The Danes, who got to bask in the benefits of home comforts in group stages, finally made their first trip overseas in the 2020 European Championships at Johan Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Challenging long trips
Wales, however, is one of the unlucky teams that had to endure the number of long travel distances of 4953 miles in progressing to the Round of 16. Having said that, it is possible fatigue and a lack of preparation time in Robert Page’s men may and may not dictate them the defeat against Denmark.
With the likes of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, Wales started brightly with some dangerous runs and passes to create several opportunities against Denmark’s backline. The 31-year-old Welsh captain Bale sent the first warning to Denmark with a 20-yard shot that went just wide in the tenth minute of the game.
Playing against the 12th member
Despite Wales’ promising start, it was Denmark who took the lead through Kasper Dolberg’s beautiful goal from outside the penalty box. The Danes’ strong opening to the second half carried through in the city where it all began for Christian Eriksen and turned into a catastrophe for Wales.
Denmark, who has been through an intensely emotional period in the last few weeks, continued thriving with Dolberg’s second goal of the evening at 48th minute – if only Neco Williams had been calmer to clear the ball. With the Danes looking more dominant after the incident, it was apparent that the match was over for the Welsh.
An uncalled for red card
It was mentally draining for the Red Dragons to play against a team with an energised crowd for the third time in ten days. As if things couldn’t get any worse for Wales, Harry Wilson was sent off unfairly towards the end of 90 mins. The red card was unwarranted, irrelevant, and poorly judged by the referee. They might lose, but having had a clear numerical disadvantage inside the stadium has not been talked enough. Wales took a long path in their campaign, and they should be applauded for it.
Not only have Denmark marched into the quarterfinals of Euro 2020 by thrashing Wales 4-0, but they also became the first team in the history of the European Championships to score four goals in consecutive games after beating Russia 4-1 in an emotional final match of Group B.
What makes it sweeter is that Denmark commemorated the 29th anniversary of their greatest victory since the European Championships 1992. The Danish players are definitely the ones to look out for as they look more indestructible and stronger each game. There is a magic amulet behind the traumatic experience that drives this team, and I would love to see Denmark go as far as possible in the tournament.
“Guld for Eriksen”
One Danish flag had the words “Guld for Eriksen” printed on it over the first tier of the stadium, and the support for the midfielder was prevalent with banners filling inside Johan Cruyff Arena. We are sure that Eriksen was watching with a smile on his face, just like how we do after the distressing opening game.
I’ve thought that there was something special about Denmark after the incident in their opening game. Their unity and resilience as a unit is the core that keeps them going – and we can’t help but fall in love with them, which is why they are everyone’s second favourite team of the tournament. This victory was fully deserved as the Danes showed nothing but incredible team spirit in the lead-up.