but most of all, the victory was an emotional tribute to Christian Eriksen, who is doing well and must have been as delighted as every Danish fan about the result.

Denmark will face Wales in the last-16, and while they have to play up to their best, Denmark surely has a chance to make it to the quarterfinals.

No comments: