Few would have believed that Denmark will make it past the group stage in the ongoing EUROs, not that they were in a clear group of death, but the circumstances that trailed them at the start of the competition. Imagine having in your group the world number one in football ranking, Belgium, with its star-studded team.
At their first game against Finland, the captain of the team and most prominent player, Christian Eriksen, collapsed due to a cardiac arrest on the field of play. His recovery was clearly a miracle going by past experiences of others. The Denmark coach in a press conference said the captain was irreplaceable. You can imagine the morale of the team.
But they wouldn’t stay down even after losing their first two games, this resulted in an outstanding performance for their final group game against Russia, with goals from Maehle, Mikkel Damsgaard, Yussuf Poulsen and Andreas Christensen securing a 4-1 win that sealed a place in the last 16 – the first time a team has ever survived the group stage despite losing their first two matches.
At the round of 16 game against Wales with a great player like Bale on Saturday, they shocked the world again with a convincing 4-0 victory of the Welsh national team.
In doing so they became the first team to score four or more goals in successive games in European Championship history, with their 4-1 win over Russia still fresh in the memory.
Denmark thus has progressed to the quarter-finals, where they will play the winner of Sunday’s game between the Netherlands and Czech Republic in Baku.