UEFA Euro 2020, pre-quarters: Denmark annihilates Wales, Italy survives Austria test
The 2020 UEFA Euro began with its pre-quarters stage on Saturday night, as a couple of teams sealed their quarterfinals fate. Denmark and Italy were the teams to qualify, while Wales and Austria saw their stint end. Here is the round-up of it.
The UEFA Euro 2020 gets exciting hereon, as it has officially entered the knockouts stage. Saturday saw the beginning of the pre-quarters stage, with four teams dealing their fate in the tournament as we present the round-up.
Denmark shocks Wales to its core
In what turned out to be the tournament's biggest shock, Denmark ripped apart Wales 4-0 at the Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam. While the opening half was intense, Kasper Dolberg's strike put the Danish ahead in the 27th minute, with the side leading at half-time.
The second half saw Denmark get even dangerous as it stepped up its attacking approach. While Dolberg scored his brace just three minutes into the second half, it was in the closing stages when Joakim Mæhle tripled in the 88th minute, followed by the fourth from Martin Braithwaite in the 94th to complete the sheer annihilation and become the first team to seal the quarter berth. Furthermore, Harry Wilson's red card in the 90th minute somewhat led to the winning goal.
- Denmark has scored the most goals this edition from outside the box (3). Also, it is the third-best overall after France in 1984 (5) and Belgium in 2016 (4).
- Dolberg is the first Danish to score a brace in a Euro/World Cup/Nations League/Confederations Cup game since Nicklas Bendtner did in Euro 2012 against Portugal.
- Since 2004, Wales has become the first to receive a couple of red cards in a single edition after Russia and Switzerland.
- Denmark has become the first side to score four-plus goals in consecutive Euro matches.
Italy toils to get past Austria
Italy faced the first real test of the tournament when it was up against Austria at the Wembley Stadium in London. The opening half was highly competitive, with six promising chances being produced, but to no avail, as the deadlock remained in place at half-time. The following half was somewhat similar, with six more encouraging attempts, but the scoreline failed to separate the two as things moved into extra time.
Five minutes into the extra time, Italy secured the lead, thanks to Federico Chiesa's strike. Meanwhile, Matteo Pessina doubled it 11 minutes later in the first half of the extra time. The second half saw Sasa Kalajdzic pull one back for Austria, but the Italian defence was too strong to be breached again, as the latter edged past to qualify for the quarters.
- Marco Verratti has created the most chances for Italy this edition (9), one less than Daniel James of England (10).
- It was Italy's eighth extra time in Euro history, the most by any side.
- For the second time in Euro history, three goals were scored during the extra time after France vs Portugal (1984).
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