Denmark’s rousing Euro 2020 campaign continued as they beat the Czech Republic 2-1 on Saturday to reach the semi-finals thanks to first-half strikes from Thomas Delaney and Kasper Dolberg.
Patrik Schick responded for the Czechs early in the second half to score his fifth goal of the tournament and become the joint-top scorer with Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, Denmark stood firm to book their place in Wednesday’s semi-final at Wembley Stadium, where they will face either England or Ukraine who play later on Saturday.
“It’s hard to put into words,” said Denmark keeper Kasper Schmeichel.
“The Czech Republic is an insanely difficult team to play against. We played well in the first half, but the second was difficult. We can fight and fight, and we did. It was a great relief when the final whistle came.”
The Czechs had pulled off a shock in the last round by beating the Netherlands 2-0 but the determined Danes proved too strong, ending their hopes of reaching a first Euros semi-final since 2004 and a first final since 1996.
“It’s a big disappointment,” said goalscorer Schick.
“I think we did all we could. At the end we just didn’t have the strength to turn it around. It looked hopeful with a quick goal but unfortunately we didn’t have an answer at the end.”
The result was Denmark’s third straight win after hammering Russia 4-1 in their last group game and thrashing Wales 4-0 in the last 16, continuing their resurgence after losing their first games against Finland and Belgium.
It also avenged the Danes’ 3-0 defeat by the Czechs in the last eight of Euro 2004 and meant they reached the semi-finals for the fourth time, taking them closer yet to adding to their unlikely triumph at Euro ‘92.