Detour awaits Denmark’s European Championship dreams
The U21 national team threw a break lead against Belgium and now the fifth final round in a row hangs in a thin thread

The dream of the fifth final round in a row hangs in the balance for the Danish U21 national team. Photo: Bo Amstrup / Ritzau Scanpix

There are limits to how far Danish football can go right now.

On an evening where Christian Eriksen lit the World Cup dreams in the Park, the next generation had to realize that they need a detour to reach the fifth European Championship final for U21 national teams in a row.

Matched up against one of the strongest youth generations in Belgium for a while was 1-1 at the MCH Arena in Herning flattering for the Danes.

Quarantines for Victor Kristiansen, Rasmus Carstensen and Sebastian Hausner had previously left national coach Jesper Sørensen with something of a leg up.

Gustav Isaksen otherwise made it 1-0 on Tuesday night. Photo: Bo Amstrup / Ritzau Scanpix
Gustav Isaksen otherwise made it 1-0 on Tuesday night. Photo: Bo Amstrup / Ritzau Scanpix

It was not made easier by the fact that virtually the entire back chain raised warnings in the first half, where especially Oliver Villadsen from FC Nordsjælland seemed fiercely challenged.

Very telling of Villadsen’s problems in the match, he was replaced in the second half and the hard-fought Morten Frendrup had to take over the unfamiliar place.

Denmark, however, had a dream result within reach at the break, when Gustav Isaksen started a good Danish period by forcing a free kick on the edge of the field.

The FC Midtjyllands player had played totally without confidence, but he took advantage of the good opportunity to bring Denmark in front.

Photo: Bo Amstrup / Ritzau Scanpix
Photo: Bo Amstrup / Ritzau Scanpix

If it ends up kick-starting Gustav Isaksen’s spring, then FC Midtjylland can not thank Brøndby’s former assistant coach Jesper Sørensen enough for that.

It was clear that Denmark needed something completely extraordinary to keep all the way home, and when Lois Openda was sent through on the edge of offside in the second half, the Danish opportunities were shattered.

Seconds before, Mohammed Daramy had burned a giant chance and it turned out to be fateful.

Mads Bidstrup came in and gave the midfield a little welcome life and Celtics Matt O’Reily made his debut in red and white. But in the end, Denmark needed a striker to really put pressure.

By Editor

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