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Dolberg and Delaney send Denmark past Czechs and into semi-finals | Euro 2020

It is just not the way you begin, it’s the way you end. At least it’s for Denmark, whose match started traumatically however who are actually pursuing a contented ending with a talent and resolve that will simply take all of them the best way. They will definitely be fierce adversaries in Wednesday’s semi-final.

The Czech Republic, however, go dwelling lamenting the truth that their second-half enchancment on this quarter-final was not sufficient to offset a wayward first half. Thomas Delaney scored after 5 minutes and Kasper Dolberg struck simply earlier than the interval, giving Denmark a lead that proved to be insurmountable.

Each crew had spoken within the buildup of utilizing the instance of previous feats to drive them on to new exploits. For the Czechs that meant attempting at the very least to emulate their compatriots who reached the semi-finals of Euro 2004 – thanks, because it occurred, to a quarter-final victory over Denmark – whereas the Danes took inspiration not simply from the recovering Christian Eriksen but in addition from their nation’s class of 92, sensational conquerors of the continent.

The Denmark supervisor, Kasper Hjulmand, was a budding participant again then and has informed of how he turned down tickets to attend the Euro 92 last in order that he may get pleasure from a romantic weekend away together with his then girlfriend. It will need to have gone nicely, since practically 30 years later they’re nonetheless collectively. Now Hjulmand hoped to e-book a date with England or Ukraine for an opportunity to achieve the second main last in his nation’s historical past.

Hjulmand mentioned he would somewhat have confronted the Netherlands than the Czech Republic within the quarter-final as a result of Jaroslav Silhavy’s facet had been the primary opponents within the match whom he thought may match Denmark’s depth. He will need to have been pleased to be proved flawed about that as early because the fifth minute, when Delaney put Denmark in entrance in a really surprising means.

Patrik Schick, centre, gave the Czech Republic hope early within the second half. Photograph: Dan Mullan/AP

Set items are alleged to be a particuar power of the Czechs however their feeble defending at a nook enabled Denmark to take the lead. Delaney was left alone close to the penalty spot to information a downward header into the online following Jens Stryger Larsen’s outswinging supply. For a crew that had solely conceded two objectives within the match previous to that, it was an enraging solution to fall behind.

It was 11 minute earlier than the Czechs threatened on the different finish, with their prime scorer, Patrik Schick, jinking in from the correct to dispatch a shot that was deflected large. Immediately after that the Czechs had been opened up once more with alarming ease, as Mikkel Damsgaard ran on to an extended ball from the again and flipped it previous the advancing goalkeeper, however not with sufficient to energy to stop the backtracking Vladimir Coufal from clearing. The Czechs had been unusually sluggish and Delaney may have punished them once more when he ran unnoticed into the field to fulfill a cross from the correct in seventeenth minute. But the midfielder scuffed his shot large.

Slowly the Czechs improved nevertheless it took a misplaced clearance by Kasper Schmeichel to present them their subsequent likelihood, and the keeper made amends by blocking Tomas Holes’ shot. Two minutes later Tomas Soucek headed large from a nook, one in all a number of that the Czech Republic pressured within the first half. Denmark defended most of them nicely, and regarded for alternatives to counterattack. Jan Boril gave them one within the thirty eighth minute when he misplaced the ball in midfield however the break ended with Tomas Vaclik batting away Damsgaard’s shot from 15 yards.

Vaclik was helpless a couple of minutes later when Joakim Mæhle provided a luxurious cross from the left with the surface of his proper foot. Dolberg arrived at velocity to use the end that the such high-class service deserved, steering a sidefooted volley into the online from six yards.

Quick Guide

Rainbow flag ‘eliminated by safety’ in Baku


Stadium safety in Baku appeared to confiscate a rainbow flag from two Denmark followers at their Euro 2020 last-eight assembly with the Czech Republic. The flag was seen within the Danish fan part throughout warm-ups earlier than two safety personnel moved in [pictured] and reportedly took maintain of the flag. 

Uefa mentioned on Friday that promoting boards from sponsors utilizing a rainbow motif wouldn’t be proven on the quarter-final matches in Baku and St Petersburg. The governing physique mentioned it “requires its sponsors to ensure that their artwork is compliant with local legislation.” 

Uefa additionally denied a request from Munich authorities to gentle up the Allianz Arena in rainbow colors earlier than Germany’s Group F sport in opposition to Hungary, claiming the gesture was political and “a message aiming at a decision taken by the Hungarian national parliament”.

Photograph: Darko Vojinović/Pool AP

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The Czechs needed to provide you with a brand new plan at half-time. And boy, did they achieve this. Michael Krmencik, one in all two substitutions launched for the beginning of the second half as Silhavy shifted to a 4-4-2, fired off a shot inside seconds of his introduction after which helped to create an opportunity for Antonin Barak, whose shot from 18 yards drew a sensible save from Schmeichel. The Czechs attacked with extra vigour and fluency and shortly they halved Denmark’s lead. Their aim got here from a cross from the correct by Coufal and was completed with typical experience by Schick, who guided the ball first time previous Schmeichel from 12 yards.

That drew the striker degree with Cristiano Ronaldo on this match’s scoring charts and introduced the Czechs proper again right into a contest that had gave the impression to be passing them by. Suddenly Denmark wanted to rethink.

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Hjulmand made a double change of his personal earlier than the hour to stem the ominous movement. The new duo, Yussuf Poulsen and Christian Nørgaard, reinvigorated the Danish assault. Vaclik twice stopped Poulsen from making it 3-1.

The tempo dropped as tiredness took its toll on each groups in the direction of the tip. Czech comeback hopes sagged when Schick went off clutching his hamstring. Mæhle remained as perky as ever and would have wrapped up victory within the 82nd minute if not for one more save by Vaclik. No matter, Denmark by no means actually regarded like letting their lead slip.

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