Football: Denmark bid to snatch last-16 berth at Euro 2020 as Scotland lose Gilmour to Covid

New Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Jun 21, 2021, 08:41 PM IST
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Denmark host Russia at Euro 2020 on Monday seeking to snatch a place in the last 16 as coronavirus further disrupted the tournament, costing Scotland the services of breakout star Billy Gilmour.

Denmark host Russia at Euro 2020 on Monday seeking to snatch a place in the last 16 as coronavirus further disrupted the tournament, costing Scotland the services of breakout star Billy Gilmour.

Elsewhere, Austria and Ukraine go head-to-head in Bucharest for a place in the knockout phase, with the Netherlands already assured of qualification from Group C.

Denmark's opening 1-0 loss to Finland in Group B was overshadowed by Christian Eriksen's mid-match collapse due to a cardiac arrest and they were defeated by Belgium in an emotional game during which fans and players showed their support for the midfielder.

But the 1992 European champions could snatch a top-two finish if they beat Russia and already-qualified Belgium win against Finland, with a crowd of up to 25,000 cheering them on in Copenhagen.

"We're prepared to run out at the Parken and have a magical night... it's like our Euro is starting right now," said Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand.

"We're not done. We had a difficult start and we're going to start over now. We're ready to get through the group and play more games."

A win by two goals or more would be enough if Finland lose, as would any one-goal success other than 1-0.

"It would mean a lot... after everything that we've been through I think we deserve it," said captain Simon Kjaer.

Inter Milan player Eriksen has left hospital after a successful operation to have a heart defibrillator fitted.

But Russia will be out to spoil the home team's day, knowing just a point would be enough to finish second if Belgium win.

Roberto Martinez's Belgians, the world's top-ranked team, are not yet guaranteed a top-two finish, but a draw would see them through as group winners.

Ukraine, managed by Andriy Shevchenko, are just a point away from making the knockout stage for the first time after group exits in 2012 and 2016.

But Austria -- who had never won a European Championship match until they beat North Macedonia in their opener -- will be desperate to make their mark.

Even a point would likely be enough to secure a last-16 spot as one of the four best third-placed teams.

Coach Franco Foda has confirmed that Marko Arnautovic will make his first start of Euro 2020 after serving a one-match ban for insulting Macedonian players while celebrating scoring as a substitute.

The victors will face Group A winners Italy at Wembley in the next round.

The other game in Group C is a dead rubber between the Netherlands, who are assured of top spot, and already-eliminated North Macedonia.

- Scotland's Gilmour tests positive -

The Scottish Football Association announced on Monday that Chelsea midfielder Gilmour had tested positive for Covid-19, dealing a huge blow to Scotland's hopes of making it beyond the group stages of a major tournament for the first time.

Gilmour picked up the man-of-the-match award in Friday's 0-0 draw against England at Wembley in his first international start.

But the 20-year-old will miss Tuesday's clash against Croatia at Hampden with Scotland needing to win to have any chance of progressing to the last 16.

"The Scottish FA can confirm that a member of the Scotland national team playing squad, Billy Gilmour, has tested positive for Covid-19," the Scottish FA said in a statement.

Spain captain Sergio Busquets was forced to self-isolate after a positive test earlier this month while Slovakia and Sweden have also been hit by positive tests.

World champions France have lost Ousmane Dembele for the rest of Euro 2020 after X-rays showed the Barcelona winger's knee injury would not heal in time.

Dembele, 24, was hurt in the closing minutes of the 1-1 draw against Hungary in Budapest on Saturday

On Sunday, Wales celebrated reaching the last 16 despite losing 1-0 to Italy in Rome. Switzerland were left to wait before finding out if they will join them following their 3-1 win against Turkey.

Wales, semi-finalists at Euro 2016, will play a last-16 tie in Amsterdam next Saturday against the runners-up from Group B.