Belgium v Denmark was the first fixture in todays Electrocity Fifa 20 European Championship 2020 and what a game it was.
Many expected Denmark to be fragile after their last manager was sacked for abandoning his country 70 minutes in Denmarks first game against Finland (They lost 4 – 0 ). However new manager Decky Rafter has seemed to galvanize the whole squad as they put it up to Belgium , the highest ranked team in world football.
Dries Mertens had a few chances to put Belgium ahead early on, but Schmeichel proved up to the task. It took a powerful shot from outside of the box by Belgium captain Eden Hazard to get it passed the great Dane on the 21st minute. Inter Milan midfielder Christian Erikkson not to be outdone attempted a powerful shot of his own, only for Courtois to be up to the challenge.
After some Hazardous defending, which allowed Lukaku to dance all the way to the six yard box, Belgium scored again. It was a Hazard on the score sheet again but this time his brother Thorgan. Lukaku, De Bruyne, Mertens and both Hazards, continued to mount the pressure in the first half and were unlucky not to take the lead to three.
Decky Rafter cut a frustrated figure going down the tunnels at half time, but did have a wry smile upon the games resumption. Denmark seemed confident they could make a comeback, and the comeback was certainly on after Courtois made a disastrous mistake. Perhaps not realizing the speed of the highly touted Kasper Dolberg, Courtois under hit the ball which Dolberg pounced on and before you know it, Wham , Bam, Thank you Man, it 2 – 1.
Belgium technical ability looked like it could prove too much for Denmark eventually. De bruyne crashed the ball against the post and a Lukaku effort was miraculously saved by Schmeichel, but it was only a matter of time before they scored again. Mertens had another effort crash off the post, but this time using his striker instinct Lukaku was there to gobble up the rebound and give some breathing room to the Belgians with an half an hour remaining.
After giving out about Erikkson’s lack of contribution to the game, the commentator was made eat his words. Lurking inconspicuously around the penalty sport, he waited for his chance. The superb footwork by Wass left the whole Belgium defence reeling, before picking out the pass to Erikkson that allowed his compatriot a shot at an open goal. Ten minutes to go, and the game was there for the taking.
The game ebb’d and flowed between the two sides before that man again Christian Erikkson scored what can only be described as an early contender for Goal of the Tournament. A wonderful surging run from the middle of the park by Poulson, who layed the ball off to Erikkson, one touch to control, the second touch to set the ball soaring like an eagle straight passed a fully stretched Courtois. The Danish fans went wild, what a comeback …..or so they thought.
The Belgians looked furious, their manager Billy Hayes barking at them to push up the field. Three minutes off added time seemed to solidify the steel in this Belgian team, who were relentless in their pursuit for three points. Lukaku with the through ball to Mertens, who completely left Christensen for dead before catching a high speed Witsel bursting into the box. With a single strike of the ball the Danish felt hopeless. All that effort ultimately for nothing.
Belgium and Finland have no cemented themselves in the next round, while Denmark and Russia both stand with a minus five goal difference on zero points. A high scoring win for either side may result in being in the top four of all third place teams. Still all to play for in Group B