EURO 2020: Dolberg brace powers Denmark past Wales into quarters

A double for Kasper Dolberg and goals from Joakim Maehle and Martin Braithwaite guided Denmark to a dominant 4-0 win over Wales in the EURO 2020 round of 16 on Saturday.

Denmark players celebrate one of the four goals they scored against Wales during a EURO 2020 game in Amsterdam on Saturday.   -  Getty Images

Forward Kasper Dolberg struck in each half while Joakim Maehle and Martin Braithwaite also got in on the act late on as Denmark overpowered Wales 4-0 to reach the quarterfinals of Euro 2020 on Saturday.

Dolberg, making his first start of the tournament, gave his side the lead with a fine individual goal in the 27th minute, curling into the top corner from outside the area.

He doubled Denmark's advantage in Amsterdam early in the second half, ruthlessly pouncing on a loose ball after Wales failed to clear a cross following a galloping run down the right wing from Dolberg's strike partner Martin Braithwaite.

Braithwaite missed a glaring opportunity to add to Denmark's lead but Maehle sealed the win in the 88th minute. Wales' frustrations spilled over when Harry Wilson was sent off for a wild tackle on Maehle in added time.

Braithwaite finally got the goal he had craved by netting at the death, though he had to wait for the goal to be awarded following a lengthy VAR review. Denmark heads to Baku next Saturday to face either the Netherlands or Czech Republic in the last eight while Wales, which reached the semifinals at Euro 2016, is heading home.

MATCH BLOG | EURO 2020 highlights: Denmark beats Wales 4-0 to enter last-eight

Denmark, which has captured the imagination of neutrals since its player Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest earlier in the tournament, was playing away from Copenhagen for the first time but still counted on loud support.

Thousands of Danes descended on the Dutch capital and outnumbered their Welsh counterparts at the Johan Cruyff Arena while the team continued to pay tribute to Eriksen, who has since left hospital, at kickoff.

Kasper Hjulmand's side was without its injured striker Yussuf Poulsen, who had scored in the 2-1 defeat to Belgium and thumping 4-1 victory over Russia which propelled it into the last 16.

Yet in a sign of the team's unity, the player joined his team on the pitch to sing the national anthem before kickoff, standing side-by-side with the substitutes and coaching staff. Dolberg more than compensated for Poulsen's absence, firing Denmark ahead after Wales had made the stronger start.

Wales had a flurry of early attacks and talisman Gareth Bale nearly gave it an early lead when he went for goal from range and narrowly missed the target. Dolberg had better fortune with his distance strike, which flew past the helpless Wales keeper Danny Ward and into the net.

Denmark hardly looked back from then on, dominating possession and chances as Wales failed to recreate the fighting spirit of its famous run in France five years ago.

- IMPORTANT STATS -

  • Denmark has won each of its last four competitive meetings with Wales in a run stretching back to June 1999, with today’s clash the first meeting between the sides in a major tournament.
  • Wales has lost consecutive major tournament matches for the first time in its history (World Cup/Euros).
  • Denmark has scored more goals from outside the box than any other side at EURO 2020 (3), while since 1980 only France (5 in 1984) and Belgium (4 in 2016) have scored more from distance in a single edition of the competition.
  • Wales is the first team to receive two red cards in a single edition of the European Championship since Russia and Switzerland in 2004.
  • Denmark is the first team to score 4+ goals in consecutive matches in European Championship history.
  • Since the start of 2019, only Christian Eriksen (11) has scored more goals in all competitions for Denmark than Kasper Dolberg (8).
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