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Denmark look to book semi spot against Iceland

Published: Thursday 16 June 2011, 10.00CET
Denmark and Iceland meet in their decisive Group A game in Aalborg with the tournament hosts hoping to build on their win against Belarus and secure a place in the semi-finals.
Denmark look to book semi spot against Iceland
Denmark revived their campaign with victory against Belarus ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics


Goals scored3
Attempts on target9
Attempts off target18
Fouls committed46
Yellow cards7
Red Cards1

Media services

Published: Thursday 16 June 2011, 10.00CET

Denmark look to book semi spot against Iceland

Denmark and Iceland meet in their decisive Group A game in Aalborg with the tournament hosts hoping to build on their win against Belarus and secure a place in the semi-finals.

Denmark and Iceland meet in their decisive third Group A game at Aalborg Stadion with the Danes hoping to ride the wave of optimism created by their win against Belarus.

• Keld Bordinggaard's tournament hosts bounced back from defeat by Switzerland by taking three points against Belarus to move second in the group and give themselves an excellent chance of progressing to the semi-finals. Iceland were defeated 2-0 by Switzerland, their second successive reverse.

• Denmark would advance with a victory against Iceland unless Belarus beat Switzerland by a one-goal margin other than 1-0. If Switzerland lose 2-1 then Denmark would have to win by greater than 2-0, with a win by that exact margin meaning second place will be decided on fair play rankings and then drawing of lots. If Denmark draw they will be through unless Belarus win. If Denmark lose, they are out.

• Iceland can only go through if they prevail by three goals or more and Belarus lose. If Iceland win 3-0, they would require Belarus to lose by three goals or more.

• No team has gone out with more than four points since the U21 finals group stage was introduced in 2000. In 2006, Serbia and Montenegro progressed to the semi-finals with three points ahead of Germany and Portugal on the same tally and four years earlier Italy won their group with a total of five.

Match background

• Christian Eriksen has recent experience of hurting Icelandic hopes having scored for the Denmark senior team against their neigbours in a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier on 4 June. Daniel Wass was on the bench.

• Aron Gunnarsson, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Kolbeinn Sigthórsson all played for Iceland in that encounter with Johann Gudmundsson and Alfred Finnbogason appearing as substitutes. Jón Gudni Fjóluson and Arnór Smárason were unused substitutes.

• Eriksen was in the Denmark side that beat Iceland with an added-time winner in the reverse UEFA EURO 2012 fixture last September, while Jonas Lössl watched from the bench. Rúrik Gíslason, Gudmundsson, Gunnarsson and Sigurdsson all started for Iceland in Copenhagen with Birkir Bjarnason and Sigthórsson coming on as replacements.

• Denmark would settle for a repeat of the outcome of the countries' last U21 meeting at this same venue on 5 June 2009, Danish Constitution Day. Mike Jensen and Ricki Olsen put the home side 2-0 up before half-time and although Bjarni Vidarsson and Skúli Jon Fridgeirsson levelled for Iceland, Jensen got the winner ten minutes from the end.

• The lineups were:
Denmark: Lössl (Vang Larsen 46), Randrup, Nielsen, Reid, Juulsgaard (Casper Johansen 73), Wass (Hamalainen 46), Povlsen (Philip Rasmussen 82), Lund, Jensen, Agger, Olsen.
Iceland: Ingason, Jóhannesson, Eyjólfsson, Bjarnason (Finnbogason 82), Fridgeirsson, Vidarsson (Ormarsson 71), Gíslason, Pálsson, Valgardsson, Sverrisson (Jósefsson 60), Kristjánsson (Margeirsson 46).

• Members of the current Denmark selection were also involved when they won 2-0 in Reykjavik on 20 August 2008.

• The lineups were:
Denmark: Schmeichel (Heinze 46), Jakobsen (Reid 77) Troest, Wass, Lumb (Rasmus Hansen 13), Søren Christensen, Enevoldsen (Mike Jensen 60), Rieks (Ilsø 60), Mikkelsen, Nicklas Pedersen (Martin Christensen 77), Schøne.
Iceland: Ingason (Jónsson 71), Adalsteinsson, Gunnarsson (Jósefsson 65), Eyjólfsson, Jónasson (Kristjánsson 46), Bjarnason (Margeirsson 46), Sigurdsson (Vilhjálmsson 63), Júlíusson (Ari Skúlason 46), Jónsson, Sigthórsson, Gíslason (Finnbogason 63).

• Denmark and Iceland have met in four U21 qualifiers, recording a victory each with the other two fixtures drawn. Iceland's 3-1 win in Nyborg on 23 August 1987 remains their only victory against Denmark at this level.

• The teams' four previous friendly meetings went as follows:
05/06/09 Denmark 3-2 Iceland, Aalborg
20/08/08 Iceland 0-2 Denmark, Reykjavik
23/06/82 Iceland 1-1 Denmark, Reykjavik
04/07/66 Iceland 0-3 Denmark, Reykjavik

• In total, Iceland's record in eight U21 games against Denmark reads W1 D3 L4.

• The sides have not met at a competitive level in U19 or U17 football, although Brian Hamalainen scored the first goal when a Denmark U17 team beat their Icelandic counterparts 4-0 at a Nordic friendly tournament in Reykjavik in August 2005.

• Iceland forward Gíslason plays his league football in Denmark with Odense BK.

• Denmark have played their former colony 18 times in senior international games, winning 15 and drawing three.

• Iceland coach Eyjölfur Sverrisson was involved in three competitive games against Denmark. He was coach for Iceland's 2-0 loss at home to the Danes in UEFA EURO 2008 qualifying, and featured earlier as a midfielder as his side lost 2-1 at home and 6-0 away in 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifying. He scored in the first of those matches.

• Of the 12 fixtures between teams from these countries in UEFA club competition, there have been seven wins for the Danish sides, three for their Icelandic counterparts and two draws.

Denmark news

• Denmark got off the mark against Belarus in Group A, despite falling behind to Dmitri Baga's 20th-minute strike. Eriksen replied within two minutes, following up his own penalty after it was saved. The player who won that spot kick, Nicolai Jørgensen, then claimed all three points with a superb individual effort 19 minutes from time.

• The Danish squad enjoyed a light training session the morning after the victory against Belarus and were in a relaxed mood, signing autographs for local children.

• Every player took part in Wednesday's training bar Henrik Dalsgaard. The Aalborg BK forward, who has just returned from a long-term knee injury, received a blow to the foot against Belarus, but was only rested as a precaution and should be available for the Iceland game.

• The players had Wednesday afternoon off after training, with most visiting their families, a lot of whom are from Copenhagen but are staying in Aalborg and Aarhus for the duration of the tournament.

• Mads Albæk was the only Danish player to receive a yellow card in Aarhus, and along with Nicki Bille Nielsen, will hope to avoid a booking in the last group game which would rule them out of a possible semi-final.

• The Danish board game of Bezzerwizzer – which combines trivia and tactics – is a popular pastime among the squad, with many of them playing it on returning to their Skorping base after victory over Belarus.

Iceland news

• Iceland suffered their second successive 2-0 loss in Group A succumbing to Switzerland on Tuesday. Fabian Frei (1) and Innocent Emeghara (40) scored for the Swiss.

• Gunnarsson missed that match through suspension following his red card against Belarus but is now available to return. Gudmunsson may also be back having not played against Switzerland after injuring his shoulder 32 minutes into the Belarus game.

• Gíslason picked up a yellow card in Iceland's first game and would miss a possible semi-final if booked against Denmark. Hólmar Örn Eyjólfsson, Sigurdsson and Bjarni Vidarsson are also a caution from missing the last four.

• "We still have a faint hope and have to beat Denmark heavily," said skipper Vidarsson. "We have to play better than we did against Switzerland."

• Iceland have been maintaining team discipline and helping a good cause. A tour fine system is in place where the players make small contributions to a children's cancer charity fund if they are deemed guilty of any improper conduct. Examples include mobile phones ringing during a meeting, being late for breakfast or being unsuitably dressed; the system is overseen by 'finemasters' Alfred Finnbogason and captain Vidarsson.

• The team's assistant coach Tómas Tómasson is also in charge of Icelandic second division side HK Kópavogur and left Aalborg on Wednesday morning to travel back home for the league fixture against BÍ/Bolungarvík. HK lost 2-1 and are bottom of the table after seven winless games. Tómasson has returned for the Denmark match.

Last updated: 28/01/12 3.22CET