There is plenty of Under-21 history between Iceland and Denmark as they meet again in Győr in the second round of Group C games.
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There is plenty of UEFA European Under-21 Championship history between Iceland and Denmark as they meet again in Győr in the second round of Group C games.
• While Iceland came on out on top in their only previous meeting in a final tournament, the Danes had the better of a dramatic last fixture between the sides.
• Denmark secured their place in the 2015 finals at Iceland's expense, winning their play-off tie on away goals after a 1-1 aggregate draw. The first game in Aalborg on 10 October 2014 finished scoreless; Nicolaj Thomsen got the crucial goal in the 90th minute of the Reykjavík return four days later, Denmark progressing despite Hólmbert Friðjónsson equalising with a penalty three minutes into added time.
• This is the second time the teams have met in the U21 EURO group stage. On Matchday 3 of the 2011 edition, goals from Kolbeinn Sigþórsson, Birkir Bjarnason and Hjörtur Logi Valgarðsson gave Iceland a 3-1 win against tournament hosts Denmark in Aalborg, Bashkim Kadrii managing the sole Danish response. Neither side progressed from Group A, each finishing on three points behind Switzerland and Belarus with Iceland edging out Denmark for third place.
• There were also draws in Iceland in the qualifying campaign for the 1988 and 2002 finals, 0-0 in each case. Iceland won 3-1 away to Denmark in August 1987 while Denmark were 4-0 home victors in October 2001, but neither side made the final tournament in either competition.
• On the friendly front, Denmark have recorded three wins and a draw in the four games between the countries. In the last such meeting, at Aalborg Stadion 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 Jón Friðgeirsson levelled for Iceland, Jensen got the winner ten minutes from the end.
• Iceland are making only their second appearance in the final tournament having featured in those 2011 finals in Denmark. After 2-0 defeats by both Belarus and Switzerland, Eyjólfur Sverrison's side bowed out with a win against the hosts in Aalborg.
• In qualifying for the 2021 finals, a team coached by Arnar Thór Vidarsson – who was named head coach of the senior side on 22 December 2020 – claimed second place in Group 1 on 21 points, winning seven of their ten games with two of their three defeats coming against section winners Italy (25 points). Iceland were credited with victories in four of their last five matches, including the last two.
• This is Denmark's fourth successive U21 final tournament, and a sixth participation in the eight or 12-team finals. They were eliminated in the group stage in 2006, 2011 on home soil, 2017 and 2019, but did reach the semi-finals in 2015, losing 4-1 to eventual champions Sweden.
• Two years ago in Italy, the Danes were eiminated having finished second in Group B behind eventual runners-up Germany having collected six points from their three games (W2 L1).
• Their results in the 2019 finals meant Denmark had won six of their 15 group stage games in the final tournament overall, losing seven, prior to the 2021 tournament.
• A place in the 2015 semi-finals equalled Denmark's most successful U21 campaign; they also reached the last four in 1992 having previously got to the quarter-finals in 1978 and 1986.
• Albert Capellas succeeded Niels Frederiksen as coach after those 2019 finals and oversaw an unbeaten qualifying campaign, his side picking up 26 points from their ten matches (W8 D2) to win Group 8 by six points from Romania.
• Jacob Bruun Larsen provided seven assists in qualifying, more than any other player.
Links and trivia
• Have played in Denmark:
Patrik Gunnarsson (Viborg 2020, Silkeborg 2021 loan)
Elías Rafn Ólafsson (Midtjylland 2018–, Aarhus Fremad 2019/20 loan, Fredericia 2020– loan)
Mikael Anderson (Midtjylland 2016–, Vendsyssel 2017/18 loan)
Ísak Ólafsson (SønderjyskE 2019–)
Jón Dagur Þorsteinsson (Vendsyssel 2018/19 loan, AGF 2019–)
Sveinn Aron Guðjohnsen (OB 2020– loan)
Stefán Teitur Þórðarson (Silkeborg 2020–)
• Elías Rafn Ólafsson and Anderson's team-mates at Midtjylland have included Japhet Sery Larsen, Gustav Isaksen and Nikolas Dyhr.
• Have also played together:
Patrik Gunnarsson & Mads Bech Sørensen (Brentford 2018–20)
Patrik Gunnarsson & Japhet Sery (Brentford 2019/20)
Stefán Teitur Þórðarson & Rasmus Carstensen (Silkeborg 2020–)