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  • Writer's pictureThe Season Ticket

Euro 2020 | Belgium beat Denmark 2-1 to reach last 16

Belgium have come from behind to beat Group B rivals Denmark 2-1 in Copenhagen to book their place in the last 16 of Euro 2020.

Yussuf Poulsen gave the Danes the lead inside two minutes, but Roberto Martinez' visitors sealed all three points with second half goals from Thorgan Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne.

Denmark, who paid tribute to Christian Eriksen before the game, made a dream start at Parken Stadium by scoring the fastest goal in European Championship history.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg intercepted Jason Denayer's awful pass and played Poulsen through on the edge of the box. The RB Leipzig attacker took one touch to settle himself before drilling the ball past Thibaut Courtois into the far bottom corner after just 99 seconds.

Denmark nearly doubled their lead in the fourth minute when Joakim Mæhle wove his way into the box, but Courtois eventually managed to smother the opportunity at the Genk star's feet.

The game was briefly paused for a pre-planned tribute to Eriksen in the 10th minute, with both teams joining the fans in applauding the Dane, who collapsed in Denmark's opening Group B match against Finland.

The Danes were on top for the opening quarter of an hour, with Poulsen looking threatening and Daniel Wass flashing a shot over the crossbar.

Belgium created little of their own, and Mikkel Damsgaard went close for Kasper Hjulmand's hosts in the 35th minute, dancing into the box and curling a low left-footed effort past the far post.

Denmark deservedly led 1-0 at the interval after dominating the opening 45 minutes in Copenhagen.

Martinez reacted by introducing the returning De Bruyne for Dries Mertens at half time.

Thomas Delaney dragged a shot from distance wide early in the second half before Hazard drew the Red Devils level in the 54th minute.

Romelu Lukaku pounced on a poor touch by Jannik Vestergaard on the halfway line and sprinted towards the Danish goal, skipping past Simon Kjaer's challenge in the process.

Lukaku pulled the ball back to De Bruyne, who showed wonderful composure and awareness to take a touch and roll the ball to the back post for Hazard to sweep into an empty net from six yards.

De Bruyne made it 2-1 in the 70th minute with an excellent drive to cap off a wonderful Belgian team move.

After good work in the right corner, Lukaku laid the ball off to Youri Tielemans, who found Hazard on the edge of the box. Hazard fed his older brother Eden, who rolled the ball first-time into De Bruyne's path on the left side of the 18-yard box.

The Manchester City playmaker produced a stunning left-footed drive with his first touch.

The ball flew past Kasper Schmeichel and into the back of the net to give the away side the lead.

Martin Braithwaite came agonisingly close to drawing Denmark level in the 87th minute, but the forward's header cannoned off the top of the crossbar.

Belgium are now guaranteed a place in the last 16 ahead of their final group game against Finland. A victory will secure top spot in the group.

Denmark can still progress to the knockout stages as the best of the third-place finishers if they overcome Russia in their final Group C match.

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