Denmark beat Austria 1-0 to advance to the World Cup with a hat-trick to make it three wins out of three
- Denmark secure a berth with two games to spare, and they secure it with 2-0 advantage.
- Maehle nets a 53rd-minute winner at Parken stadium.
- Danes' eighth consecutive qualifying victory as they reach the finals.
Denmark has a seven-point advantage over second-placed Scotland after achieving 1-0 home victory over Austria on Tuesday. The win lifts them to the top of qualifying Group F with an unassailable seven points over third-ranked Scotland.
After Germany advanced to the 32-nation tournament in Qatar on Monday, the Danes secured their own berth with two games to spare as Joakim Maehle scored a 53rd-minute winner to secure an eighth consecutive qualifying victory.
Qatar, who has an automatic place in the finals as the host nation, joined Denmark and Germany. Only the group winners from European qualifying advance directly, while the runners-up advance to the playoffs.
Denmark have scored 27 goals and conceded none in World Cup qualifying, with their chances of making the finals underpinned by some superb free-flowing football.
Following cheery scenes as the Danes mobbed each other after the final whistle, captain Simon Kjaer stressed that the team wanted to make an impact in Qatar after completing qualifying.
"We've built a team and cultivated dissent that's incredibly healthy, and we're looking to improve every day," the 32-year-old centre back told Kanal 5 television.
"We are one in the same, and adding that to the quality we have, we can go a long way. We've already come a long way, but we're only getting stronger. "
The Danes, despite their flair and attacking potential, appeared nervous for long periods against a well-organized Austria side who packed their midfield to restrict supply routes.
Daniel Bachmann denied Andreas Skov Olsen and Mikkel Damsgaard in the first half, before preventing a Thomas Delaney effort inthe 48th minute as the home side struggled to create clear-cut chances.
However, Bachmann was powerless five minutes later when Denmark's best moment of the match produced a stunning goal, with Delaney at the heart of soaring moves.
The central midfielder weaved his way past four markers through the middle and then teed up Maehle to fire a shot from eight metres inside the near post to delight the home fans in crowded Parken stadium.
Denmark have now qualified for their second consecutive World Cup after reaching the round of 16 in the 2018 tournament before reaching to the Euro 2020 semi-finals this year. Delaney was elated after the match, as the country made it to their third successive World cup after progressing to Round of 16.
"It's a pleasure throughout, in every match," he added.
"The support we've received. It's unique, and what we've achieved is something we can be proud of."
"It's one of the coolest nights in the Park in a long time," Maehle stated. It's a dazzling achievement. It's important for us to win here, and we've got this ticket to the World Cup."