Denmark 2-0 Wales: Eriksen strikes twice to hand Wales a reality check in Aarhus

Goals: Eriksen (32′, 63′)

Ryan Giggs suffered his first competitive defeat as Wales boss in Aarhus on Sunday evening.

Wales were sent crashing back down to earth by Denmark following that sensational win against Republic of Ireland on Thursday.

Christian Eriksen’s double either side of half-time provided Ryan Giggs with his first reality check as Wales boss on a disappointing evening against a Denmark side who had the worst possible preparation for this game.

The defeat leaves Wales second in their Nations League group on head-to-head record. Denmark top the group despite having played a game less.

Match Report

Wales started the brighter of the two sides, looking the most likely to open the scoring.

And they almost did when a deflected shot allowed Connor Roberts to chase a loose ball, but Kasper Schmeichel got lucky, leaving a leg and managing to block the loose ball.

Wales also came close when Joe Allen played a neat ball across the box, but Tom Lawrence couldn’t connect in the middle and the score remained goalless.

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Denmark started to find their rhythm towards the 20-minute mark and they almost found the opening goal when Thomas Delaney caught a volley almost perfectly – the effort whistled wide.

Wales responded to the warning shot with another chance. Just six minutes later, Aaron Ramsey played Gareth Bale into space and the Real Madrid star flashed a powerful effort across the goal, and indeed the far post.

A good chance for Wales and one they would be made to rue when Denmark took the lead on the 32nd minute.

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Christian Eriksen was left free on the edge of the box and after he was picked out by Dalsgaard, he made no mistake, hitting a sweet half-volley in off the post.

A goal from nowhere with Wales largely dominating the first-half, but it could have been two minutes later when Pione Sisto took aim with a half-volley of his own.

The first-time strike was inch-perfect, but Wayne Hennessey flew across the goal and denied the Celta winger with a superb one-handed save, keeping Wales in the game going into the break.

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Wales begun the second half with a little more purpose in their play, but again, Denmark actually looked the more likely.

Martin Braithwaite coming close in the first 15 minutes after wriggling free in the Wales box.

The next incident in the Wales box proved to be crucial. Substitute Viktor Fischer delivered a cross and young Ethan Ampadu blocked the ball with his arm.

The teen was just a matter of yards away, claiming he couldn’t move in time, but his outstretched arm was enough to convince referee Deniz Aytekin. Penalty.

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Christian Eriksen stepped up and sent Hennessey the wrong way, stroking the ball home just right of centre, high into the net.

A huge sucker blow for Wales, who will feel they didn’t do an awful lot wrong at the back, but still, they found themselves two down.

Cracks began to appear at the back when Wales conceded the second, a question of Giggs’ men feeling a little sorry for themselves, perhaps.

They did continue to search for a route back into the game with Ryan Giggs throwing on young forward Tyler Roberts for midfielder Ethan Ampadu.

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However, with Bale appearing ineffective in the number nine role, Wales just didn’t pack a punch, and Denmark continued to have the best of the chances.

Martin Brathwaite should have made it three with just over 10 minutes left. His snapshot from inside the box rolled the wrong side of the post, but he should have hit the target with Hennessey stranded.

Bale did manage to force Kasper Schmeichel into one second-half save with the help of a deflection, but as Wales kept an eye on going forward, Denmark knew they would have more opportunities.

Thomas Delaney was again left in disbelief that he hadn’t scored late on following another powerful effort, this time thwarted by a very good Hennessey save.

Hennessey was again in action moments later, denying Eriksen a hat-trick, tipping over the Spurs midfielder’s well-struck free-kick.

And that was that. A 2-0 defeat for Wales and a lifeline for Denmark in what has been a chaotic week for the national football team.

Final Word

This was some comedown after that memorable night at the Cardiff City Stadium on Thursday night. A poor spectacle and a disappointing performance.

The balance was all wrong with the front three changed – David Brooks starting from the bench – and an altered formation.

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Wales did okay for the most part, but not much better. There was a lack of creativity going forward and on the evidence of the second-half, they weren’t entirely comfortable at the back.

The preparations for this game were far from ideal with the Wales team not landing until midnight on Saturday evening due to a flight delay.

However, Ryan Giggs won’t be interested in excuses and rightly so, given Denmark had it far worse. The level of performance was a long way below the standard set on Thursday. A work in progress and there’s a lot more work to be done.