Kasper Dolberg inspires ruthless Denmark to hammer Wales on way to quarters
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AMSTERDAM – Forward Kasper Dolberg struck in each half while Joakim Maehle and Martin Braithwaite also got in on the act late on as Denmark overpowered Wales 4-0 to reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 on Saturday.
Dolberg, making his first start of the tournament, gave his side the lead with a fine individual goal in the 27th minute, curling into the top corner from outside the area.
He doubled Denmark's advantage in Amsterdam early in the second half, ruthlessly pouncing on a loose ball after Wales failed to clear a cross following a galloping run down the right wing from Dolberg's strike partner Martin Braithwaite.
Braithwaite missed a glaring opportunity to add to Denmark's lead but Maehle sealed the win in the 88th minute.
Wales' frustrations spilled over when Harry Wilson was sent off for a wild tackle on Maehle in added time.
Braithwaite finally got the goal he had craved by netting at the death, though he had to wait for the goal to be awarded following a lengthy VAR review.
Denmark head to Baku next Saturday to face either the Netherlands or Czech Republic in the last eight while Wales, who reached the semi-finals at Euro 2016, are heading home.
Denmark, who have captured the imagination of neutrals since their player Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest earlier in the tournament, were playing away from Copenhagen for the first time but still counted on loud support.
Thousands of Danes descended on the Dutch capital and outnumbered their Welsh counterparts at the Johan Cruyff Arena while the team continued to pay tribute to Eriksen, who has since left hospital, at kickoff.
Kasper Hjulmand's side were without their injured striker Yussuf Poulsen, who had scored in the 2-1 defeat to Belgium and thumping 4-1 victory over Russia which propelled them into the last 16.
Yet in a sign of the team's unity, the player joined his team on the pitch to sing the national anthem before kickoff, standing side-by-side with the substitutes and coaching staff.
Dolberg more than compensated for Poulsen's absence, firing Denmark ahead after Wales had made the stronger start.
Wales had a flurry of early attacks and talisman Gareth Bale nearly gave them an early lead when he went for goal from range and narrowly missed the target.
Dolberg had better fortune with his distance strike, which flew past the helpless Wales keeper Danny Ward and into the net.
Denmark hardly looked back from then on, dominating possession and chances as Wales failed to recreate the fighting spirit of their famous run in France five years ago.