Denmark settle for uninspiring stalemate with Serbia to secure qualification

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Denmark settle for uninspiring stalemate with Serbia to secure qualification

Andersen and Mitrovic square up
Andersen and Mitrovic square upProfimedia
Denmark settled for a goalless draw against Serbia, as they qualified for the Round of 16 of the UEFA European Championships in uninspiring fashion.

With so much on the line for both teams, the opening exchanges were unsurprisingly cagey. It took until the 16th minute for either side to fashion a shooting opportunity, when Joakim Mæhle’s whipped cross to the back post was headed wide by Alexander Bah for the Danes, who reached the semi-finals three years ago.

Christian Eriksen, who became his country’s most-capped player of all time on the night, then had a long-range effort superbly tipped around the post, as the 1996 winners looked to turn up the heat.

Match stats
Match statsStatsperform

Dragan Stojković’s side eventually managed to stem the tide, but they were struggling for chances of their own. Indeed, they registered just one shot before the break, a missed header from Aleksandar Mitrović, whereas Rasmus Højlund was thwarted by goalkeeper Predrag Rajković and Jonas Wind blazed high and wide from a good central position at the other end.

The Eagles did have the ball in the back of the net shortly after HT, although it was ruled out for an offside against Luka Jović.

From then on, Kasper Hjulmand’s side looked the more likely to break the deadlock, but Andreas Christensen and Morten Hjulmand’s finishing proved wayward, while Jannik Vestergaard sent a towering header from a corner straight at the goalkeeper.

Eriksen reacts during the game
Eriksen reacts during the gameProfimedia

With time wearing on, Serbia - who have never qualified for the knock-out stages of a major tournament - tried to turn up the heat, knowing only a win would be good enough to give them a chance of progressing.

A slew of attacking players were slung onto the pitch, but they lacked the creativity and imagination to break down a resilient opposing defence. Mitrović did bend an effort wide when unmarked inside the area but the final ball was lacking - a theme for the Serbians throughout their tournament.

Ultimately, the Eagles did not land a shot on target until Sergej Milinković-Savić was denied by Kasper Schmeichel in injury time, and they finish bottom of the group with two points, whereas Denmark will progress as runners-up after drawing each of their three games.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Christian Eriksen (Denmark)

See a summary of the match

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