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Denmark 0-0 Serbia: Christian Eriksen and Co advance to the last 16 – helping England win the group – as they prepare for their meeting with Euro 2024 hosts Germany after a draw nervous in Munich

  • Denmark lacked advantage but frustrated Serbia to reach last 16
  • Serbia pulled out all the stops with several attackers sent out to win the match
  • LISTEN to It’s All Kicking Off! on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. New episodes are broadcast every day during the Euro

In the end, Serbia, seeking history at a major tournament, pulled out all the stops. All the attackers of their artillery sent into battle, they left Munich without regret. When the final whistle blew, they narrowly fell short, but they did it with pride.

“Serbian fans should be proud of this team,” said coach Dragon Stojkovic, lamenting a lack of cutting edge in the final third which cost them a place in the round of 16.

“We fought until the last second and I thank the fans for brilliantly cheering us on in all three matches.”

There was a lot on the line for both teams heading into this Group C final match, but it was Serbia boss Stojkovic in particular who was keen to pull out all the stops.

Novak Djokovic, who suspended his preparations for a potential appearance at next week’s Wimbledon, was in attendance in Munich, while the Serbian water polo team was granted special dispensation to suspend their Olympic preparations to encourage the team against Denmark.

Denmark 0-0 Serbia: Christian Eriksen and Co advance to the last 16 – helping England win the group – as they prepare for their meeting with Euro 2024 hosts Germany after a draw nervous in Munich

Christian Eriksen was able to wipe his brow with relief as Denmark advanced to the round of 16.

Aleksandar Mitrovic and Serbia must have regretted missed opportunities as they lost

Aleksandar Mitrovic and Serbia must have regretted missed opportunities as they lost

It was a nervy affair in Group C in Munich, with both teams having the opportunity to progress.

It was a nervy affair in Group C in Munich, with both teams having the opportunity to progress.

Stojkovic’s men were also in white for the first time in this tournament and Serbian fans hoped it would be a good omen as they look to book their first appearance in the round of 16 at a major tournament since gaining independence in 2006 .

MATCH FACTS

Denmark XI: Schmeichel; Andersen, Christensen, Vestergaard; Bah (Delaney 77), Hojbjerg, Hjulmand (V Kristiansen 77), Maehle; Eriksen (Poulsen 88); Hojlund (Dolberg 59), Wind (Skov Olsen 46)

Unused subs: Hermansen (GK), Rønnow (GK), Kjær, Jensen, Jørgensen, Damsgaard, Nørgaard, Dreyer, R. Kristensen, Bruun Larsen

Reserve: Wind, Hjulmand

Director: Kasper Hjulmand

Serbia XI: Rajković; Veljkovic, Milenkovic, Pavlovic; Mijailovic (Mladenovic 73), Ilic (Vlahovic 67), Gudelj (Jovic 46), Zivkovic; Samardzic (Tadic 46), Lukic (S Milinkovic-Savic 87); Mitrovic

Unused submarines: D. Petrović (GK), V. Milinković-Savić (GK), Stojić, Maksimović, Babić, Ratkov, Gaćinović, Spajić, Birmančević

Reserve: Mitrovic

Director: Dragan Stojkovic

It was a chess match of a first half with a total of two shots on target between the two teams, although Denmark, led by Christian Eriksen on a night when he set a new national team record with his 133rd selection, shaded him.

Denmark appealed in vain for what they thought was the opening goal when a sliding Jonas Wind converted from close range.

But replays showed Eriksen’s corner going out of play before returning, as well as Wind struggling with goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic in a clear foul.

Take your pick of the transgressions as they were quickly noted.

In what was a must-win match, a 0.06xG for Serbia told the story of their first half. Toothless and devoid of ideas.

Dragovic reacted; there was no time to lose. They had to win.

Eight minutes after the restart, his double chance seemed to have found the magic touch.

Dragovic had to cut short his celebrations after Serbia saw their own goal scored when substitutes Luka Jovic and Dusan Tadic combined, only to be ruled offside. Tadic’s admonishments during a VAR check fell on deaf ears.

Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic would later find himself as attackers outnumbered everyone else in this Serbia team and Danish anxiety continued to build.

Vlahovic was busy when he came on and thought his selflessness 10 minutes from time had paid off when he teed up former Fulham striker Aleksander Mitrovic, only for the Serb to squirm disappointingly away.

Mitrovic’s frustration flared moments later when he clashed with Joachim Andersen, furious that he should have had a penalty for a slight tug on the jersey. Replays showed there was not enough penalty to earn a penalty. He was indicted for his remonstrations.

Serbia's greatest athlete of all time, Novak Djokovic (middle), has suspended Wimbledon preparations

Serbia’s greatest athlete of all time, Novak Djokovic (middle), has suspended Wimbledon preparations

The liveliest moment of the match came in the closing stages when an invader rushed onto the pitch in Munich.

The liveliest moment of the match came in the closing stages when an invader rushed onto the pitch in Munich.

“It was a tough and emotional fight, and we knew it would be long in advance,” Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand said.

“It would have been nice to score a goal, so we had a buffer and our hearts were in our throats. I think we should be happy to be done. The first goal was achieved.

As they now prepare to face Germany, he concluded: “There are so many things in this game that make me happy. There are one or two things we can change in attack, but I know we can do it.

“We have quality. We have so many players we can use there. We can create more situations in which we are dangerous.

On a night where the late burst of an invader onto the pitch was one of the most dramatic moments of the 90 minutes, Denmark left knowing they had to bring a lot no longer at the table when Germany is their enemy.

Denmark FootballSerbia Football

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