…as Belgium, Austria, Holland also progress
Denmark set up a last-16 tie with Wales in the European Championship after an emphatic and emotional victory over Russia on a frantic night in Copenhagen.
The Danes embraced each other at full-time, just nine days after team-mate Christian Eriksen collapsed on the same pitch in their tournament opener against Finland, reports the BBC.
After suffering cardiac arrest Eriksen has since been discharged from hospital but the toll of an emotional last week was clear to see in Denmark’s players upon the final whistle.
And throughout the match there were outbursts of roaring, delirious celebrations and passion from supporters in Copenhagen.
Knowing they needed to win and hoping Belgium beat Finland, the hosts did not hold back and Mikkel Damsgaard set the stage alight with an exquisite long-range opener.
Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen also thumped in a stunning strike late on as news of Belgium’s lead over Finland trickled into the stadium.
Yussuf Poulsen had put Denmark 2-0 up, pouncing on a poor backpass from Roman Zobnin, before Artem Dzyuba got one back for Russia from the penalty spot.
But Denmark confirmed their progression as runners-up when Christensen and Joakim Maehle made it 4-1 in a rampant three minutes.
The result left Russia, who started the night in second place, bottom of the table and out of the tournament.
And Belgium secured wins in all three group games at a European Championship for the first time with a battling victory that left Finland’s hopes of qualifying for the last 16 in the balance.
The world’s number-one ranked side dominated proceedings in St Petersburg but only led through a late own goal from Finland keeper Lukas Hradecky, before Romelu Lukaku drilled a second.
Finland slipped from second in Group B to third by virtue of Denmark’s 4-1 win over Russia in Copenhagen and they must now wait to see whether they qualify as one of the four best third-placed teams. The Danes go on to face Wales on Saturday in Amsterdam.
Meanwhile, Goals from Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum helped the Netherlands beat North Macedonia to make it three wins from three at Euro 2020.
Frank de Boer’s side had already secured top spot in Group C with a game to spare having beaten Ukraine and Austria.
And they produced another dominant performance in front of 12,000 fans at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam.
The Dutch opened the scoring with a devastating counter-attack, started by a Daley Blind tackle on the edge of his own box and finished by a first-time Memphis Depay strike from Donyell Malen’s cross.
Depay, playing his first game since his move to Barcelona was announced, now has nine goals and three assists in his past 10 games for the Netherlands.
Wijnaldum wrapped the game up in the second half with two goals in seven minutes, first tapping in from from Depay’s well-placed cross, before Macedonian goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski’s save from Depay fell nicely for another close-range finish from the Netherlands captain.
The Dutch will travel to Budapest for their last-16 tie, where they will face the third-placed finisher from Group D, E or F on 27 June.
In Group C, Austria reached the knockout stages of the European Championship for the first time as a deserved win over Ukraine secured a last-16 tie against Italy.
Franco Foda’s side produced a courageous display in Bucharest and Christoph Baumgartner’s close-range finish proved enough to earn a Wembley meeting with the Italians on Saturday.
Ukraine – third in Group C – must wait to see if their tally of three points proves enough to reach the knockout stages and in truth their timid display here could have been punished more heavily by Austria.
Finland 0 – 2 Belgium
Russia 1 – 4 Denmark
North Macedonia 0 – 3 Netherlands
Ukraine 0 – 1 Austria
Croatia v Scotland – 8pm
Czech Rep v England – 8pm