Monday, May 27, 2024

Euro 2021: Denmark, Switzerland, Austria advances to last 16

Denmark's Joakim Maehle celebrates scoring their fourth goal with Thomas Delaney and Christian Norgaard

COPENHAGEN, June 22: Denmark pulled off an emphatic 4-1 win over Russia on Monday at the Parken Stadium to qualify for the knockout stages of Euro 2021 as Group B rivals Finland lost to Belgium.

The Belgians swept to victory in the group, winning all three games, with Denmark taking second place on three points and Finland behind them on goal difference.
Mikkel Damsgaard fired the Danes in front with a stunning curling shot in the 38th minute, and Yussuf Poulsen pounced on a poor back pass from Roman Zobnin to score the second in the 59th.
Artyom Dzyuba pulled one back from the penalty spot for Russia in the 70th minute but a thunderous strike from Andreas Christensen and a fourth from Joakim Maehle completed the rout. Denmark will meet Wales in the last 16 in Amsterdam on June 26.
Switzerland advanced to the last 16 of the European Championship on Monday without kicking a ball, as the results from matches in other groups worked to their benefit.
They will next play either Group B winners Belgium, or the winners of Groups E or F, which will be decided on Wednesday.
The Swiss squad missed the unfolding drama, however, as their plane suffered a technical fault and delayed their trip back to their base in Italy by some three hours.
Switzerland’s progress comes a day after they beat Turkey 3-1 in Baku in their last Group A match but finished third behind Italy, who won all three of their games, and Wales on four points, who pipped the Swiss – also on four points – on goal difference.
In order to secure a knockout round berth, the Swiss needed to be one of the four best third-placed finishers at the end of Euro 2021’s group phase, but their fate was unclear after their victory on Sunday.
Monday’s conclusion to Groups B and C, however, saw the teams finishing third in both groups complete their programme with only three points – thereby guaranteeing that the Swiss remain in the tournament.
In Group B, Finland finished third with three points while in Group C Ukraine did the same. Both sides lost in their respective games on Monday, and now it is they who must wait to see whether they continue at Euro 2021.
The Swiss had planned to keep a close eye on Monday’s games but a technical fault delayed their departure from Baku, the Swiss football federation said on Monday. They only arrived back at their Rome base after the games had ended.
Monday’s results also meant that England, France, Sweden and the Czech Republic are guaranteed to go through to the knockout stages regardless of the results in their final group games on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Christoph Baumgartner’s first-half goal sent Austria through to the last 16 of Euro 2020 on Monday after a 1-0 win over Ukraine that left their opponents facing an anxious wait to see if they qualify. Hoffenheim midfielder Baumgartner turned in David Alaba’s corner on 21 minutes in Bucharest as Austria pipped Ukraine to second place in Group C behind the Netherlands. Austria will play Italy at Wembley on June 26 after advancing from the group stage at a major tournament for the first time since the 1982 World Cup.
Ukraine, eliminated in the group stage at the past two European Championships, must wait to find out if they advance as one of four best third-placed teams.
Andriy Shevchenko had ruled out his Ukraine team playing for the draw they needed to finish as runners-up, having snapped a run of six straight losses at the competition with their 2-1 win over North Macedonia.
Austria coach Franco Foda recalled Marko Arnautovic after the forward missed the 2-0 defeat by the Netherlands while serving a one-match ban for insulting a North Macedonia player in their opening game.
Needing victory to be assured of a place in the next round, Austria went ahead as Baumgartner beat 18-year-old defender Illia Zabarnyi to Alaba’s corner and poked beyond Georgiy Bushchan.
Ukraine came close to an equaliser when Mykola Shaparenko drew a good low save from Daniel Bachmann, the rebound just eluding a lunging Andriy Yarmolenko, who had scored in the first two group games.
Baumgartner’s evening ended prematurely due to injury and his replacement Alessandro Schopf soon set up Arnautovic, the former Stoke man dribbling wide moments after Konrad Laimer’s curling effort was punched away by Bushchan.

Austria nearly handed Ukraine a way back into the match when Stefan Lainer headed Viktor Tsygankov’s free-kick towards his own goal, but Bachmann reacted well to preserve the victory and a spot in the knockout phase. (Reuters/AFP)