Euro 2024

June 25, 2024

Denmark through to Euros last 16 with Serbia stalemate

Denmark through to Euros last 16 with Serbia stalemate

(From L) Serbia’s forward #10 Dusan Tadic, Denmark’s defender #05 Joakim Maehle, Denmark’s defender #02 Joachim Andersen, Denmark’s midfielder #23 Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Serbia’s forward #07 Dusan Vlahovic react at the end of the UEFA Euro 2024 Group C football match between Denmark and Serbia at the Munich Football Arena in Munich on June 25, 2024. (Photo by DAMIEN MEYER / AFP)

Denmark progressed to the knockout stages of Euro 2024 after a goalless draw with Serbia on Tuesday which allowed them to seal second spot in Group C, ahead of third-place Slovenia on disciplinary record.

The 0-0 stalemate finished with the same scoreline as England and Slovenia’s parallel group match, with England emerging group winners.

With Denmark and Slovenia both finishing on the same points total and goal tally, second place — and a meeting with hosts Germany — was decided on the basis of total yellow cards so far at the tournament.

It is Denmark who edged it and will face Germany in Dortmund, while England will return to Gelsenkirchen for a meeting with a third-placed side.

Slovenia will take on a group winner while Serbia were eliminated after finishing last.

Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand called the Danes “everyone’s team” and said “we have to be happy.

“We got through the group stage so let’s be very happy about this.”

Stojkovic said he was “proud” of Serbia’s efforts, adding “we played brave football, we tried our best and sometimes it’s not easy to score.

“If it was easy, games would finish 6-5 — one goal can change everything.”

Luka Jovic’s stoppage-time equaliser against Slovenia at this venue on Thursday had kept Serbian hopes alive of reaching the last-16 in their first Euros as an independent nation.

Having never beaten Denmark, Stojkovic backed his charges to “change history” against the 1992 European champions.

The Danes, semi-finalists at this competition in 2021, knew a draw would be enough to qualify but needed a win while hoping for an England loss to avoid meeting hosts Germany in the last 16.

Despite Stojkovic’s side needing a win to progress, the Danes were more willing to attack early, with the Serbs rarely venturing into Danish territory.

Denmark caught the Serbian defence napping early, Christian Eriksen’s free-kick finding Jonas Wind alone in the box, but the forward shot directly at goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic on the turn.

The Danes’ best phase came after 20 minutes, Eriksen forcing a fingertip save from Rajkovic and then pinning Serbia back with a series of corners.

Eriksen and Wind combined again from a corner to have the ball in the net on the 27-minute mark, but the midfielder’s direct cross had drifted out.

Jovic, brought from the bench at half-time, immediately posed questions of the Danish defence, pressuring Joachim Andersen into an own goal eight minutes in but the flag went up again for offside.

VAR confirmed Jovic, Serbia’s late hero against Slovenia, was inches offside.

Eriksen, Denmark’s most dangerous creative outlet, laid on an inch-perfect cross for Jannik Vestergaard after 65 minutes but the Leicester City defender’s header was gobbled up by a thankful Rajkovic.

Stojkovic went all out in the hope of a winner, bringing Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic on alongside forwards Jovic and Aleksandar Mitrovic, but the Serbs were unable to break through.

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