Jip de Wijs

Denemarks underdog story EURO 1992

Denmark, Laudrup, Peter Schmiechel

In 1992, Denmark won the UEFA European Championship in a surprising and dramatic fashion. Initially, Denmark had not qualified for the tournament. Yugoslavia was set to participate but was disqualified due to the Yugoslav Wars and UN sanctions. Denmark was called up as a last-minute replacement just ten days before the tournament started, with minimal preparation, as some players were already on vacation.

In the group stage, Denmark faced Sweden, France, and England. They started with a goalless draw against England (0-0), lost to Sweden (0-1), but secured a surprising victory over France (2-1), which allowed them to advance to the semifinals as the group’s second-place team.

In the semifinal, Denmark faced the defending champions, the Netherlands. The match ended in a 2-2 draw, and Denmark won in a dramatic penalty shootout. Goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel was instrumental, saving a crucial penalty from Marco van Basten.

In the final on June 26, 1992, in Gothenburg, Sweden, Denmark played against Germany. Denmark won 2-0, with goals from John Jensen and Kim Vilfort. This victory was a huge upset and is celebrated as one of the greatest achievements in Danish sports history.

Jip de Wijs

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