Denmark 2-0 Serbia
Rasmus Falk and Viktor Fischer were on the mark in an impressive display which takes Denmark through to the semi-finals as Group A winners.
Article top media content
• Denmark beat Serbia 2-0 to qualify for semi-finals as Group A winners
• Scandinavian side prevail thanks to goals from Rasmus Falk and Viktor Fischer
• Denmark get out of U21 group stage for first time, at third attempt
• Jess Thorup's team will face Group B runners-up in Prague semi on Saturday
• Serbia finish bottom of section with a solitary point to their name
Denmark are through to the last four of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship following victory against Serbia at the Letná Stadium in Prague.
On a day when many of the travelling Scandinavian contingent had been on a Danish Football Association-organised boat trip down the Vltava, both sides had a need to steady their respective ships after record final tournament defeats on matchday two. Thorup turned to pedigree to stem the tide, naming eight senior internationals in a fluid, tactically astute starting lineup. How it paid off – he got the mature, intelligent performance he craved.
The epitome of that was returning Bayern München man Pierre Højbjerg, who varied from deep-lying midfielder to target man and most positions in between. It was on the left where he made his most telling first-half contribution, cutely playing in rampaging full-back Riza Durmisi, whose cross was met with impeccable timing by Falk's side-footed finish.
Though Serbia were still lacking the verve they showed for much of their opening draw with Germany, they soon went close through Miloš Jojić – denied by Jakob Busk – and Filip Djuričić, who slid his shot wide. The Danes, though, went closer still, Durmisi bending his free-kick against the outside of the post just before half-time.
It was from another set piece, this time delivered by Højbjerg, that Thorup's team doubled their advantage, Fischer controlling superbly inside a crowded penalty area before poking instinctively past Marko Dmitrović. The Ajax midfielder was denied by Serbia's No1 ten minutes later, before Busk had to be equally alert to keep out Jojić once more.