Rewind, Euro 1992: Last-minute entrants Denmark defy odds in thrilling final against Germany

Denmark became one of the biggest surprises in international football after their victory in the 1992 edition of Euro. Denmark beat Germany 2-0 in the final of the tournament after a stellar performance from goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel. Goals in the half by John Jensen and Kim Wilfort helped the team emerge victorious after a strong start by the opposition.

German attackers Stefan Reuter and Guido Buchwald forced Schmeichel into quick action, with the team trying to dominate opponents as soon as possible. Manchester United’s goalkeeper emerges victorious in a duel with players, keeping his composure despite the pressure. This fine start has given his teammates a lot of confidence as Denmark scored runs against the run of play. Wilfort passed the ball to Flemming Povlsen after winning a struggle with Andreas Brehme cutting the ball back for Jensen. The midfielder certainly wasn’t at his best in front of goal, as was evident in the semi-final clash against the Netherlands. However, he made no mistake at this stage to push the ball into the net from the edge of the area. The power of the shot was such that it managed to deflect Stefan Effenberg’s long range blocking attempts. Interestingly, this was only the second goal scored by Jensen in 48 international matches.

Peter Schmeichel’s heroics helped Denmark reign supreme

The Germans attempted a strong comeback, pushing hard to gain a draw. However, Schmeichel continued to reign supreme, denying Jürgen Klinsmann with spectacular saves down the stretch. Effenberg was deflected by the Danish goalkeeper as Berti Vogts’s team kept their lead. The pressure continued in the second half as Kent Nielsen completed a fine clearance off the line. The clearance was all the more significant given the presence of Karl-Heinz Riddle ready to bury Klinsmann’s cross. The Inter Milan striker could have got a goal under his belt in the coming minutes if not for Schmeichel, who completed a brilliant reaction to keep the header from rebounding.

Interestingly, in the second half, Denmark, under pressure, scored another goal. Wilfort brought the ball under control before Bodo Ilgner got inside to shoot low to the left post to settle the contest. The attackers had a chance to make up for the mistake in the second half after Richard Möller failed to take full advantage of Nielsen’s pass.

Denmark managed to retain the lead, marking a fairy tale end. Villefort had twice skipped the national team camp, even missing a group stage match, to visit his seven-year-old daughter who was suffering from leukemia.

“I think, beyond anything, it really sunk in when we were in Copenhagen at the town hall for the ceremony with the rest of Denmark. It was unbelievable, really unbelievable. At this point you’re thinking are: ‘Jesus, we really did this, this is not a dream.’ I don’t think we’ve had many big results in the time prior to 1992. We had the odd, but there wasn’t a mentality in the game where you could really go out and say ‘we want to win this,’ That’s our goal ’cause people will look at you,” Schmeichel was quoted as saying by UEFA’s official website.

Denmark coach Richard Møller Nielsen shared an interesting anecdote regarding the win.

“I was about to fit a new kitchen [in my house] But then we were called to play in Sweden. The kitchen is over now. I got a professional decorator to do it,” he said.

Here are the lineups for the game:

Denmark: Schmeichel; Christofte, Kent Nielsen, Piechnik, Lars Olsen (C), Sivbek (Christiansen 66); Wilfort, Larsen, Jensen; Povlson, Laudrup. Substitutes: Molby, Elstrup, Frank, Krog, Peter Nielsen, Brun. Coach: Richard Moller Nielsen

Germany: Ilgner; Brehme (C), Helmer, Buchwald, Kohler, Reuter; Effenberg (Thom 80), Hassler, Sammer (Doll 46); Klinsmann, Riddle. Subs: Binz, Möller, Koepke, Frontzek, Schulz, Warnes. Coach: Berti Vogts. Referee: Bruno Geller (Switzerland)

Interestingly, Denmark was a late addition to the list of teams for the tournament. They were included as a replacement for Yugoslavia. Nielsen himself was not the first choice to take charge of the Danes when he replaced Sepp Piontek in 1990. Squad.

“It was a great honor to play under him. He made the right decisions at the right time,” said midfielder John Jensen.

Denmark will soon take on Wales in the Euro 2020 round of 16 stage. It will be interesting to see how they fare against a strong opposition despite the absence of Christian Eriksen. However, they would be expected to struggle given the presence of some of the best footballers in the business.

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