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Denmark Continues Inspiring Year, Qualifies for 2022 World Cup

Denmark became the second team to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with a 1-0 win over Austria on Tuesday, capping an emotional year for the national team.

Atalanta fullback Joakim Mæhle scored the decisive goal for Denmark in the 53rd minute with his near-post finish after Thomas Delaney evaded three defenders at the edge of the area to set up the goal. 

Denmark joins Germany, which booked its ticket to Qatar on Monday with a win over North Macedonia coupled with an Armenia loss. The 2022 World Cup begins Nov. 21, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar, with 29 tickets still up for grabs.

Denmark was the Cinderella story of this summer's Euros for its inspiring run to the semifinals following Christian Eriksen's life-threatening collapse. The Inter Milan midfielder needed to be revived on the field after he endured a cardiac arrest in Denmark's tournament-opening match.

The Danes lost to Finland and Belgium but finished second in its group at the Euros thanks to an inspirational win in the final group game against Russia. Their tournament ended with an extra-time defeat to England at Wembley

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Following his harrowing collapse on the field, Eriksen spent a week in the hospital before he was fitted with a pacemaker. It is unclear if or when Eriksen would be able to return to the field, although reports suggest that if it happens, it would not be until at least the new year. 

The Red and White carried their momentum from the Euros into the fall qualifying slate, winning each of their five World Cup qualifiers since the England defeat without conceding a goal to Scotland, Faroe Islands, Israel, Moldova and Austria. 

With a +27 goal differential and no goals conceded, Denmark remains the only European team to maintain a perfect record (8-0-0) in qualifying and only trails the Netherlands for most goals scored. 

Denmark will return to the World Cup stage for the sixth time ever, looking to improve on its round-of-16 exit (on penalties) to eventual runner-up Croatia in 2018. Its best finish is a quarterfinal run in 1998.

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