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De Bruyne leads Belgium to 2-1 comeback Euro 2020 win over Denmark
- Updated: June 18, 2021
COPENHAGEN: Kevin de Bruyne came off the bench to inspire Belgium to a 2-1 comeback win over Denmark on Thursday and a place in the Euro 2020 knockout stages on an emotional afternoon of tributes to Christian Eriksen.
Denmark got off to a dream start when Yussuf Poulsen put them ahead after 99 seconds as the team rode a wave of sentiment over playmaker Eriksen’s cardiac arrest in their first game.
The Danes dominated the first half but Belgium turned to a bench bursting with talent and De Bruyne, who came on right after the interval, laid on a sublime pass for Thorgan Hazard to level in the 54th minute after a galloping run by Romelu Lukaku.
De Bruyne completed the comeback by finishing off another classy move to thump the ball into the net in the 74th minute.
Denmark never gave up and had numerous attempts to equalise, striker Martin Braithwaite hitting the bar with a header and narrowly failing to connect with a cross.
Belgium lead Group B with six points and became the second side after Italy to clinch their place in the last 16. Denmark have yet to earn a point and will need to win their final game against Russia and hope it is enough to get them through.
Denmark keeper Kasper Schmeichel was hugely proud of his side’s performance, especially after the trauma of Eriksen’s collapse, and was in awe of the unified atmosphere made by the 25,000 fans present at Parken Stadium
“Everything that has been said about us is true. We fought to the last. We played a great game. It was not enough and we were not lucky. They put one of the world’s best players on the field (De Bruyne),” Schmeichel said.
“I’ve experienced a lot, but nothing beats this. It sounded like there were 75,000 fans. We would like to have rewarded them with a point or a victory.”