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Half-time: Czech Republic 0-2 Denmark



Kasper Dolberg

Peep! A ridiculously open first 45 minutes ends with Denmark leading courtesy of goals scored at the beginning and end of the half. Thomas Delaney opened the scoring, heading home from an early corner. Kasper Dolberg doubled Denmark’s lead just before the break, sidefooting home a remarkable outside-of-the-boot cross from Joakim Maehle. The Czech Republic have had their chances but have posed few problems.

That cross from Joakim Maehle should be in a museum or art gallery. It was quite outstanding – just an insoucient swish with the outside of his right boot as he chased the ball down the flank with Coufal in hot pursuit. The Czech defender was probably waiting for him to stop and cut inside, but Maehle was having none of it. Braithewaite missed the header from six yards, but Dolberg was waiting behind him at the far post to volley home.

The ball’s played down the left flank for right-footed left wing-back Joakim Maehle to chase. Without pausing or breaking stride, he flicks an unbelievable cross into the penalty area with ther outside of his right foot, teeing up Dolberg at the far post. The striker makes no mistake, volleying home from seven or eight yards out. A wonderful, wonderful goal.

There’s a break in play as a couple of players get treated for knocks. Their teammates adjourn to the sideline for an impromptu drinks party. Celebrating his 21st birthday today, Damsgaard finds himself galloping down the inside-right and unleashes a low diagonal shot in the direction of the Czech goal. Vaclik saves comfortably.

Czech chance! Tomas Holes shoots straight at Schmeichel from the edge of the penalty area as the ball breaks his way. From deep, Damsgaard plays a ball through the centre along the floor to Dolberg outside the penalty area, who in turn plays it further forward for the chasing Stryger-Larsen. Czech goalkeeper Vaclik dashes off his line and just beats the Danish right wing-back to the ball.

The Czech Republic wins a free kick which is taken from deep and lofted towards the far post. Ondrej Celuska leaps to try and nod the ball goalwards but fails to make contact with it. Rather than the ball being too high for him it looked like he mistimed his jump … although he might have got a little shove from Jannik Vestergaard.

Martin Braithwaite canters forward down the right flank for Denmark ,cuts inside and shoots wide from a tight angle. It seems inconceivable that there won’t be more goals in this match at the moment. Schmeichel sends a poor clearance straight to the feet of Czech midfielder Lukas Masopust, who controls the ball, advances and cuts inside. He plays the ball into the path of Holes, who brings a smart save out of Schmeichel from a tight angle. Atonement.

An exciting second half awaits.



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