The spirit of the European Championship in Sweden 1992 was installed in the 2021 Denmark team, a surprising semifinalist after eliminating the Czech Republic after winning 1-2 and reaching an unprecedented round in the Scandinavian team for almost thirty years.
Denmark ended the Czech Republic’s dream and fueled their own in the quarter-final upset game. Orphaned of emotions for decades, the prize of the semifinals went to the team that began the tournament with a hint of tragedy and that continued from success to success until reaching a round surely unimaginable for many.
He suffered to get it. The Czech Republic sold their defeat dearly with an unexpected reaction when it seemed over. The 0-2 of the first half did not kneel a group of players who got up when they seemed down to enlarge the tie of the surprise teams.
As in the 1992 and 1996 Euro Cups, few expected the competition of both teams in the final rounds. In Sweden 1992, Richard Moller Nielsen’s Denmark proved that it was possible to win something big despite having everything against it. Qualified on the rebound for the final phase after the expulsion of Yugoslavia and after summoning players who were on vacation, he took the cat to the water.
In England 1996, it was the Czech Republic that was about to give the bell after standing in the final. He lost to Oliver Bierhoff’s famous golden goal, but they touched on a glory. The rear-view mirror of the story heralded a nostalgic duel bathed in the present. The winner would once again stir the emotions of two countries that have walked through the desert for too many years.
Denmark was in charge of striking first. Very early, at five minutes, he took the lead with a header from Thomas Delaney just off a corner. Only among the Czech towers, he found a gift that he did not waste.
His goal strengthened the Danish idea, which jumped onto the pitch with the same team that swept Wales 0-4 despite recovering Yussuf Poulsen and Daniel Weiss. Coach Kasper Hjulmand decided not to touch what worked and Denmark maintained the level despite the resistance of their rivals.
Compact, serious in defense and, above all, very quick on the counterattack, they emerged as the owners of the game. The great Danish players of the European Championship carburated like a charm. The consistency of Simon Kjaer, the imagination of Mikkel Damsgaard, the insistence of Joakim Maehle and the wisdom of Kasper Dolberg, cemented a serious team to approach the semifinals.
Damsgaard, on two occasions, and Delaney, were able to make the second before the break, but it was Dolberg, at the end of the first 45 minutes, who left the game very on track with a volley after an assist from Maehle with the outside of his foot. right. The Atalanta side, with his spectacular pass, again shouted for a hole in the Italian team’s eleven.
Up front, with Patrik Schick missing, the Czech side could only intimidate Kasper Schmeichel with a volley from Petr Sevcik and a shot from Tomás Holes. The Leverkusen forward did not have any presence in the opening act, but in the resumption, with a single touch, he equaled Cristiano Ronaldo with five goals in the Eurocup and put his team in the match.
The Czech Republic stormed out of the locker room, for the comeback. He had no time to lose and after two minutes Schick spiced up the duel after finishing off a cross from Vladimir Coufal from the right wing. Jaroslav Silhavy’s men came across an opportunity, but were unable to seize it.
Denmark did not relax, held their rival well, suffered the odd scare and worried with Poulsen at the head. In the end, the Czech Republic could not change fate. It was written that Hjulmand’s team, like the Denmark of 1992, would start with a start, in his case Eriksen’s faint, and end up dreaming of a title that almost three decades ago they won by surprise.