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.
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 at full-time.
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.
Emotion, passion and delirium
The Parken Stadium was electric before kick-off as fans sang a passionate national anthem, but it was nothing compared to the scenes at full-time.
Players and staff were huddled in the centre of the pitch waiting for confirmation of Belgium’s victory over Finland and there was an almighty roar when the result came through.
Denmark needed a victory and they delivered for the fans – Damsgaard kicking things off with a moment of magic, becoming the country’s youngest goalscorer (20 years, 335 days) at a major tournament in the process.
Poulsen was drenched in beer thrown into the air by supporters when he netted Denmark’s second and though Dzyuba’s spot-kick created a moment of anxiety, it did not last long.
Denmark bombarded the Russian goal – keeper Matvey Safonov making a number of stunning saves – before Christensen’s thumping strike erupted the stadium once more.
Maehle’s composed finish capped it off and now Denmark head into the last 16 full of confidence with Wales awaiting next on Saturday, 26 June in Amsterdam.
- 3DiveevBooked at 75mins
- 13KudryashovBooked at 28minsSubstituted forKaravaevat 67′minutes
- 2Figueira Fernandes
- 7OzdoevSubstituted forZhemaletdinovat 62′minutes
- 23KuzyaevSubstituted forMukhinat 67′minutes
- 15Al MiranchukSubstituted forSobolevat 61′minutes
- 18WassSubstituted forStryger Larsenat 60′minutes
- 8DelaneyBooked at 57minsSubstituted forJensenat 86′minutes
- 9BraithwaiteSubstituted forCorneliusat 85′minutes
- 14DamsgaardSubstituted forNørgaardat 72′minutes
- 20PoulsenSubstituted forDolbergat 60′minutes
- 11Skov Olsen
- 13M Jorgensen
- 17Stryger Larsen
- Clément Turpin
Match ends, Russia 1, Denmark 4.
Second Half ends, Russia 1, Denmark 4.
Corner, Denmark. Conceded by Georgi Dzhikiya.
Attempt blocked. Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Denmark) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Simon Kjaer.
Corner, Denmark. Conceded by Vyacheslav Karavaev.
Andreas Christensen (Denmark) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Alexander Sobolev (Russia).
Offside, Russia. Vyacheslav Karavaev tries a through ball, but Artem Dzyuba is caught offside.
Foul by Mathias Jensen (Denmark).
Aleksandr Golovin (Russia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Kasper Dolberg (Denmark) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Maksim Mukhin (Russia).
Kasper Dolberg (Denmark) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Aleksandr Golovin (Russia).
Substitution, Denmark. Mathias Jensen replaces Thomas Delaney.
Substitution, Denmark. Andreas Cornelius replaces Martin Braithwaite.
Corner, Denmark. Conceded by Igor Diveev.
Goal! Russia 1, Denmark 4. Joakim Maehle (Denmark) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg following a fast break.
Foul by Kasper Dolberg (Denmark).
Rifat Zhemaletdinov (Russia) wins a free kick on the left wing.