Dolberg brace help Denmark thrash Wales by four goals, Italy squeeze into the Quarters in extra-time



Goals from Kasper Dolberg, Joakim Mæhle and Martin Braithwaite propelled a commanding Denmark side into the EURO 2020 quarter-finals.

Heavily involved in the early exchanges, Gareth Bale threatened during a positive start by Wales. The captain drilled wide twice in the space of a couple of minutes, before a clutch of white shirts rebuffed a close-range Aaron Ramsey volley.

However, the turning point came when Dolberg converted the Danes' first real chance before the half-hour, latching onto Mikkel Damsgaard’s defence-splitting ball to curl exquisitely inside Danny Ward’s left upright.

To nullify Welsh danger men Ramsey and Bale, Kasper Hjulmand’s side switched to a back four and consolidated their foothold in this last-16 tie.

As half-time loomed, Joakim Mæhle’s snapshot was repelled by Ward, but De Rød-Hvide were in control regardless – getting in behind and setting the tempo.

Dolberg duly pounced again shortly after the restart: Neco Williams’s panicked clearance fell kindly for the striker to take a touch and drive home his second of the evening in Amsterdam.

Wales continued to probe, but the Welsh counterattack proved no match for the unwavering Danish defensive block. To cap a super display, Mæhle cut inside and shot high into the net for Denmark's third, before Martin Braithwaite thumped home the stoppage-time fourth. Co-hosts Denmark, beaten in their first two games of this EURO, are the first team into the quarter-finals.

Next fixture-

Denmark – vs Netherlands/Czech Republic in Baku, Saturday 3 July


Italy progressed to the quarter-finals at the expense of a brave Austria side thanks to extra-time goals by substitutes Federico Chiesa and Matteo Pessina at Wembley Stadium.

Italy, aiming for a national-record 31 games unbeaten, started the brighter with the impressive Leonardo Spinazzola setting up the first presentable chance for Nicolò Barella, whose drive was kept out by Daniel Bachmann's outstretched boot. Marko Arnautović fired over as Austria offered a counter attacking threat but the Azzurri went closest before the interval when Ciro Immobile's long-range rocket clattered the post.

Roberto Mancini's side were less fluent in the second half and could have fallen behind twice, first when Marcel Sabitzer's effort deflected just wide and then when Arnautović's fine header was ruled out for offside.

The Azzurri made the most of that let-off, albeit in extra time, when Chiesa prodded Spinazzola's cross back past Konrad Laimer and rifled his finish across Bachmann. Fellow replacement Pessina then pounced following a goalmouth scramble to rifle in the second and that proved decisive after Austrian sub Sasa Kalajdzic's clever header from a corner set up a tense finale.

Next fixture-

Italy vs Belgium/Portugal in Munich, Friday 2 July

Sandipan Roy

Sandipan Roy

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