Surely galvanised by out-of-bounds captain, Christian Eriksen's recovery from that life-threatening collapse, Denmark on Saturday became the first team to book their place in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Euro 2020. A brace from Kasper Dolberg, and one strike each from Joakim Maehle and Martin Braithwaite completed the rout of Gareth Bale's Wales in their round of 16 match in front of a vociferous Amsterdam crowd.
Kasper Hjulmand's side, in the process, also became the first team to score four or more goals in consecutive matches in the European Championship history. Denmark defeated Russia 4-1 in their final Group B match, a win which helped them finish second behind Belgium.
Denmark, who won the European Championships in 1992, will now play the winners of the Netherlanss vs Czech Republic clash for a place in the semi-finals.
Wales were looking to replicate their Euro 2016 exploits. They started the match at Johan Cruyff Arena on a confident note with Bale getting a couple of chances inside the first 13 minutes. But a fine finish from Dolberg, who spent three years at the hallowed ground as an Ajax player, in the 27th minute swung the momentum in favour of the Danes. A defensive error soon after the restart allowed the 23-year-old Nice forward to double the lead.
Dolberg, 23, became the youngest player to score for Denmark in the knockout stages of the European Championships. He is also the second Denmark player to score two goals in a knockout game at a major tournament after Henrik Larsen, against the Netherlands at Euro 1992.
It was followed by a third, this time from tireless Joakim Maehle, in the 88th minute. But it was not over. A couple of minutes later, Wales Harry Wilson was shown a straight red card by the German referee Daniel Siebert for a lunging tackle on Maehle. Wales thus became the first team to receive two red cards in a single edition of the European Championship since Russia and Switzerland in 2004. In their final Group A match against Italy, Ethan Ampadu was sent off.
Martin Braithwaite, who should have killed the contest earlier, found the back of the net from close range to make it 4-0. The Barcelona forward was however made to wait as the VAR check the assistant referee's offside flag. The victory helped Denmark win each of their last four competitive meetings with Wales, in a run stretching back to June 1999.
It was also Denmark's first consecutive wins within a single major tournament (World Cup or Euros) for the first time since the 1986 World Cup.