Rasmus Hojlund scored a terrific hat-trick in Denmark’s 3-1 win over Finland at Parken Stadium on Thursday and got off to a successful start in Group H qualifying for the European Championship.
Playmaker Christian Eriksen was already out with an ankle injury and the Denmark lost defender Andreas Christensen with a leg injury in the 18th minute, but the home crowd celebrated three minutes later when Hojlund scored the opener.
Martin Braithwaite sent the ball down the right flank and into the path of full-back Alexander Bah and his cross was brilliantly answered by Hojlund, who deftly deflected it into goal to put his side ahead.
Finland struck back eight minutes into the second half with a typically quick and decisive counterattack, Teemu Pukki curling up before scoring Oliver Antman on goal.
Keeper Lukas Hradecky then took over for the Finns and made a series of great saves against Joakim Maehle, Mikkel Damsgaard and two tries from Hojlund as the game headed towards a draw.
However, the 20-year-old Hojlund scored a close-range header in the 82nd minute to put his side back in front and then fired home in added time to complete his hat-trick in his third international appearance and the three points for Denmark .