As the sun rises over a quiet suburban neighbourhood, a young A-League fan awakens, his head resting on a branded Sydney FC pillow.
First-half strikes by Thomas Delaney and Kasper Dolberg have sealed a 2-1 win for Denmark over the Czech Republic in the European Championship quarter-finals.
Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand says he feels his players are carrying Christian Eriksen with them all the way to Wembley.
Thomas Delaney and Kasper Dolberg struck before halftime as the Danes beat the Czech Republic 2-1 in their quarter-final at Baku.
Czech frontman Patrik Schick reduced the deficit with his fifth goal of the tournament in the 49th minute, but it was Denmark who held out to reach the final four.
Hjulmand’s squad have grown in stature during the tournament after their horrific start when Christian Eriksen collapsed with a cardiac arrest in their opening defeat to Finland in Copenhagen.
The Denmark coach feels the Inter Milan midfielder, who is continuing to recover following hospital treatment, will be very much in their thoughts as they dream of emulating the 1992 European Championship-winning squad.
“I definitely feel it,” Hjulmand said when asked in his post-match press conference if he was aware of the support Denmark were receiving.
“I think the whole world of football understood that second and the days after the fundamental things in life and in football, the fundamental values of football came through right at that moment.
“There are so many other agendas in football, but we all remembered why we started to play football, what values football is based on and we had a reminder of this.”
Hjulmand added: “I am still thinking of Christian every single day. He should have been here.
“We are happy that he survived, we carry him all the way to this match and all the way to Wembley.”
The result avenged Denmark’s 3-0 defeat by the Czechs in the last eight of Euro 2004 and meant they reached the semi-finals for the fourth time, taking them closer yet to adding to their unlikely triumph at Euro ’92.
Denmark got off to a flying start when Delaney took advantage of poor marking from a corner to head home in the fifth minute, although replays showed the corner should never have been given as the ball had come off a Danish player when it went out.
Denmark eventually scored again at the end of the first half when left-back Joakim Maehle delivered an inviting cross with the outside of his right foot which Dolberg side-footed in on the volley, adding to his double in the 4-0 win over Wales.
After a poor first half, the Czechs made a double change which instantly gave them more purpose in attack and one of their substitutes Michael Krmencik forced Kasper Schmeichel into a save immediately while moments later Antonin Barak made the keeper make a full-stretch save.
The goal soon followed, Schick meeting a Vladimir Coufal cross first time to beat Schmeichel and match Milan Baros’ five goals for the Czech Republic at Euro 2004.
But they failed to build on the momentum and Denmark defended well for the remainder of the half, ending the Czech Republic’s hopes of reaching a first Euros semi-final since 2004 and a first final since 1996.