Denmark set up a last-16 draw with Wales in the European Championship after an emphatic and emotional victory over Russia on a hectic night in Copenhagen.
The Danes embraced full-time just nine days after teammate Christian Eriksen collapsed on the same field in their tournament opener against Finland.
Eriksen has since been released from hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest, but the toll of an emotional last week was evident on the Danish players after the final whistle.
And throughout the match there were outbursts of roars, frenzied celebrations and passion from supporters in Copenhagen.
Knowing they had to win and hoping that Belgium beat Finland, the hosts didn’t hold back and Mikkel Damsgaard set the stage ablaze with a superb long distance opener.
Chelsea’s Andreas Christensens also struck late in a stunning attack as news of Belgium’s lead over Finland seeped into the stadium. Yussuf Poulsen had given Denmark a 2-0 lead on a poor back pass from Roman Zobnin, before Artem Dzyuba got one back for Russia from the penalty spot.
But Denmark confirmed their progression in second when Christensen and Joakim Maehle made it 4-1 in an unbridled three minutes. The result left Russia, who started the evening in second place, at the bottom of the table and out of the tournament.
Emotion, passion and delirium The Parken Stadium was electric for kick-off as fans sang a passionate anthem, but it was nothing compared to the scenes at full-time.
Players and staff huddled in the middle of the pitch waiting for confirmation of Belgium’s victory over Finland and there was an all-powerful cheer as the result was announced.
Denmark needed a win and they delivered it for the fans – Damsgaard started the game with a magical moment, becoming the country’s youngest goalscorer (20 years, 335 days) at a major tournament in the process.
Poulsen was drenched in beer tossed into the air by supporters as he scored Denmark’s second and although Dzyuba’s dot caused a moment of terror, it didn’t last long.
Denmark bombed the Russian goal – keeper Matvey Safonov made some stunning saves – before Christensen’s booming attack erupted the stadium again.
Maehle’s composed finish topped it off and now Denmark heads into the last 16 confidently, while Wales awaits in Amsterdam on Saturday, June 26.