Denmark fought off the Czech Republic’s challenge in their UEFA Euro 2020 quarter-final fixture last night. First-half goals from Thomas Delaney and Kasper Dolberg proved decisive as the Czechs could only pull one back through Patrick Schik’s second-half strike.
The Czechs were wasteful in the first half and conceded just five minutes into the game from Delaney’s header following a corner. The Danes would continue to create several chances and doubled their lead just before half-time, with their Round of 16 fixture hero Dolberg finding the back of the net.
The performances of the Czech players improved significantly in the second half. They pulled one back almost immediately after the break, with their top scorer Schik beating Kasper Schmeichel from close range.
Both goalkeepers made decisive saves in the second half and ensured no more goals were scored in the game after Schik’s early strike. The Czech Republic’s hopes of a comeback were dented when Schik, now tied with Cristiano Ronaldo at the top of the goalscoring charts with five goals, was injured in the 79th minute.
As Denmark’s fairytale at Euro 2020 continues with a spot in the semi-finals, here we take a look at the five talking points from the game.
#5 Denmark emerge as the surprise package in EURO 2020
Denmark have gone through a lot at Euro 2020 since Christian Eriksen’s traumatic departure during the opening fixture of the competition. They lost 1-0 to Finland in that game before suffering a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Belgium in their second. But it was Denmark’s determination and smart play that helped them make it all the way to the semi-finals.
11 – Only Spain (12) have scored more goals than Denmark at #EURO2020, with this now the Danes' best return in a single edition at a European Championship/World Cup. Legs. #CZEDEN https://t.co/MlpQpdidZL— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 3, 2021
Against the Czech Republic, Denmark showed their desire and hunger to search for more goals despite taking an early lead. It is their positive approach that makes them a very dangerous opponent to go up against.
Denmark, who have a balanced squad at the moment with quality players at both ends of the pitch, have what it takes to make it all the way to the final.
#4 Czech Republic only have themselves to blame for the narrow loss
The Czech Republic had a terrible first half and found themselves one goal down within five minutes. They failed to defend a corner and gave Thomas Delaney enough time and space to head home the opening goal of the game. Before Delaney’s goal, they had conceded just twice in the tournament. So conceding a goal so early in their quarter-final fixture and that too from a preventable set-piece was quite surprising.
They also struggled to create chances in the final third, with most of their attacks being cut-off in the middle of the pitch by the Danish players. Schick only had one clear chance before the break.
The Czech Republic were pretty much flawless against the Netherlands in the Round 16. But they failed to build on that performance last night and were let down by their own lethargy in the first half. Despite a good second-half performance, the Czechs could not overturn a two-goal deficit.