The Danes, for whom the European Championship started in shock with the collapse of Christian Eriksen after a cardiac arrest against Finland, will now face England in the semi-finals at London’s Wembley Stadium on Wednesday (9 p.m., live on ORF1).
The Danish team boss Kasper Hjulmand left his starting line-up unchanged from the 4-0 win in the round of 16 against Wales. Double goalscorer Dolberg was allowed to play again, Yussuf Poulsen, who had returned after his injury, first had to take a seat on the bench. Hjulmand’s opposite Jaroslav Silhavy replaced left-back Pavel Kaderabek with the recently suspended Jan Boril compared to the 2-0 surprise win against the Netherlands.
Photo gallery with 12 pictures
Delaney provides early Danish leadership
Even the first dangerous action put the Danes in the lead. After a Jens Stryger Larsen corner, Delaney headed unhindered in the penalty area and gave Czech goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik no chance. The flaw in the goal was that the corner decision by Dutch referee Björn Kuipers was incorrect, as the Czechs should have taken a goal kick. In such a case, however, no correction by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) is possible.
Delaney puts Danes in the lead (5th minute)
Thomas Delaney comes after an unjustly given corner to the header and gives Denmark the 1-0.
At the first chance for the Czechs, a Schlenzer from Schick was blocked by the defense (12th). The Danes launched a counterattack after the next corner kick, which didn’t bring any results, but Mikkel Damsgaard missed the chance to make it 2-0 – as did Delaney a short time later, whose shot missed the target after Stryger Larsen presented the goal (17th).
A mistake by Kasper Schmeichel almost led to an equalization. A tee shot by the Danish keeper landed at Lukas Masopust, who played ideally for Tomas Holes. Schmeichel was able to parry the conclusion and iron out his blunder (22nd). The Czechs then kept the match open, but for the time being there were no more than half chances on both sides.
Dream door brand “Danish Dynamite”
Shortly before the break, a dream goal brand “Danish Dynamite” caused renewed cheers among the Danish fans. Joakim Maehle hit a perfect cross into the box from his outside instep. Martin Braithwaite just missed the ball with his head, but Dolberg, who was lurking behind, made it 2-0 (42nd) with a volley. For the striker, who was only substituted once in the group stage, it was already the third goal of this European Championship.
Czech Republic shortened after conversion
In view of the deficit, Silhavy brought two new players with the break: Jakub Jankto came for Holes, Michael Krmencik for Masopust. The resulting more offensive game system immediately brought the hoped-for success: as soon as Krmencik forced Schmeichel to parry on the field, Schick scored the next goal a little later. The striker used a cross from Vladimir Coufal volley (49th) and drew level with the leading Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo with his fifth goal in the tournament.
Schick succeeds in the next goal (49th minute)
Patrick Schick brings the Czechs back to 1: 2. The striker scores his fifth goal at the European Championships and is level with Cristiano Ronaldo in the scorers list.
Denmark’s coach Hjulmand also switched, Dolberg was replaced by Poulsen, Damsgaard by Christian Nörgaard. Immediately after his substitution, Poulsen caused a goal threat, but was prevented from shooting at the last moment (62nd).
The Czechs then had to carry out an involuntary exchange. Jakub Brabec replaced the ailing central defender Ondrej Celustka. Tomas Soucek was hit in the head by Poulsen’s foot, but was able to continue playing “Turban” with me. On the other side, the completely exhausted Stryger Lasen was replaced by Daniel Wass.
Czechs miss compensation, Danes decision
Probably the best chance to make it 2-2 was missed by Jankto, who unexpectedly came to the ball in a good position after a failed defense, but did not hit it properly (73rd). Schmeichel was there for a free kick from Antonin Barak (74th). Vaclik had previously defused a Poulsen shot. The goalkeeper saved the Czechs a little later with a brilliant save from 1: 3 – in a well-presented attempt by Poulsen (78th). Immediately afterwards, the game for Schick was over, Matej Vydra was substituted on for the striker with a wounded thigh.
In the finish, the Danes were closer to their third goal than the Czechs to equalize. Vaclik saved for example at the Maehle header after Poulsen (82nd). Barak had the last chance to make it 2-2 and thus an extension in stoppage time, but his shot from the edge of the penalty area went far past (96th). Denmark also managed to retaliate late for the 3-0 defeat against the Czech Republic in the 2004 European Championship quarter-finals.
Voices for the game:
Kasper Hjulmand (Team Principal Denmark): “It’s magical. The first thing I showed the guys when we met was a picture of Wembley when we were there that fall. I said we will be back. It wasn’t nice today, but there was a fight and a fantastic goalie. The batteries were almost empty, but reaching a European Championship semi-final is huge. It felt like we were going to play in a Danish stadium again thanks to the support of our fans. That is one of the reasons why we have so much energy. “
Jaroslav Silhavy (Team boss Czech Republic): “We were 2-0 down after the first half and had to make something out of it, so we came on another striker and played 4-4-2. We put the Danes under pressure and scored a goal. But over time we didn’t have enough strength to equalize. The players deserve a big thank you for the entire tournament. I’m proud of them and I think the fans appreciate the way my players fought until the end of the game. “
European Football Championship, quarter-finals
Czech Republic – Denmark 1: 2 (0: 2)
Baku, Olympic Stadium, 16,306 spectators, SR Kuipers (NED)
0:1 Delaney (5.)
0:2 Dolberg (42.)
1:2 Schick (49.)
Czech Republic: Vaclik – Coufal, Celustka (64./Brabec), Kalas, Boril – Holes (46./Jankto), Soucek – Masopust (46./Krmencik), Barak, Sevcik (79./Darida) – Schick (79./Vydra )
Denmark: Schmeichel – Christensen (81./Andersen), Kjaer, Vestergaard – Stryger Larssen (71./Wass), Hojbjerg, Delaney (81./Jensen), Maehle – Braithwaite, Dolberg (59./Poulsen), Damsgaard (60./ Nörgaard)
Yellow cards: Krmencik, Kalas
The best: Soucek, Barak or Maehle, Christensen