Still riding a wave of emotion, Denmark won the European Championship again.
And they won a big one at a stadium that means a lot to them.
The Danes qualified for the quarterfinals of Euro 2020, beating Wales 4-0 on Saturday, receiving two goals from Casper Dolberg exactly two weeks after Christian Eriksen collapsed on the field during the team’s opening match. Eriksen had to be resuscitated with a defibrillator and spent several days in hospital before returning home last week.
Both Eriksen and Dolberg played for Ajax, the team that plays its home games at the Johan Cruyff Arena. A large crowd of 16,000 greeted the Danes.
“I feel like a home game,” Dolberg said. “This stadium, which is very special to me, is fantastic.”
Dolberg, who got his first start in the tournament from Danish coach Casper Hulmand, scored a goal in each half. Joakim Maehle scored the third goal in the 88th minute, and Martin Braithwaite added the fourth in an injury.
Dolberg took a pass from Mikel Damsgaard in the 27th minute and cut off the inside from the left before twisting his right leg into the far corner. He doubled the lead in the 48th minute when he scored with a low shot after Neko Williams’ attempt to clear straight to him.
Dolberg knows all about scoring in Amsterdam. He found the net 45 times in 119 games for Ajax from 2016-19, before signing for the French club Nice.
Saturday’s strikes led to 31 points and the remaining 29 came for Ajax.
Dolberg became the first Danish player to score at least twice in a major tournament match after Niklas Bendtner against Portugal at Euro 2012.
With increasingly ragged Wales, Maehle made it 3-0 with a powerful shot when he had the time and space to control the ball and beat Wales goalkeeper Danny Ward. Braithwaite’s goal was initially ruled offside, but allowed after a video review.
Harry Wilson was sent off in the 90th minute for a foul by Maehle.
The Danes will then play the Netherlands or the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals in Baku on Saturday.
Wales had an early chance to take the lead when captain Gareth Bale made a meandering shot in the 10th minute. He shot wide again two minutes later as he tried to overcome an international goal drought that has now reached 15 games.
Bale was one of Wales’ key players when the team reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016 in France.