Wednesday, October 20

‘It’s hard to believe this is reality’: Denmark and Dolberg in the land of dreams | Denmark


As the sound of jubilant songs from Denmark fans faded into the night, two Kaspers continued to give quick interviews side by side on Wales’ 4-0 crush at the Johan Cruyff Arena.

They were Hjulmand, the classy coach, and Schmeichel, the warrior-goalkeeper. However, the victory in Amsterdam was also the story of a third Kasper: Dolberg, whose performance of two goals of his life capped a masterful display by the team that showed how pace, cohesion, strategy and momentum are enhancing the spirit. fueled by the desire to claim Euro 2020 for the recovered Christian Eriksen.

Because, make no mistake: Denmark is a real team. After enduring 20 minutes of attack from Robert Page’s side, they were only allowed a glimpse of Schmeichel’s goal when they brought the match to Wales and scored four brilliant goals.

It was all done without the injured Yussuf Poulsen, who had scored twice in the group stage when Denmark overcame after losing their first two games. However, at Dolberg, Mikkel Damsgaard and Martin Braithwaite, Hjulmand deployed a forward unit that was fluid and fast. Braithwaite will be studied by analysts-boffins of Denmark’s next opponent, who wins the meeting between the Czech Republic and the Netherlands on Sunday night, to see how the Barcelona man’s fondness for breaking through and pushing past defenders to through her fast-paced pair of heels. it can be stopped.

However, Dolberg was the A-lister. A 23-year-old whose career began with a single season at Silkeborg IF, then three at Ajax, before moving to Nice in the summer of 2019, had a modest record in international colors before Saturday night. Going into the knockout round, Dolberg scored seven goals in 27 appearances and had yet to start the tournament, being limited to one appearance as a substitute.

Yet against Wales he was a powerhouse, combining waves of buccaneers with silky firings, a cute butt heel near the post that came close to fooling Wales’ keeper Danny Ward. More materially: Dolberg had a murderous touch. His first hit was a purely hit parable that came from outside Ward’s left post on the way inside. Arriving at 26 minutes, he was also sweetly timed to halt what had until now been a wave of Welsh pressure. His second, within minutes of the second half, broke the hearts and minds of the Red Dragon Nation, killing the contest.

“We have a star forward in Kasper,” Hjulmand said of a player who is finding form at precisely the right time. It’s also worth noting that Simon Kjær was more than happy to mix it up with Wales’s Kieffer Moore, a center forward built like a second row for the British Lions, but found the Denmark captain setting a tone that told the rest of his team. bottom line that no one should break. U.S.

The Danes can come out in the next round. But if they do, whoever defeats them will have to win. And the bigger picture is how, after Eriksen’s cardiac arrest, Hjulmand’s men have shown unimaginable courage to be where they are now. It is comforting and comforting to be a witness.

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As Hjulmand put it: “It’s hard to believe this is reality. I am very grateful for all the Danes who came here. [to Amsterdam]. I appreciate the support we continue to receive. It’s crazy. I admire the boys, I admire that we can keep fighting. When Christian collapsed that’s where everything changed, at least for me. Suddenly we were put in a totally different situation. We needed love and support and that is what gave us wings. I admire the boys, they are warriors ”.

The victory over Wales came 29 years after Denmark’s “beach boys” left their holidays to replace Yugoslavia at Euro 92 and become continental champions. That triumph is still a true fairy tale. There is surely absolutely no chance that Hjulmand’s 2021 vintage will repeat the feat. Is there?


www.theguardian.com

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