Goals from Kasper Dolberg, Joakim Mæhle and Martin Braithwaite propelled a commanding Denmark side into the EURO 2020 quarter-finals.
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Denmark outclassed Wales with an impressive performance to reach their first EURO quarter-final in 17 years, as Kasper Dolberg became the first Danish player to score two goals in a EURO knockout game since 1992.Wales vs Denmark: as it happened, reaction
Match in brief
Heavily involved in the early exchanges, Gareth Bale threatened during a positive start by Wales. The captain drilled wide twice in the space of a couple of minutes, before a clutch of white shirts rebuffed a close-range Aaron Ramsey volley.
However, the turning point came when Dolberg converted the Danes' first real chance before the half-hour, latching onto Mikkel Damsgaard’s defence-splitting ball to curl exquisitely inside Danny Ward’s left upright.
To nullify Welsh danger men Ramsey and Bale, Kasper Hjulmand’s side switched to a back four and consolidated their foothold in this last-16 tie.
As half-time loomed, Joakim Mæhle’s snapshot was repelled by Ward, but De Rød-Hvide were in control regardless – getting in behind and setting the tempo.
Dolberg duly pounced again shortly after the restart: Neco Williams’s panicked clearance fell kindly for the striker to take a touch and drive home his second of the evening in Amsterdam.
Wales continued to probe, but the Welsh counterattack proved no match for the unwavering Danish defensive block. To cap a super display, Mæhle cut inside and shot high into the net for Denmark's third, before Martin Braithwaite thumped home the stoppage-time fourth. Co-hosts Denmark, beaten in their first two games of this EURO, are the first team into the quarter-finals.
Star of the Match: Kasper Dolberg (Denmark)
"He scored two goals and was good with the ball."
Franz Hoek, UEFA Technical Observer
Matthew Howarth, Wales reporter
Wales can have no complaints – Robert Page’s side faded after a bright start and lost to the better team. Regardless of the result, though, Page and his players can be proud of their efforts this summer. Many expected them to be knocked out in the group stage, but they showed tremendous character and resolve to reach the knockouts for the second EURO in succession. Considering this was only their third appearance at the finals of a major tournament, that is no mean feat.
Sture Sandø, Denmark reporter
All in all, Denmark played the match they wanted to. Wales were the better side at the start, but from around 20 minutes in, Denmark took control and notched the first two goals. Being two down made it hard work for Wales, so the Danes didn’t suffer too much from injuries to Thomas Delaney, Simon Kjær and Jens Stryger. The two late strikes capped a well-deserved win for Denmark, who were ready to seize the opportunity. Baku awaits Hjulmand's heroes in the quarter-finals.
Kasper Dolberg, Denmark forward: "It's completely crazy. I actually don't know how I feel. This is total madness. It's surreal. It was here [at the Johan Cruijff ArenA] where it all started for me, and to play here again in this setting was insane."
Kasper Hjulmand, Denmark coach: "It's hard to believe that this is reality. I admire the boys and the fact we can keep fighting. No matter who plays, they play very well. The guys are true warriors."
Gareth Bale, Wales captain: "It's not how we wanted the game to go. From our point of view we started very well, and then the game changed. We tried to play in the second half but made a mistake to concede, which killed the momentum on our side."
Joakim Mæhle, Denmark defender: "Look at the support we had in Amsterdam. It's completely nuts. The self-confidence and the courage we bring is something we must take even further. We're not worried who we're going to meet. We are focusing on ourselves and our qualities."
Joe Allen, Wales midfielder: "Our game plan was to really impose ourselves, give them problems and put them on the back foot. In fairness, early on, we did do that. They made some changes and swung the momentum in their favour, and obviously the goal changes everything."
- This is the fifth time that Denmark have scored three or more goals in a EURO finals match – they have now done it in successive games.
- Wales have conceded more than one goal in only three of their last ten EURO final tournament matches.
- Denmark have equalled their highest total of goals at a EURO finals – they also scored nine in 1984.
- Wales have conceded the first goal in five of their last six EURO final tournament matches.
- Kasper Dolberg is the first Dane to score two goals in a EURO knockout game since Henrik Larsen in the semi-final win over Netherlands in June 1992.
- Denmark have won each of their last four competitive matches against Wales.
- Denmark have lost just three of their last 16 international matches (W11 D2 L3).
- Denmark have scored the first goal in each of their last six competitive fixtures against Wales.
- Denmark have scored the first goal in 12 of their last 15 international games.
- Denmark have scored two or more goals in nine of their last 12 international matches.
- Denmark have only failed to score in two of their last ten EURO finals fixtures.
- Denmark have scored a goal in the first half in six of their last seven EURO finals games.
Wales: Ward; C Roberts (N Williams 40), Mepham, Rodon, B Davies; Morrell (Wilson 60), Allen; Bale, Ramsey, James (Brooks 78); Moore (Roberts 78)
Denmark: Schmeichel; Christensen, Kjær (Andersen 77), Vestergaard; Stryger (Boilesen 77), Højbjerg, Delaney (Jensen 60), Mæhle; Damsgaard (Nørgaard 60), Dolberg (Cornelius 69), Braithwaite
Denmark – vs Netherlands/Czech Republic in Baku, Saturday 3 July