Russia 1-6 Denmark: Danes a class above as Russians are brushed aside

Denmark rounded off the Algarve Cup group stage in style, as they strolled past Russia with a  6-1 win.

In the previous two group matches, both teams had earned three points. They both got their wins with victory against Portugal, while the pair both tasted defeat to Canada.

Denmark dominant, but wasteful

From the very first minute it was evident what kind of picture we would see, as Denmark were awarded a free-kick. It was a half that Denmark completely dominated against a very compact and physical Russian side. The Danes, naturaly, had a number of big chances.

First up was Simone Boye on the aforementioned free-kick, before Stine Larsen forced Grichenko in the Russian goal into a fine save. Larsen got the next big chance as well, as she directed a powerful header towards goal. The opportunity came as a result of some great play between Larsen and Pernille Harder.  

Denmark got a number of free-kicks, with Harder watching over most of the direct ones, and Line Røddik taking care of those further out. One of those direct set-pieces from Harder resulted in Grichenko failing to clear the ball. In the following mayhem of Danish players trying to get the ball into the net, and Russian players blocking it, Ekaterina Sochneva blocked a shot at goal with her hands.

She was sent off and Denmark were awarded a penalty. Harder had no problems with the penalty, and calmly slotted it home in the 25th minute.

What followed was an endless stream of set-pieces to Denmark, but their first half was characterised by wasted chances – both on dead balls and in open play. As it often goes, you will be punished if you miss your chances and on their first real sight at goal, Russia equalised. It was a well-executed goal, where the ball fell to Chernomyrdin who left Stina Lykke with no chance in the Danish goal. The goal fell deep into injury time of the first half, and immediately saw an end to the first period

Danes pick up the pace late on

While Denmark struggled to find the back of the net in the first half, the second half was a goalfest. Russia started the second half off with more intent to get forward, but as the minutes rolled by, they reverted back to their compact formation with Denmark having most of the possession and chances. In the 59th minute all the possession paid off. Harder went on a raid down the left, and cheekily tried a shot from a tight angle, and somehow scored via the glove of Grichenko.

11 minutes later Denmark got yet another free-kick. The delivery found Larsen, who headed the ball down to Nicoline Sørensen who made it 3-1. Sørensen was also behind the fourth, when she crossed the ball into the path of Harder. The Danish captain had no trouble putting the ball into the net, and got herself a hat-trick – her sixth for Denmark.

Denmark weren’t done, and Sarah Dyrehauge got on the scoresheet twice, with her first goal coming in the 82nd minute, and the second one in the 89th minute. With those goals, the game ended 6-1 to a dominant Danish side.

This result means Denmark secured second place in Group A, which means they will play for third against Australia. Russia finished third and face another Scandinavian team, Sweden in their next game when they play for 7th place.