‘Bitter’ Defeat Ends Denmark’s Dream After Emotional Euro 2020 Ride

‘Bitter’ Defeat Ends Denmark’s Dream After Emotional Euro 2020 Ride 2
A Danish soccer fan sits at Kildeparken in Aalborg after Denmark was defeated by 2-1 within the UEFA Euro 2020 semi-final soccer match between England and Denmark on late July 7, 2021. (Photo by Henning Bagger / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP) / Denmark OUT

 

 

Denmark’s run to the Euro 2020 semi-finals was much more of a fairytale for the nation of 5 million individuals after their near-tragic begin to the match.

On the opening weekend of the Euro, Christian Eriksen, his nation’s star participant for the perfect a part of a decade, collapsed on the sector in opposition to Finland after struggling a cardiac arrest.

As his teammates fashioned a protecting circle across the Inter Milan midfielder to protect him from the cameras, captain Simon Kjaer and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel consoled his sobbing companion on the facet of the pitch.

Thanks to the speedy medical response, Eriksen was resuscitated after one defibrillation and in a position to depart hospital much less simply six days later.

Three-and-a-half weeks on from the incident, Denmark have been nonetheless in rivalry to repeat their shock success at Euro 92, which they gained having initially didn’t qualify because of Yugoslavia’s expulsion.

In the top, lightning didn’t strike twice. England, roared on by a 65,000 crowd at Wembley, booked their place within the ultimate of a European Championship for the primary time with a controversial 2-1 win after further time.

The successful purpose happened after a doubtful penalty was awarded for Joakim Maehle’s problem on Raheem Sterling.

 

‘Bitter’ Defeat Ends Denmark’s Dream After Emotional Euro 2020 Ride 3
Denmark’s gamers react to their defeat within the UEFA EURO 2020 semi-final soccer match between England and Denmark at Wembley Stadium in London on July 7, 2021. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths / POOL / AFP)

 

Schmeichel — a hero on and off the sector for Denmark — saved Harry Kane’s spot-kick, however the England captain swept residence the rebound to spark jubilant scenes of celebration.

“One thing is to lose a game, but losing this way is a disappointment because these guys have fought a lot,” mentioned Danish coach Kasper Hjulmand. “It’s a bitter way to leave a tournament.”

– Physical and psychological toll –
In time, Denmark will replicate on a emotional rollercoaster with nothing however delight for a squad who performed loads of slick soccer to go along with their dedication, braveness and struggle.

Russia and Wales have been swept apart in four-goal thrashings earlier than seeing off the Czech Republic within the quarter-finals.

But that 9,000 kilometre (5,592 mile) round-trip to Azerbaijan and the bodily and psychological toll of the previous month lastly caught up with Hjulmand’s males.

After Mikkel Damsgaard’s beautiful free-kick put them 1-0 up at Wembley, Kjaer’s personal purpose left them struggled to withstand wave upon wave of English assault.

“I can’t describe with words how much I admire the technical staff behind these players. They have been through so much. Two of them saved the life of one of our best players,” mentioned Hjulmand, reflecting on his facet’s journey.

“We have been preventing like loopy, we performed good soccer and I’m grateful for the complete nation. We wanted the help, the empathy, after what occurred with Christian.

 

‘Bitter’ Defeat Ends Denmark’s Dream After Emotional Euro 2020 Ride 4
Denmark’s goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel reacts on the finish of the UEFA EURO 2020 semi-final soccer match between England and Denmark at Wembley Stadium in London on July 7, 2021. (Photo by Andy Rain / POOL / AFP)

 

“We’ve been receiving a lot of love and support, it was amazing to feel. Unfortunately we didn’t get to the final but our future is full of hope and belief. These guys are outstanding and a whole nation can be proud.”

Amid complaints concerning the controversial penalty name from Dutch referee Danny Makkelie and a format that has seen England profit from residence benefit for six of their seven video games, there was immense delight in Denmark on Thursday.

“The national team lost the match but won the whole kingdom,” mentioned the Politiken newspaper.

Denmark’s proficient era will fancy their probabilities of one other future with the World Cup in Qatar simply 16 months away.

But after seeing pre-tournament favourites France in addition to Belgium, Portugal, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands bow out, their probability to emulate the heroes of Euro 92 might have gone.

“It’s been emotional for the entire team,” mentioned Barcelona ahead Martin Braithwaite. “It’s amazing to be Danish and be part of this. We wanted to be in that final so this is a great disappointment.”

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‘Bitter’ Defeat Ends Denmark’s Dream After Emotional Euro 2020 Ride

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