Denmark captain Christian Eriksen collapsed in the team’s first game against Finland, and it deflated a country and its chances of advancing at Euro 2020 were unlikely to happen.
Fast-forward to Monday, Denmark finally had a reason to celebrate for the first time in the tournament. Both Andreas Christensen and Joakim Maehle scored goals for Denmark in a dominating 4-1 victory over Russia and they advanced to the round of 16.
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Denmark finished second in Group B. Belgium came in first after its 2-0 win over Finland.
“It’s a relief and a redemption,” Maehle said after the win.
Eriksen — who wears No. 10 for the national team — suffered cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated with a defibrillator. He was released from the hospital on Friday.
Yussuf Poulsen made it 2-0 Denmark in the 59th after Roman Zobnin tried to play a backpass to his goalkeeper but instead gave the ball straight to Denmark forward, who could put it into an empty net.
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That gave Denmark a big lead but Artem Dzyuba got Russia back in the match when he made it 2-1 from the penalty spot.
However, Christensen netted from outside the area in the 79th and Maehle finished off a quick counter in the 82nd to put the game beyond doubt.
After his goal, Maehle went to a TV camera to make a “10” gesture with his fingers — Eriksen’s number for the national team.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.