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Denmark rout Wales to reach quarterfinals at Euro 2020

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AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, June 26, (AP): Kasper Dolberg scored two goals to give Denmark a 4-0 victory over Wales and a spot in the European Championship quarterfinals. Denmark have ridden a wave of emotion through the tournament since playmaker Christian Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest in the team’s opening group match and had to be resuscitated with a defibrillator. Dolberg is former Ajax striker and the match was played at the club’s home stadium in Amsterdam. Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand gave Dolberg his first start of the tournament and he scored a goal in each half. Joakim Maele scored the third goal in the 88th minute and Martin Braithwaite added the fourth in injury time. The Danes will play either the Netherlands or the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals in Baku on Saturday.

Denmark’s Christian Norgaard, (right), tackles Wales’ Kieffer Moore during the Euro 2020 soccer championship round of 16 match between Wales and Denmark at the Johan Cruyff ArenA in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (AP)

Cristiano Ronaldo certainly attracts most of the attention, just not all of the attention. Ronaldo is on the verge of becoming the all-time leading scoring in international soccer. He can set that record on Sunday when Portugal face Belgium in the round at 16 of the European Championship. Belgium coach Roberto Martinez wants to make sure his players won’t only be looking at Ronaldo, though. “When you put a plan against a player specifically, you could be hurt by other players,” Martinez said. “Of course, Cristiano Ronaldo seems to be the player that gets the right moment, that right pass and the right chance and you have to be always aware, but you have to defend the 10 players of Portugal in the same measure.”

Martinez said Portugal has “an incredible accumulation” of good players in its squad to support Ronaldo, from Bernardo Silva to Diogo Jota to Bruno Fernandes to Renato Sanches to João Moutinho. “You know why this team has been successful, you know why this team has won the Euros and the Nations League,” Martinez said. “It’s because they’ve got an incredible mentality and they know how to play big games.” Ronaldo is the tournament’s leading scorer with five goals after three matches. He is one goal from breaking the overall men’s scoring record in international soccer. The 36-year-old Juventus striker is level with former Iran striker Ali Daei at 109 goals. “We all know he’s one of the best footballers in the world,” Martinez said.

“Every player adapts when you get a little bit older, you become a little more clinical with what you do. I think Cristiano Ronaldo knows how to use the space, he penetrates from different areas, he’s got an incredible aerial threat.” But Belgium also have their threats, from Kevin De Bruyne to Eden Hazard to Romelu Lukaku, who has three goals entering the knockout stages. De Bruyne and Hazard, along with Axel Witsel, are back after gradually returning to the team during the group matches. They had not been completely available during Belgium’s preparations because of injuries. Portugal coach Fernando Santos said he also isn’t preparing a plan to contain specific Belgium players. “We can’t give their team space. We can’t let them think without being disrupted by us,” Santos said Saturday. “They have been playing together for a long time.” The Red Devils, ranked No. 1 in the world, have won 13 straight games, including their three group games at Euro 2020 and all 10 qualifiers for the tournament.

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