COPENHAGEN (AP) — Denmark finally has a reason to celebrate at the European Championship.
Andreas Christensen and Joakim Maehle scored late goals to give Denmark a 4-1 victory over Russia on Monday and a spot in the round of 16.
Denmark finished second in Group B after Belgium beat Finland 2-0 in St. Petersburg.
After Christian Eriksen’s collapse in the first game and two subsequent losses, Denmark players celebrated in front of their raucous and jubilant supporters at Parken Stadium after the third and final home game of the tournament.
And given all the team’s earlier misfortune, perhaps it was fitting that they were helped by a massive gift this time. Yussuf Poulsen made it 2-0 in the 59th after Roman Zobnin tried to play a backpass to his goalkeeper but instead gave the ball straight to the Denmark forward, who could put it into an empty net.
That gave Denmark a big lead but Artem Dzyuba got Russia back in the match when he made it 2-1 from the penalty spot.
However, Christensen netted from outside the area in the 79th and Maehle finished off a quick counter in the 82nd to put the game beyond doubt.
Maehle went straight to a TV camera to make a “10” gesture with his fingers — Eriksen's number for the national team.
Mikkel Damsgaard put Denmark ahead in the first half with a looping shot from outside the area.
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Mattias Karén, The Associated Press