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Schmeichel helps Denmark down Netherlands in EURO 1992 semi-finals

Netherlands 2-2 Denmark (aet, Denmark win 5-4 on penalties)
Peter Schmeichel saved from Marco van Basten to send Denmark to the final.

Denmark's Kim Christofte celebrates after scoring the decisive penalty in their semi-final against the Netherlands
Denmark's Kim Christofte celebrates after scoring the decisive penalty in their semi-final against the Netherlands ©Getty Images

Peter Schmeichel was the hero of Denmark's EURO '92 semi-final success against the Netherlands, denying Marco van Basten in the shoot-out after keeping out a Bryan Roy effort in extra time.

The Manchester United goalkeeper got down to his left to fend away Van Basten's effort. Although the holders converted their other four penalties, Kim Christofte put away the fifth for Denmark – only in the tournament as emergency replacements for Yugoslavia – as they completed a miraculous journey to the final, where world champions Germany lay in wait.

EURO 1992: All you need to know

Brian Laudrup's pinpoint cross had been headed in at close range by Henrik Larsen after just five minutes, but Frank Rijkaard set up Dennis Bergkamp to level midway through the first half with a delicate shot into the bottom corner. Denmark were back in front within ten minutes. Headers by Kim Vilfort, Laudrup and Ronald Koeman sent the ball out to Larsen on the edge of the penalty area, and his shot found the far corner.

Denmark national anthem: Schmeichel and co at EURO 92

Denmark largely controlled the game thereafter, even after the impressive Henrik Andersen, having already picked up a booking that would have kept him out of any final, suffered a sickening injury by cracking his knee cap. He would be out for 11 months and made just once more international appearance, in 1994.

The underdogs looked set to hold out when Rijkaard scored four minutes from time following Ruud Gullit's glancing header. The extra half-hour was an eternity for Denmark, with Schmeichel notably denying Roy from close range. The keeper would be a hero again before the night was out.

EURO 1992: Team of the Tournament


Denmark celebrate their shoot-out success
Denmark celebrate their shoot-out successIcon Sport via Getty Images

Netherlands: Van Breukelen; Frank De Boer (Kieft 46), Ronald Koeman, Van Tiggelen; Wouters, Rijkaard, Gullit (c), Bergkamp, Witschge; Roy (Van’t Schip 115), Van Basten
Substitutes: Van Aerle, Blind, Menzo, Winter, Bosz, Jonk, Viscaal
Coach: Rinus Michels

Denmark: Schmeichel; Andersen (Christiansen 70), Lars Olsen (c), Piechnik, Sivebæk; Larsen, Vilfort, Jensen, Christofte; Povlsen, Laudrup (Elstrup 57)
Substitutes: Kent Nielsen, Mølby, Frank, Krogh, Peter Nielsen, Bruun
Coach: Richard Møller Nielsen

Referee: Emiliano Soriano (Spain)