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Denmark vs Belgium: UEFA EURO 2020 match background, facts and stats

There has been little between Denmark and Belgium over the years as they meet in Copenhagen in the second round of Group B games.

Preben Elkjær celebrates after scoring for Denmark against Belgium
Preben Elkjær celebrates after scoring for Denmark against Belgium Icon Sport via Getty Images

Denmark and Belgium go head to head again after two UEFA Nations League encounters in the autumn as Parken Stadium in Copenhagen stages this Matchday 2 fixture in UEFA EURO 2020 Group B.

• The Danes went down 1-0 to debutants Finland in Copenhagen on Matchday 1, a game which was suspended due to a medical emergency involving Denmark's Christian Eriksen. Pierre-Emile Højbjerg had a penalty saved as Denmark's run of EURO finals defeats stretched to three matches.

• Belgium eased past Russia 3-0 in the other opening Group B game, Romelu Lukaku scoring twice (10, 88) either side of Thomas Meunier's strike, Meunier becoming the first substitute to score in the first half of a EURO finals match. The win also equalled Belgium's biggest group stage victory.

Previous meetings

• Belgium won both UEFA Nations League matches in 2020, the first of them 2-0 on 5 September at Parken with goals from Jason Denayer and Dries Mertens. The home return, in Leuven on 18 November, was won 4-2, goals from Youri Tielemans and Kevin De Bruyne sandwiching a Lukaku double, while Denmark scored through Jonas Wind and a Nader Chadli own goal.

• Those were the teams' first encounters since an entertaining friendly in Copenhagen in June 2000, Belgium twice coming from behind at Parken in what served as a warm-up for the UEFA EURO 2000 co-hosts. Jon Dahl Tomasson and, with a penalty, goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel – father of current No1 Kasper – were on target for the Danes, with a Lorenzo Staelens spot kick and Marc Wilmots levelling for Belgium.

• Belgium's two UEFA Nations League wins mean that the teams are now level in their all-time meetings with six wins apiece and three draws, Belgium having scored 27 goals in those 15 matches to Denmark's 25.

Watch superb 1984 Elkjaer strike for Denmark
Watch superb 1984 Elkjaer strike for Denmark

• The teams also met in the group stage of the 1984 UEFA European Championship in Strasbourg, and it proved a memorable encounter. Goals from Jan Ceulemans (26) and Frankie Vercauteren (39) gave Belgium a 2-0 lead, but a Frank Arnesen penalty four minutes before half-time gave Denmark renewed hope and second-half goals from Kenneth Brylle Larsen (60) and, six minutes from time, Preben Elkjær earned a win that took the Danes into the semi-finals at their opponents' expense.

• The countries' paths have crossed in four other EURO matches – all in qualifying. Belgium won 2-0 at home and 2-1 away in Copenhagen in the preliminaries for the 1972 UEFA European Championship, Johan Devrindt scoring twice in each game, but the Danes had the upper hand in EURO '96, the then holders winning each game 3-1 on their way to reaching the finals.

• Seven of the teams' matches have taken place in Copenhagen, where Denmark and Belgium have each recorded three wins.

EURO facts: Denmark

• This is Denmark's ninth appearance in the UEFA European Championship, but only their second in the past four editions. They were eliminated in the group stage at UEFA EURO 2012, finishing third in their section behind Germany and Portugal with three points from three games.

Schmeichel on Denmark’s EURO ’92 glory
Schmeichel on Denmark’s EURO ’92 glory

• The Danes lost to Scandinavian neighbours Sweden in the UEFA EURO 2016 play-offs, going down 4-3 on aggregate (1-2 a, 2-2 h).

• Denmark were winners at EURO '92, finished fourth in 1964 and reached the semi-finals in 1984. Their most recent knockout appearance came in 2004, when they lost 3-0 to the Czech Republic in the quarter-finals.

• Denmark have now lost three successive games in the EURO final tournament, and four out of five; they have recorded only two wins in their last 11 EURO finals matches (D2 L7).

• The Danes booked their place at UEFA EURO 2020 by finishing second behind Switzerland in Group D despite remaining unbeaten in their eight qualifiers (W4 D4). They reached the finals with a 1-1 draw away to the Republic of Ireland in their final qualifier.

Every goal on Denmark's road to EURO 2020
Every goal on Denmark's road to EURO 2020

• Denmark are one of five teams to have reached UEFA EURO 2020 unbeaten along with Belgium, Italy – who both won every game – Spain and Ukraine. They are the only one of the five who did not top their group.

• Åge Hareide, who oversaw the successful qualifying campaign, was replaced by Kasper Hjulmand following the postponement of UEFA EURO 2020; the former Nordsjælland coach had been due to take over from Hareide after the tournament.

• The defeat against Finland means Denmark's record in Copenhagen is now W139 D60 L71. At Parken Stadium it is W61 D25 L19. They have now lost two of their last 12 matches there (W6 D4) – the other that 0-2 defeat by Belgium last September.

EURO facts: Belgium

• This is Belgium's second successive UEFA European Championship final tournament and their sixth EURO in total.

Watch Lukaku EURO 2016 Belgium double
Watch Lukaku EURO 2016 Belgium double

• The Red Devils' biggest achievement to date was reaching the final of this tournament in 1980, when they lost 2-1 to West Germany in Rome.

• In 2016, Belgium's first EURO finals since they co-hosted UEFA EURO 2000 with the Netherlands, a team coached by Wilmots finished second in Group E and beat Hungary 4-0 in the round of 16 – their biggest EURO finals victory – only to suffer a 3-1 quarter-final defeat by Wales.

• This time round, Roberto Martínez's side won all ten of their qualifiers to finish first in Group I, increasing the number of countries to have reached the finals with a perfect record to eight, Italy also having achieved the feat in the UEFA EURO 2020 preliminaries. Of the previous six to have won every qualifier, however, only Spain (2012) went on to win the tournament itself.

Every goal on Belgium's road to EURO 2020
Every goal on Belgium's road to EURO 2020

• The 9-0 win against San Marino on 10 October 2019 is Belgium's biggest UEFA European Championship victory.

• Belgium were the top scorers in qualifying overall with 40 goals in their ten matches. Fifteen different Belgium players found the net in qualifying.

• The Red Devils conceded only three goals, the joint best record along with Turkey.

• Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne both provided seven assists in qualifying, fewer only than the Netherlands' Memphis Depay (eight). Hazard scored five goals to De Bruyne's four; Lukaku managed seven goals and four assists.

Links and trivia

• Mathias Jørgensen scored once in each game for FC Copenhagen against Belgian side Club Brugge in the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League group stage (4-0 home, 2-0 away).

• Thomas Delaney was also on target in Copenhagen's 4-0 home win against Club Brugge in September 2016.

Great EURO Matchday 2 goals
Great EURO Matchday 2 goals

• Eriksen scored once and made two assists in Ajax's 3-0 defeat of Anderlecht in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg. The Dane scored against Anderlecht again, this time for Tottenham, in a 2-1 defeat in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League group stage, and also found the net in Spurs' 2-2 draw with Gent in the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg.

• Kasper Dolberg scored the winner as Ajax defeated Standard Liège 1-0 in the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Kasper Schmeichel kept a clean sheet on his UEFA Champions League debut as Leicester won 3-0 at Club Brugge in the 2016/17 group stage.

• Simon Kjær's Sevilla beat Standard 5-1 in the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Have played together:
Christian Eriksen & Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham 2013–20)
Christian Eriksen & Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham 2014–20)
Christian Eriksen & Nacer Chadli (Tottenham 2013–16)
Andreas Cornelius & Timothy Castagne (Atalanta 2017–20)
Thomas Delaney & Axel Witsel (Borussia Dortmund 2018–)
Thomas Delaney & Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Dortmund 2019–)
Andreas Christensen & Eden Hazard (Chelsea 2017–19)
Andreas Christensen & Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea 2017, 2019/20)
Thomas Delaney & Thomas Meunier (Borussia Dortmund 2020–)
Kasper Schmeichel & Youri Tielemans, Dennis Praet (Leicester 2019–)
Kasper Schmeichel & Timothy Castagne (Leicester 2020–)
Pierre Højbjerg & Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham 2020–)
Christian Eriksen & Romelu Lukaku (Internazionale 2020–)

Lukaku dedicates award to Eriksen
Lukaku dedicates award to Eriksen

• Eriksen and Lukaku won the 2020/21 Italian Serie A title together with Inter.

• Has played in Belgium:
Joakim Mæhle (Genk 2017–21)

• Andreas Christensen came on as a first-half substitute in the 2021 UEFA Champions League final as Chelsea defeated Kevin De Bruyne’s Manchester City 1-0 in Porto.

Latest news

Denmark

• The opening loss to Finland was only Denmark's third defeat in their last 29 matches (W17 D9), the others having been those two against Belgium in the UEFA Nations League.

• Denmark warmed up for UEFA EURO 2020 by drawing 1-1 against Germany in Innsbruck on 2 June – Youssuf Poulsen scoring the equaliser – and beating Bosnia and Herzegovina 2-0 at home four days later in the Brøndby Stadion, where Martin Braithwaite and Andreas Cornelius were on target. That second encounter brought Denmark their ninth win in 11 games and ninth clean sheet in 12.

• Christian Eriksen and captain Simon Kjær were the only two members of Kasper Hjulmand's squad to have previously played in a EURO final tournament before Matchday 1. They both started all three matches in 2012, when Kasper Schmeichel and Daniel Wass were unused members of the 23-man party.

• Eriksen, Poulsen and defender Mathias Jørgensen are the only players in the Denmark squad to have scored at a major tournament, each of them having found the net once at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

• Eriksen was an Italian Serie A winner with Internazionale in 2020/21, while Andreas Christensen assisted in Chelsea's UEFA Champions League triumph. Domestic cups were also won in England by Schmeichel (Leicester City), in Germany by Thomas Delaney (Borussia Dortmund) and in Spain by Braithwaite (Barcelona).

Belgium

• Belgium's opening 3-0 win against Russia was their joint biggest victory in a EURO finals group game, matching the one by the same scoreline against the Republic of Ireland on Matchday 2 of UEFA EURO 2016.

• Belgium have the most experienced squad at UEFA EURO 2020, their 26 players having combined totals of 1349 international caps and 241 goals – both tallies dwarfing those of their rivals. They also lead the way in figures for competitive internationals (867 appearances, 174 goals) and EURO matches, finals and qualifying combined (300, 61).

• There are four players with 100 or more caps in the Belgium squad – Jan Vertonghen (127), Axel Witsel (109), Toby Alderweireld (109) and Eden Hazard (107) – more than any of the other 23 teams. Dries Mertens, who earned his 99th cap against Russia, will make it five on his next appearance.

• Roberto Martínez's side were held to a 1-1 draw by Greece in the first of their two pre-UEFA EURO 2020 Brussels friendlies on 3 June, Thorgan Hazard's first-half strike proving insufficient for victory, but they returned to winning ways three days later by defeating Croatia 1-0 thanks to Romelu Lukaku's 60th international goal.

• Lukaku's double against Russia was his 17th for Belgium; he has scored two hat-tricks. He now has 62 goals in 94 appearances for his country.

• Meunier's goal was his second in successive final tournament appearances, the wing-back having found the net for Belgium against England in the third place play-off of the 2018 FIFA World Cup (2-0) – a game also staged at the Saint Petersburg Stadium.

• The Red Devils have now won 20 of their last 24 matches, the only defeat in that sequence coming against England at Wembley in the UEFA Nations League on 11 October 2020 (1-2). Despite that setback Belgium qualified for the UEFA Nations League finals in Italy later this year and will meet world champions France in the second semi-final in Turin on 7 October.

• Belgium's squad contains newly-crowned league title winners from England (Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City), Italy (Lukaku, Internazionale) and Spain (Yannick Carrasco, Atlético de Madrid) as well as two Belgian champions in Club Brugge pair Simon Mignolet and Hans Vanaken. They also boast three 2020/21 domestic cup winners apiece from Borussia Dortmund (Thorgan Hazard, Meunier and Axel Witsel) and Leicester City (Timothy Castagne, Dennis Praet and final match-winner Youri Tielemans).

• No fewer than 15 of Belgium's 23-man squad from UEFA EURO 2016 and 18 of their 2018 FIFA World Cup squad have returned to participate in this event. The only major tournament freshmen for UEFA EURO 2020 are Vanaken, Castagne, Praet, Matz Sels, Leandro Trossard and Jérémy Doku.

• Castagne has been ruled out of the remainder of the tournament having sustained a double eye socket fracture in the match against Russia.