Danes don’t remember the Finland match at Parken for Eriksen’s heart attack, but for Rasmus Höjlund’s show, writes Urheilu’s Hinni Hirvonen.
From the Danish national team’s home base into the dark night of Copenhagen, one Finnish supporter looked more disappointed than the other.
Just a moment earlier, Finland had lost to home team Denmark 1–3.
Even though many of the Finnish fans had sold their country, the result was expected: even after the disappointment of the World Cup, the team ranked 18th in the world went into the evening as the favorite – despite the fact that the previous meeting between the teams had ended in a 1–0 victory for Finland at the European Championships.
However, the most important part of the opening match of Finland’s EC history was not a victory, but Christian Eriksen having a heart attack. That’s why Finland’s star striker Teemu Pukki I was hoping for “just a normal, good football match” before the game.
Victory was not close in Finland on Parken’s night, but a draw was a good ten minutes away – until Rasmus Höjlund struck twice more and completed his hat-trick by wilding the completely full Parken and moments later also the Danish media.
Everyone stood and clapped, just like every goal – both in the supporter’s stand, which was banned from bouncing for safety reasons, as well as in the “shrimp field”.
Mothers, daughters, sons, fathers, grandmothers.
If in Finland many people head to the car five minutes before the final whistle, none of the Danish fans wanted to leave the stadium into the cool evening. If the team had not been invited by the media, the supporters and players could have stayed to enjoy the moment for a long time.
At the same time, the Finnish players quickly thanked the 1,700 supporters who had arrived in Copenhagen and left for the locker room.
A spontaneous exclamation broke out as soon as a Finnish supporter stepped out of the Parken stadium onto the pitch:
– The devil!
As if to reinforce his message, the shouter slapped his hand on the stadium’s stall.
Denmark now got what is always expected of it against Finland. I win.
At least for the next twenty-four hours, the Danes will not remember the Finland match played at Parken for Eriksen’s heart attack, but for the Rasmus Höjlund show. Only 20 years old, Atalanta’s super promise managed to pass Lukas Hradecky, who made a great save, three times. Like the great football country, he was modestly compared to the Norwegian prodigy to Erling Haaland.
Fortunately, there was no repeat of the summer 2021 events in Parken’s evening in March. Nevertheless, a large group of fans made Parken experience great emotions and joy in the evening – on both ends.
Huahkaji’s supporters had had a great day before the start of the match. Almost two thousand fans in an away match is not everyday, and although it was not a record, it was the largest number in qualifying matches for a long time. At the supporters’ march, the atmosphere was on the roof, as also for the first time in the local train, which was used only by Finnish supporters on a visiting trip.
Self-confidence and belief in victory was strong for the Finnish supporters during the match.
Even during the match, the charm lasted for half an hour. Already heard many times at the supporter’s march, the support song describing captain Lukas Hradecky’s heroics at Parken rang out with the brilliant saves of the Finnish goalkeeper.
Previously, the loss to Denmark could have been passed over with a shrug: this is how it was supposed to go, the better won, a basic loss.
The head coach Markku Kanerva however, reminded during the qualifiers that the team no longer talks about dreams, but about goals.
The Finnish supporters who went out into the night in Copenhagen were of the same opinion.
– This was the expected result, but… I still expected more.