Denmark Put Four Past Wales To Reach Quarter Finals

The Welsh dream of progressing to the quarter finals of the European Championship came to its dramatic conclusion. Wales were clearly second best in the contest against Denmark, in which they were completely out-classed. After their 4-0 demolition of the Red Dragons, Denmark will face Czech Republic in the quarter finals.

First Half: Wales and Bale start strong

Denmark, who played all three of their group games at home in Copenhagen, faced a Wales side who had travelled to Baku and Rome in the group stage. This was essentially another home game for Denmark, who had thousands of fans in Amsterdam. Moreover, their support was at a high due to the game being held at the Johan Cruyff Arena, Eriksen’s former home. Despite this, it was Wales who began the game with more intent. Captain Gareth Bale, who began the game on the right, took the game to the Danish defense. Bale unleashed a thunderous strike from 20-yards out and this was a sign of the attacking intent from Page’s side. Robert Page evidently told his side to make their mark on the game early on. Daniel James, Gareth Bale and Kieffer Moore were impressive in the opening exchanges in Amsterdam.

However, against the run of play, Denmark took the lead through Kasper Dolberg. The 23-year-old, from the edge of the box, put Denmark ahead with a sensational strike. This goal changed the nature of the contest. The Red Dragons became much more passive, while Denmark took control of proceedings. Dolberg was a handful for the youthful Welsh backline and the forward was in the mood for more goals after his opener. Wales went in at the break devoid of ideas and in brink of complete and utter collapse.

Second half: Denmark capitalise on Wales mistakes

Wales’ journey came to an end when their second half game-plan was thrown away. Manager Robert Page would have been fully aware that his side could not make any more costly mistakes and give Denmark a 2-0 lead. But minutes after the second half began, Wales were 2-0 down. Although, Wales felt a foul should be given for Kjaer clattering into the back of Moore, their downfall was mainly their own doing. Defender Neco Williams failed to clear his lines and Dolberg added to his tally, leaving Wales with an uphill task from this point. Already lacking creativity, Wales now had to score twice to prevent themselves from exiting the competition.

Dolberg and Damsgaard combined effectively for Denmark and on a different day the pair could have made it an even more embarrassing score-line. Wales had decent spells in the second half, but there was no real belief that they would get back on level terms. The forward line consisting of Damsgaard, Dolberg and Braithwaite, who played a crucial role in the second goal, posed a constant threat on the break. With Denmark in supreme control, they got their third through Maehle. Maehle was in acres of space at the back post and calmly put his side 3-0 up. Things went from bad to worse in the late stages of this encounter, as substitute Harry Wilson got himself sent off. Although Wilson’s challenge was reckless, the decision was dubious. Barcelona attacker, Martin Braithwaite then got in on the act and Denmark hit four for the second game running.

What’s next for the sides?

Denmark have displayed great character in the tournament so far, especially after the tragic incident regarding Christian Eriksen. Their attention will now turn to their clash with Czech Republic next Saturday, as their fairytale journey continues. Wales on the other hand, will be proud of their performances which got them to the knockout stages, as many pundits didn’t believe that the Red Dragons could get out of Group A. However, the manner of defeat against a similar level of opposition will raise many questions. Due the stature of Gareth Bale, he will receive the majority of criticism. Wales’ all-time top scorer responded to critics by storming out of his post-match interview. Denmark will fancy their chances against Czech Republic and will remain optimistic in regards to the prospect of being semi-finalists.

Author: Rajan Sangha

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