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U21 EURO: see what happened in the opening games

Denmark beat France while Portugal, Switzerland and Russia also won on Thursday to join Spain and Germany in securing opening victories.

Denmark celebrate victory
Denmark celebrate victory UEFA via Getty Images

Portugal defeated Croatia, Denmark overcame France, Switzerland beat England and Russia cruised against Iceland as UEFA European Under-21 Championship Groups C and D began on Thursday.

Holders Spain and Germany both picked up victories against co-hosts on Wednesday, while there were draws in the other two games in Groups A and B. Click on all the match links to watch highlights.

Matchday one results

Thursday

Group C

Russia 4-1 Iceland (Győr)
Fedor Chalov made it 1-0 from the spot after 17-year-old debutant Arsen Zakharyan was tripped. Chalov then set up CSKA Moskva colleague Nayair Tiknizyan to chip in the second and won the ball for Zakharyan to produce a fine solo goal on the stroke of half-time. Denis Makarov, brilliant in the first half on the wing, got his goal early in the second with a fine low finish. Sveinn Aron Gudjohnsen headed one back for Iceland just before the hour.

Highlights: France 0-1 Denmark (2 mins)
Highlights: France 0-1 Denmark (2 mins)

France 0-1 Denmark (Szombathely)
Both sides had their chances, but Denmark executed their gameplan to perfection to beat 2019 semi-finalists France. With 15 minutes remaining, half-time substitute Anders Dreyer scored the only goal, latching onto a fine through ball from Jacob Bruun Larsen, the leading assist provider in qualifying, and rounding Alban Lafont. France were left to rue earlier missed chances from Amine Gouiri, who hit the post, and Boubacar Kamara, who curled wide.

Group D

England 0-1 Switzerland (Koper-Capodistria)
Dan Ndoye's 78th-minute goal proved the difference. By the time Ndoye struck, England keeper Aaron Ramsdale had been tested by Andi Zeqiri and Kastriot Imeri, while Bastien Toma was denied by a post. Callum Hudson-Odoi forced Anthony Racioppi's most notable save and Lloyd Kelly went close with a header but England lacked cutting edge.

Highlights: Portugal 1-0 Croatia (2 mins)
Highlights: Portugal 1-0 Croatia (2 mins)

Portugal 1-0 Croatia (Koper-Capodistria)
Fábio Vieira came off the bench to get the only goal of the game as Rui Jorge's men matched Switzerland. Portugal tested Croatia goalkeeper Adrian Šemper a number of times, but it was not until their coach tweaked his line-up after the hour mark that the breakthrough came.

Watch all the highlights

Wednesday

Group A

Highlights: Hungary 0-3 Germany (2 mins)
Highlights: Hungary 0-3 Germany (2 mins)

Hungary 0-3 Germany (Székesfehérvár)
Germany ran out comfortable winners but had to be patient before three goals in 13 minutes against the co-hosts. Lukas Nmecha got the all-important first just past the hour, heading home a Ridle Baku cross. Baku then stabbed in a David Raum delivery and got his second when first to react after Mergim Berisha’s shot came back off the bar.

Romania 1-1 Netherlands (Budapest)
The Netherlands, returning to an U21 finals for the first time since 2013, played out a cagey draw with the 2019 semi-finalists. Perr Schuurs' fine header was reward for an imposing Dutch start, but Andrei Ciobanu levelled almost immediately with a free-kick from the edge of the box.

Group B

Highlights: Czech Republic 1-1 Italy (2 mins)
Highlights: Czech Republic 1-1 Italy (2 mins)

Czech Republic 1-1 Italy (Celje)
Italy could not build on Gianluca Scamacca's stylish first-half finish as chances came and went for the Azzurrini. An unfortunate Giulio Maggiore own goal – as well as late red cards for Sandro Tonali and Riccardo Marchizza – meant the Czechs left Celje with a point.

Slovenia 0-3 Spain (Maribor)
Holders Spain made a winning start after co-hosts Slovenia's resistance on their U21 finals debut was broken in the second period. Javier Puado and Gonzalo Villar scored in the 53rd and 54th minutes, before Juan Miranda added a third late on.

Where to watch the games