Sports Desk, Jun 21 (EFE).- Mikkel Damsgaard, the youngster playing in lieu of stricken captain Christian Eriksen, opened the scoring for Denmark in Monday’s 4-1 rout of Russia in the decisive Euro 2020 Group B match in Copenhagen.
The margin of victory, combined with group winner Belgium’s 2-0 triumph over Finland, was enough to send Denmark through to the knockout stage as the second-place side thanks to a better goal difference than their fellow Nordics.
An outcome that seemed unlikely after the Danes took zero points from the first two games, starting with the June 12 opener against Finland that saw Eriksen stretchered off the field after suffering cardiac arrest and play suspended for nearly two hours until word came from the hospital that Denmark’s captain was awake and stable.
The 20-year-old Damsgaard, reported to be coveted by at least two Premier League clubs, put Denmark up 1-0 Monday with a tremendous strike in the 38th minute.
Yussuf Poulsen doubled the advantage just before the hour mark, exploiting a colossal blunder by Russia’s Roman Zobnin, who sent a back pass right into the Dane’s path.
Artem Dzyuba converted from the penalty spot in the 70th minute, but Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen restored the vital two-goal margin six minutes later and Joakim Maehle added a fourth goal in the 82nd.