Finland face a daunting challenge against the world’s top-ranked team Belgium to advance to the round of 16 of Euro 2020 in their first tournament, but coach Markku Kanerva s’ inspires his team’s ability to surprise the best nations. “A draw will probably be enough to qualify,” he said of Group B’s final game in St. Petersburg on Monday for Finland, who have three points after a first victory over Denmark.
“When I started as head coach of the Finnish team, one of the first matches was a friendly against Belgium and we managed a draw,” he added at a conference of press Sunday, recalling a 1-1 result in 2016. Kanerva announced Monday’s game. – which takes place at the same time as Denmark meets Russia in Copenhagen – the biggest on record for Finland, which occupies 53 places behind Belgium in the FIFA rankings.
“We still have a chance to win the group – it’s entirely in our hands,” he said. “The most important part of our job is to focus on the part that we can really control, and that is our own game. We have our colleagues who will keep us informed about the situation between Russia and Denmark, but I ‘hope we don’t need this information. “
After beating the Danes, the Finns went on to lose to Russia, but they believe other past exploits, like a friendly 2-0 victory over France in November, will help them against Belgium. “It’s great that we have the chance to play against the two best teams in the world. Even though it was a friendly game, the game against France gave us an idea of how well we can play against the best. teams, ”Kanerva said.
“Now that we are up against number one in the FIFA World Ranking, the experience with France gives us the idea that we can beat great teams.” The Finns are third in Group B behind Belgium and Russia. The top two qualify for the knockout stage, as well as the top four thirds of the six groups.
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