Denmark celebrated emotionally on the same pitch where, nine days earlier, Christian Eriksen had collapsed after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Maehle’s 82nd-minute strike was the icing on the cake after goals from Mikkel Damsgaard, Yussuf Poulsen and Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen had started the party at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, rendering Artem Dzyuba’s penalty for Russia a mere footnote.
After everything the squad had been through, Maehle said: “It’s a relief and a redemption.”
Denmark manager Kasper Hjulmand gathered his players in a circle on the pitch to confirm that Finland’s result against Belgium, a 2-0 defeat, had gone their way before the celebrations started. And Hjulmand was full of pride in his players.
“If there’s anyone who deserves it, it’s these players,” Hjulmand said. “I don’t understand how it’s possible that they can pick this up after what they have been through.
“I have so much admiration for their courage, coherence, camaraderie and ability just to get together and play. We have been together for four weeks now and it’s crazy what the players have been through.”