Euro 2020: Denmark explodes for four goals to earn round of 16 spot

A dominant second half propelled the Danes into the knockouts.

Parken Stadium in Copenhagen was in raptures on Monday as Denmark defeated Russia 4-1 on the final day of Group B action to secure advancement into the round of 16 at Euro 2020.

The Danes started the match on zero points after back-to-back losses to Finland and Belgium, respectively, and needed a big performance to have a chance at moving on. 

That's exactly what they got on Monday, in front of a crowd reported to be 67 percent of stadium capacity but what sounded like a packed house in the Danish capital. The Red and White rode a wave of emotion in a dominant second half to defeat and eliminate the Russians, who started the day in second place.

A first-half goal by Mikkel Damsgaard put the Danes in front, but it was the second-half trio of markers by Yussuf Poulsen, Andreas Christensen, and Joakim Mæhle that sent the partisan crowd into a frenzy as the knockout round became a realization.

Poulsen's goal, which came off a terrible backpass by the Russian defence, encapsulated the mood inside the stadium as the striker sunk to his knees and appeared to be near tears when his teammates surrounded him in celebration.

As uniquely emotional as Poulsen's goal was, it was Christensen's strike that was truly a sight to behold, as the 25-year-old defender latched onto a rebound and sent a blistering long-range shot past helpless Russian goalkeeper Matvei Safonov in the 79th minute.

The result, coupled with Belgium's win over Finland at the same time, sees Denmark secure second place in Group B. That means the Danes will face Group A runner-up Wales on Saturday in Amsterdam.

As the top team in Group B, the Belgians move on to face a yet-to-be-determined opponent on Sunday, while Finland awaits the remainder of the group stage to find out if it will advance as one of the four best third-place sides.

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