U21 semi-final facts: Denmark v Sweden
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Scandinavian neighbours Denmark and Sweden meet in Prague with a place in the U21 EURO final at stake and with both nations seeking to end a long wait for success.
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Denmark and Sweden are attempting to end a long wait for international success as they meet in Prague in the second semi-final of the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.
• Denmark have reached one semi-final before, losing 1-0 at home and 2-0 away to an Italy team featuring Demetrio Albertini, Dino Baggio and Angelo Peruzzi in 1992. The greatest day in Danish football history was just two months away, however, as goals by John Jensen and Kim Vilfort completed the EURO '92 fairy tale for Richard Møller Nielsen's last-minute entrants.
• Sweden have never won a UEFA men's competition, losing to Italy 2-1 on aggregate over two legs in the final of that same 1992 U21 competition. The Scandinavian side reached this stage most recently in 2009 as hosts, losing an epic semi-final 5-4 on penalties to England after a 3-3 draw in Gothenburg. They were also semi-finalists in 1990 and 2004.
• All group stage bookings were wiped out ahead of the semi-finals so no player is unavailable because of a disciplinary issue.
Denmark (P1 L1)
• 09/04/1992 (Aalborg): Denmark 0-1 Italy
22/04/1992 (Perugia): Italy 2-0 Denmark
Denmark lost 3-0 on aggregate
Sweden (P4 W1 L3)
• 26/06/2009 (Gothenburg): England 3-3 Sweden (5-4 on pens)
• 05/06/2004 (Oberhausen): Sweden 1-1 Serbia and Montenegro (5-6 on pens)
• 22/04/1992 (Aberdeen): Scotland 0-0 Sweden
29/04/1992 (Orebro): Sweden 1-0 Scotland
Sweden won 1-0 on aggregate
• 25/04/1990 (Vaxjo): Sweden 1-1 USSR
09/05/1990 (Simferopol): USSR 2-0 Sweden
Sweden lost 3-1 on aggregate
Penalty shoot-out records
Denmark: No previous U21 shoot-outs
Sweden: W0 L2
• 26/06/2009, semi-final (Gothenburg): England 3-3 Sweden (5-4 on pens)
Marcus Berg, who scored twice as Sweden came back from 3-0 down, missed Sweden's first penalty and Guillermo Molins hit the post with their sixth kick to send England through to a final against Germany.
• 05/06/2004, semi-final (Oberhausen): Sweden 1-1 Serbia and Montenegro (5-6 on pens)
Babis Stefanidis, Sweden's first-half goalscorer, missed Sweden's sixth kick as Serbia and Montenegro secured a final against Italy and a ticket to the Olympic Games.
• These teams met in a pre-tournament friendly international in front of 4,084 spectators at Lyngby Stadion in Copenhagen on Thursday 11 June. John Guidetti (17) and Simon Gustafson (86) scored for Sweden either side of a Nicolai Brock-Madsen double (19 and 66) for Denmark.
• The lineups were:
Denmark: Busk (Rønnow 46), Scholz (Remmer 62), Sørensen, Banggaard, Knudsen (Durmisi 46), Vigen, Nørgaard (Gregor 69), Andersen (Jønsson 27) Bech (Dessler 30), Brock-Madsen (Marcondes 69), Falk (Juulsager 62).
Sweden: Carlgren (Rinne 63), Krafth (Ssewankambo 20), Holmén (Bergström 82), Helander (Baffo 46), Konate, Quaison, Hiljemark (Gustafsson 77), Lewicki (Larsson 46), Khalili (Olsson 63), Ishak (Hrgota 46), Guidetti (Zeneli 77).
• The Danish Football Association website says the overall record between the pair at U21 level reads: 12 Denmark wins, 19 draws, 19 Sweden wins.
• On the competitive front, the teams have met five times in U21 EURO history, though never before in a final tournament.
• Denmark have the edge with two wins, though Sweden's sole victory came in the sides' most recent encounter in qualifying for the 2007 final tournament. In a three-team Group 11 that also included FYR Macedonia, Sweden beat the Danes with two goals in the last six minutes of a winner-takes-all game in Farum, Denmark on 5 September 2006.
• Samuel Holmén, elder brother of current squad member Sebastian, scored Sweden's first. Substitute Erkan Zengin added the second goal a minute from time. Sweden's Mattias Bjärsmyr was sent off for a second bookable offence on 71 minutes.
• The lineups at Farum Park that day were:
Denmark: Rasmussen, Jakobsen, Troest (Kildentoft 51), Jensen, Rasmusen, Zimling (c), Kvist, Thygesen, Curth, Lorentzen (Bergvold 84), Poulsen (Olsen 61).
Sweden: Dahlin, Stoor, Granqvist (c), Bjärsmyr, Wendt, Lindgren, Holmén, Wernbloom, Runström (Zengin 63), Farnerud (Lustig 90+2), Goitom (Berg 68).
• Sweden were subsequently beaten by eventual runners-up Serbia in the play-offs, losing the second leg 5-0 having triumphed 3-0 in the first.
• Denmark got the better of the neighbours' two meetings in qualifying for the 1982 competition, winning 2-1 at home in October 1980 before a goalless draw in Sweden in June 1981. Both teams failed to progress, though, as Scotland won their three-team group.
• Denmark also won the duo's first official U21 EURO encounter in October 1976, prevailing 2-0 in Hvidore in the first championship staged after the age category was switched from U23. They followed that up with a 2-2 draw in Helsingborg in June 1977 to progress to the quarter-finals where they lost on away goals to Bulgaria.
• In a UEFA context, the two nations' most famous senior meeting came at EURO 2004 in Porto when a last-minute goal by Sweden's Mattias Jonson sealed a 2-2 draw that meant both advanced from Group C. Jon Dahl Tomasson scored twice for Denmark either side of Henrik Larsson's penalty. Italy finished level on five points with the Scandinavian pair, but Sweden ended top courtesy of goals scored between the three sides, with Denmark second having scored one more than Italy.
• The overall senior record from 103 matches between the neighbours is 40 wins for Denmark, 45 wins for Sweden and 18 draws.
Both teams (along with Portugal and Germany) have qualified for the 2016 Olympic football tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
• Denmark have played in the men's football tournament at eight Olympic Games (1908, 1912, 1920, 1948, 1952, 1960, 1972 and 1992).
• Denmark won the silver medal in 1908, 1912 and 1960, plus a bronze in 1948.
• Denmark recorded their biggest-ever win at the 1908 Games: 17-1 against France.
• Sweden have played in the men's football tournament at nine Olympic Games (1908, 1912, 1920, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1952, 1988 and 1992).
• Sweden won the 1948 gold medal in London and bronze at the 1924 and 1952 Games.
• At the 1908 Games the Swedes suffered a worst-ever defeat: losing 12-1 to Great Britain.
• In 1936 they were knocked out by Japan in the national team's most famous defeat.
• Denmark are the only team to have won two games in the group stage and reached six points.
• Denmark have been caught offside the least amount of times in the tournament (1).
• Frederik Sørensen, sidelined since limping off with a hamstring injury against the Czech Republic on matchday one, is available.
• The squad gathered at the team hotel on Wednesday evening to watch the final Group B games and went on a boat trip on the River Vltava on Thursday afternoon.
• Many of the players' family and friends are returning to the Czech capital for the weekend having left after matchday two.
• Brøndby coach Thomas Frank, working in Prague for Danish television, led Denmark to the 2011 UEFA European Under-17 Championship semi-finals with a team including Riza Durmisi, Lasse Vigen Christensen, Viktor Fischer, Pierre Højbjerg, Christian Nørgaard and Yussuf Poulsen. They lost 2-0 to Germany in the last four.
• Germany's 3-0 win against Denmark during the group stage was the Scandinavians' heaviest defeat in a U21 EURO final tournament, surpassing the 3-1 loss they suffered to Iceland on home soil in 2011.
• Sweden scored more goals than Group B winners Portugal (3), but generating the lowest number of corners and attempts of all eight teams.
• With over half of their squad (52.2%) having been capped at senior level prior to this tournament, Sweden's experience could be a key factor for them.
• Sweden gained all of their points in the group stage from losing positions: they recovered to beat Italy 2-1 and to hold Portugal 1-1.
• Sweden have scored two of their three goals in the final five minutes of matches, carrying on a trend from qualifying. Oscar Hiljemark secured their play-off place with a 92nd-minute winner against Turkey and in then Oscar Lewicki struck in the 88th minute of the play-off second leg against France to take his team through to these finals.
• Sweden's most famous player, Zlatan Ibrahimović, got caught up in the excitement of the draw with Portugal. "Big congratulations to the U21 team, totally deserved," said Ibrahimović. "We Swedish Vikings never give up."
• Mikael Ishak has recovered from the fever which caused him to miss the Portugal game.
• Joseph Baffo was substituted in the 80th minute against Portugal and has subsequently had an x-ray on his left shoulder, which he has previously had surgery on. A final decision on his availability will be taken before kick-off.
• Sweden left their base in Brno on Thursday and headed to Prague, holding a press conference at the team hotel that evening.
The following players play their club football together:
• Randers: Nicolai Brock-Madsen (Denmark), Mikael Ishak (Sweden)
• København: Christoffer Remmer (Denmark), Ludwig Augustinsson (Sweden)
• Midtjylland: Pione Sisto, Patrick Banggaard (Denmark), Kristoffer Olsson (Sweden)
Last five games (most recent first): WLWDW
Tournament top scorer: Pione Sisto (2)
Qualifying top scorer: Lasse Christensen (5)
Last five games (most recent first): DLWDW
Tournament top scorer: Simon Tibbling, John Guidetti, Isaac Kiese Thelin (1)
Qualifying top scorer: Guidetti, Kiese Thelin (4)
Senior internationals in squad (caps)
Denmark: 10 players with 32 caps between them
Pierre Højbjerg (7), Viktor Fischer (7), Yussuf Poulsen (5), Jannik Vestergaard (3), Uffe Bech (3), Jonas Knudsen (2), Andreas Christensen (2), Riza Durmisi (1), Nicolaj Thomsen (1), Rasmus Falk (1)
Sweden: 11 players with 37 caps between them
Oscar Hiljemark (6), Isaac Kiese Thelin (5), Robin Quaison (5), Oscar Lewicki (4), Alexander Miloševic (4), Branimir Hrgota (3), Ludwig Augustinsson (2), John Guidetti (2), Simon Gustafson (2), Sebastian Holmén (2), Mikael Ishak (2)
Denmark: Jess Thorup (21/02/1970)
The former striker – who played in Germany, Austria and Norway – took charge in June 2013, a month after overseeing Esbjerg's victory against Randers in the Danish Cup final, their first trophy since 1979. He was named Denmark's coach of the year as a result.
Sweden: Håkan Ericson (29/05/1960)
The son of Georg Ericson, Sweden coach from 1970-79, Håkan Ericson took charge of the U21s in November 2010. Formerly at the helm of Norrköping, he moved into the dugout in 1983 after a knee injury cut short his career when he was 21.