19 June 2011

u21 Iceland 3-1 Denmark u21

Host nation Denmark were dumped out of the European Under-21 Championship following a dramatic 3-1 defeat to Iceland in Aalborg on Saturday. The evening's other game saw Belarus beaten 3-0 by Group A winners Switzerland, but the Danes' unexpected loss meant they failed to capitalise and progress to the semi-finals.

Iceland struck twice in two second-half minutes through Kolbeinn Sigthorsson and Birkir Bjarnason to stun the home crowd. Bashkim Kadrii pulled one back for Denmark before Hjortur Valgardsson netted a stunning injury-time strike, but it was not enough for either side as both crashed out.

Neither team could break through in a goalless first half, and it was AZ Alkmaar striker Sigthorsson who eventually ended the deadlock on 58 minutes when he turned the ball home from close range. The Danes' evening went from bad to worse just two minutes later when Gylfi Sigurdsson set up Bjarnason with a tidy cross, allowing him to head home and double Iceland's advantage.

Denmark saw a glimmer of hope when Kadrii met a Kasper Povlsen cross to score with nine minutes left on the clock, but it was extinguished soon after when Valgarsson put Iceland's win beyond doubt with a wonder strike from outside the box. Saturday's result means hosts Denmark finish in the basement of Group A, with Switzerland progressing at the top and Belarus edging through in second.

Sorry to see Iceland go out!

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