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Finland's finals luck against Denmark

Denmark have been dominant against Finland in their many meetings across the last two decades and need that pattern to continue to stand any chance of clinching a top-two berth.

Anna Westerlund (left) closes down Denmark's Katrine Pedersen in the 2009 opening match
Anna Westerlund (left) closes down Denmark's Katrine Pedersen in the 2009 opening match ©Sportsfile

Denmark and Finland can only secure a top-two finish in Group A by winning in Gothenburg.

• Denmark opened with a 1-1 draw against Sweden in Gothenburg, before succumbing 2-1 to Italy three days later.

• Having held Italy to a goalless draw, Finland were beaten 5-0 by Sweden.

• Denmark and Finland both need to win and hope Sweden or Italy follow suit to stand any chance of progressing in first or second place.

• Even if the Sweden-Italy contest does provide a winner, Denmark or Finland will need a significant swing in goal difference to overhaul the group leaders.

• If Denmark draw with Finland, their tournament hopes would remain alive, so long as the Group C game between Iceland and the Netherlands on Wednesday also ends in a stalemate.

• If either team prevails, they would at least ensure a place in the third-place draw.

• The group winners stay in Halmstad to meet the third-placed team in either Group B or C on Sunday. The runners-up face the Group B runners-up the same day in Vaxjo, with the winners of those two quarter-finals then matched in Gothenburg next Wednesday.

• If the third-placed team from Group A advance, they will play the Group C winners in Linkoping on Monday. That would then lead to next Thursday's Norrkoping semi-final against the winners of Group B or the Group C runners-up.

Head-to-head record
• This will be the 36th game between these nations. Denmark have won 26 and Finland four with five draws. The goal tally is 84-17.

• Denmark beat Finland in their first meeting on 28 July 1974 in Maarianheim. Both teams had made their international debuts earlier that week against Sweden, Denmark eventually winning the triangular tournament.

• Denmark won their first six games against Finland – including a 9-0 success in 1975 (Finland's record defeat) – scoring 24 unanswered goals before a 1-1 draw in 1980.

• Their first competitive meeting ended in a 1-1 draw on 24 October 1984 in 1987 European qualifying.

• It took 23 games for Finland to beat Denmark, a 2-1 victory in UEFA Women's EURO 2001 qualifying on 1 June 2000 in Mikkeli.

• Denmark also lost 2-1 in Tampere in a 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifier on 26 August 2006. A month later in Viborg, Denmark won 1-0 to pip Finland to the finals.

• Denmark lost 2-1 to Finland in Blackpool in the UEFA Women's EURO 2005 group stage. That result took Finland through to the semi-finals along with Sweden at the expense of Denmark and hosts England and was Finland's first win in a final tournament. It remains their only defeat of Denmark outside Finland. Tiina Salmén started for Finland, Denmark fielded Katrine Søndergaard Pedersen, Johanna Rasmussen and Mia Brogaard.

Selected previous meeting
23 August 2009: Finland 1-0 Denmark (Saari 49) - Olympic Stadium, Helsinki, UEFA Women's EURO group stage
Finland: Korpela, Valema, Julin (Sjölund 84), Valkonen, Salmén, Mäkinen, Österberg Kalmari, Westerlund, Sällström (Lehtinen 73), Sainio (Talonen 60), Saari.
Denmark: H Johansen, Brogaard, K Pedersen, M Jensen (Nadim 72), Roddik Hansen, Paaske-Sørensen, Bukh (M Pedersen 89), Pape, Sand Andersen, J Rasmussen, T Rasmussen (Veje 46).

• A Finnish record crowd of 16,324 saw the hosts win the official opening match of the finals. Just as in 2005, Finland were to progress (losing to England in the quarter-finals) while Denmark, coached as now by Kenneth Heiner-Møller, exited in third place.

• Julie Rydahl Bukh lined up against Katri Nokso-Koivisto (who opened the scoring) as Finland beat Denmark 3-2 in Ludwisghafen Oggersheim, Germany in a UEFA European Women's Under-18 Championship third qualifying round fixture on 22 April 2000.

Form guide
• Denmark seldom falter in qualifying groups and so it proved again for this tournament. They won their first six fixtures, and although they fell to a surprise 3-1 defeat in Austria on 15 September 2012, four days later a 2-0 win against Portugal confirmed first place in Group 7.

• Finland qualified from Group 5 with a game to spare and won six, drew one and lost one of their eight games. Their only draw was 2-2 in Belarus and they lost their last match 1-0 at home to Ukraine having already clinched first place.

Team ties
• Finland's Swedish coach Andrée Jeglertz had Johanna Rasmussen among his charges while in charge of Umeå IK, reaching the 2008 UEFA Women's Cup final.

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