U21 EURO daily bulletin: Wednesday 24 June
Wednesday, 24 June 2015
There was joy for Portugal and Sweden but despair for Italy and England while up in Prague two Denmark players took time out for UEFA.com's crossbar challenge.
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The squad were unanimous in explaining how they found themselves eliminated from the tournament following their 1-1 draw with Germany. "Everybody saw that the only part of our entire performance we made a mess of was the second half against Denmark," said defender Tomáš Kalas, referring to his team's opening game in which they led 1-0 at half-time only to lose 2-1. "This is where we lost the vital point that we're lacking now."
Following "low-key celebrations" to mark their qualification as Group A winners on Tuesday night, Denmark were back at it on Wednesday morning. The squad gathered for training in Zizkov, performing media duties in the usual relaxed fashion before two of them took UEFA.com's crossbar challenge. Christian Nørgaard and Uffe Bech (who even attempted a 'Rabona') both succeeded first time out and the contest eventually went to sudden death ...
There was talk of caipirinha and salsa music after Germany secured their semi-final spot on Tuesday night, but any exuberant Brazilian-style celebrations after booking a ticket to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics could not have been too over-the-top considering how fresh Kevin Volland appeared in front of the media before lunch. Asked whether the departure of Hoffenheim team-mate Roberto Firmino to Liverpool had dampened his mood, Volland replied: "It was so much fun to play with him in recent years, but his move was always on the horizon."
The squad jetted back to Belgrade early on Wednesday morning following their defeat by Denmark, which left them bottom of Group A and out of the competition.
England 1-3 Italy
• Marco Benassi scored twice as Italy eliminated England with victory in Olomouc only to be denied a semi-final spot themselves after Sweden's late strike in Uherske Hradiste.
• "At 1-0 I was so pleased but then we had the despair." Luigi Di Biagio, Italy coach (Full reaction)
Portugal 1-1 Sweden
• Simon Tibbling scored an 89th-minute equaliser to send Sweden through in dramatic fashion, with a draw enough to guarantee Portugal's own progress as group winners.
• "We had a plan that if we had to go for a goal in the last minutes then we would and it's the second time it has happened this way." Håkan Ericson, Sweden coach (Full reaction)