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The Danish players have dedicated their spectacular 4-1 win against Russia to Christian Eriksen. The midfielder is recovering at home after suffering a cardiac arrest in the opening game against Finland but was watching on TV as Denmark secured a place in the last 16 of Euro 2020 in front of a fanatical home crowd at Parken.
The midfielder Christian Nørgaard said: “There is no doubt that this win was for Christian. We have gone through so much in the time we have been together and it was no doubt in our mind that this was not going to be the final chapter. That it all culminated like it did was written in the stars. We go into the next game with a huge feeling that we can win it.”
The Barcelona forward Martin Braithwaite posted on Twitter: “What a night. This one is for you Christian Eriksen. Let’s go for more.”
Denmark now face Wales in the last 16 in Amsterdam on Saturday. Mikkel Damsgaard gave them the lead against Russia with a beautiful shot from outside the area, with Yussuf Poulsen, Andreas Christensen and Joakim Mæhle scoring after the break.
The coach, Kasper Hjulmand, could not stop smiling afterwards and said he and the team had been thinking about Eriksen “throughout this week”. He also praised the incredible support the team had got from the Danish fans in the stadium.
“The Danes have looked after us this last week,” he said. “They have given us wings. Without all of you this would not have been possible. I had really been hoping that we were going to get a magical night today. It would have been so incredibly unfair if we hadn’t got something after this game. And I have to say that these players have played their way straight into the hearts of the Danes.”
The Chelsea defender Christensen, who scored the third with a powerful long-range shot, said: “It is great to have reached the last 16. The only regret is that we won’t play that in Denmark. We are so grateful for the support we have had all week.”