Denmark top Group A to seal final four spot after victory over Serbia
Group A, U21 European Championships, Generali Arena – Denmark 2 (Falk 21, Fischer 47) Serbia 0
Denmark topped Group A to seal their place in the U21 European Championship’s semi-final for the first time in their history with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Serbia.
Germany were held to a 1-1 draw with hosts Czech Republic on the night, allowing Jess Thorup’s side to take top spot in the group.
Denmark had suffered a crushing 3-0 defeat at the hands of Germany just three days previously but they showed no signs of a hangover with a convincing display, cruising to victory over a poor Serbian side.
After a rather slow start, Denmark burst into life after 21 minutes when Rasmus Falk side-footed a fantastic cross from Riza Durmisi.
The lead was doubled two minutes after the restart when Viktor Fischer slotted the ball into the bottom corner after taking down Pierre Hojbjerg’s excellent free-kick delivery.
Denmark had a number of chances to extend their lead in the second-half, most notably through Nicolaj Thomsen who saw his shot well saved by the feet of Marko Dmitrovic on 73 minutes.
Serbia came closest to scoring in the first-half when Milos Jojic was denied by a wonderful one-handed save from Jakob Busk.
But in truth, Serbia flattered to deceive and were deservedly sent home packing, finishing bottom of the group.
17’ - WIDE! Jojic's powerful shot is deflected just wide of the goal as Denmark's defence nervously hold on.
21’ - GOAL! Denmark 1-0 Serbia: Denmark had been under pressure in recent moments but that goal changes everything. Durmisi - from full-back - showed great desire to get into an advanced position and deliver a deadly cross which Falk side-footed into the net.
29’ - SAVE! Jojic draws a top quality one-handed stop from Denmark's goalkeeper Busk with a powerful effort aimed at the top corner. That was Serbia's best chance.
41’ - WIDE! Durmisi - who made the first goal - almost doubles Denmark's advantage with a curled effort from a free-kick. The shot just crept wide of the goal, however.
45’ - CHANCE! The Serbian defenders stand off Falk, allowing the Danish forward to turn and shoot and his effort has Dmitrovic scrambling across the goal but fortunately for Serbia the ball goes just wide.
47’ - GOAL! Denmark 2-0 Serbia: Fischer slides the ball into the bottom corner after bringing down Hojbjerg's terrific free-kick delivery. Poor defending from Serbia. That should be the match sealed.
54’ - CHANCE! The ball is fired through to the back post where Serbia captain Petkovic collects and, with plenty of time, the full-back screws his shot well wide of the goal.
55’ - SAVE! Fischer's well struck effort forces Dmitrovic into a strong save after Poulson saw his shot blocked. Serbia are just holding on.
73’ - SAVE! Denmark produce a wonderful team move - passing around the Serbia players as if they weren't there - with Thomsen played through one-on-one with the goalkeeper who makes a good stop to deny the Danes a third goal.
Serbia U21 have conceded more goals (five) than any other team at the U21 European Championship.
Denmark progressed to the semi-finals of the U21 European Championship for the first time.
Can Denmark go all the way? They have now reached the semi-final for the first time in their history, beating Germany to the top spot in Group A. In Jannik Vestergaard, they have one of Europe’s brightest young defenders, Pierre Hojbjerg is a constant threat in midfield and Yussuf Poulson looks dangerous up front. Jess Thorup’s side certainly shouldn’t be written off.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Jannik Vestergaard (Denmark) – The Danish defender is a leader at the back for his team. He organised his team-mates, looking cool and composed throughout the match. Denmark – and Werder Bremen - have a real star in the making.
Denmark: Busk 6, Durmisi 8, Vestergaard 9, A. Christensen 7, Scholz 6, Jonsson 6, Hojbjerg 8, Thomsen 7, Fischer 7, Falk 8, Poulsen 7. Subs: Norgaard 6, Bech 6, V. Christensen 6.