Needing only a draw to progress, Denmark went one better and strode through to the semi-finals with a 3-2 triumph over Belgium.
Sepp Piontek's team's superior goal difference going into the game meant Belgium could not go above them with anything less than victory. Piontek, though, knew his defence was not one designed to play for a point and therefore instructed them to attack instead – and nearly paid the price.
The outlook was bleak for the Danes after 39 minutes. Jan Ceulemans gave Belgium the lead, profiting from fine work by Georges Grün, and then Frankie Vercauteren added a second, beating Morten Olsen before volleying the ball over goalkeeper Ole Qvist.
Denmark suddenly needed two goals to survive. They got one within two minutes, Frank Arnesen doing the necessary from the penalty spot after Walter de Greef had been penalised for a foul on Preben Elkjær. Belgium could have restored their two-goal advantage just after the interval but Erwin Vandenbergh, with only the keeper to beat, allowed Qvist to make a comfortable save. That moment cost Belgium the game.
Kenneth Brylle Larsen headed in Arnesen's cross to make it 2-2 after an hour before Elkjær completed the turnaround on 84 minutes. The Danish No11's performance warranted a goal and he duly provided one of appropriate class, beating Eddy Voordeckers and De Greef before knocking the ball over Jean-Marie Pfaff. It was a suitable conclusion to an extraordinary game and an astounding group.
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