Denmark ‘thinking of Christian Eriksen every day’ as Euro 2020 run continues

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Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand feels his players are carrying Christian Eriksen with them all the way to Wembley after booking a place in the semi-finals of Euro 2020.

Thomas Delaney and Kasper Dolberg struck before half-time as the Danes beat the Czech Republic 2-1 in their quarter-final in Baku.

Czech frontman Patrik Schick reduced the deficit with his fifth goal of the tournament in the 49th minute, but it was Denmark who held out to reach the final four.

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Hjulmand’s squad have have grown in stature during the tournament after their horrific start when Christian Eriksen collapsed with a cardiac arrest in their opening defeat to Finland in Copenhagen.

The Denmark coach feels the Inter Milan midfielder, who is continuing to recover following hospital treatment, will be very much in their thoughts as they dream of emulating the 1992 European Championship-winning squad.

“I definitely feel it,” Hjulmand said when asked in his post-match press conference if he was aware of the support Denmark were receiving.

“I think the whole world of football understood that second and the days after the fundamental things in life and in football, the fundamental values of football came through right at that moment.

Kasper Dolberg celebrates making it 2-0
Kasper Dolberg celebrates making it 2-0 (Dan Mullan/AP)

“There are so many other agendas in football, but we all remembered why we started to play football, what values football is based on and we had a reminder of this.”

Hjulmand added: “I am still thinking of Christian every single day. He should have been here.

“We are happy that he survived, we carry him all the way to this match and all the way to Wembley. I think about him all of the time.

“We all understood maybe that the values of football came through – and maybe we are a symbol of it. I could not be more happy than that.

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“The team showed it without being told, ‘this is the way you should act’.

“It was just unbelievable to see this team how the reaction was, how much compassion and love they gave each other, but also the Danish population.

“We are just happy and proud we can maybe just remind ourselves why we love football and what football can do in the world.”

Hjulmand praised the way his side held out during the second half, when the Czechs produced a much-improved display.

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“We had started the game off very well and did what we worked on,” he said. “The second half started a little bit more difficult because they had invested more in the game.

“It was a tough game just as we expected. We had some chances to make it 3-1, but did not succeed.

“We had some games we have won pretty comfortably, but this is also a way of winning football.

“I am very proud to be at the semi-finals of the Euros with this great team.”

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The Czechs had progressed from England’s group as one of the best third-placed teams and then pulled off a shock victory against 10-man Holland in the last 16.

However, following their slow start in Baku, Jaroslav Silhavy’s men had just given themselves too much to do as they bowed out of Euro 2020.

“We are disappointed, there were some tears,” Silhavy said.

“It was not easy, but we managed something which we can be proud of. We fought to the very end, wanted to equalise, but did not make it.

“You could see how exhausted the boys were and we can all be proud of them.”

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