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Instant Replay: Denmark Erupts As National Team Qualifies For Knockout Round At Euros

Players of Denmark celebrate in front of their fans following their side's victory in the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group B match between Russia and Denmark at Parken Stadium on June 21, 2021 in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo by Hannah McKay - Pool/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – What a difference nine days can make. Just nine games ago the heartbeat of the Danish national team, Christian Eriksen was fighting for his life after suffering cardiac arrest on the pitch against Finland. Nine days later the country is celebrating an unlikely trip to Wembley Stadium for a fixture against Wales in the Round of 16 of the European Championship.

Denmark hosted Russia in Copenhagen and needed to win while relying on a Belgium victory against Finland to advance to the knockout rounds.

20-year-old prodigy Mikkel Damsgaard scored the game’s opening goal, sending the stadium into a frenzy but Belgium and Finland were still goalless.

Then, roars around the stadium erupted as reports suggested Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku had put Belgium ahead. However, the goal was later ruled offside and a nervous silence suffocated the Danish faithful.

Within the space of a minute, Russia was awarded a penalty and converted cutting the Danish lead down to one while they still relied on a Belgium goal.

However, pandemonium ensued as Denmark scored two late goals, none better than when defender Andreas Christensen nearly put a hole in the back of the net after scoring a rocket from 25 yards out.

Belgium then scored via an own goal from Finland.

Denmark put the cherry on top with a fourth goal through Joakim Mæhle and Copenhagen had erupted.

The victory was filled with emotion. Christian Eriksen watched from the comfort of his home after being released from the hospital a few days earlier. The Danes won for Eriksen and relied on the fiery home crowd to will them over the line.

The game of soccer can be a heartbreaking rollercoaster of emotions, but on this occasion, the Denmark National Team proved just how exhilarating and rewarding the beautiful game can be.

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