Finland VS Belgium LIVE Football Match Score June 21/6/2021
Finland’s narrow defeat by Russia on Matchday 2 stifled their momentum after opening with a win, but the tournament newcomers can still book a place in the next round with victory in St Petersburg. Easier said than done, of course, especially against an impressive Belgium side already assured of their spot in the round of 16 following a hard-fought victory over Denmark last time out. The Red Devils only require a draw to finish top of the section, but will want to send out a statement of intent by ending the group stage with a perfect record.
Roberto Martínez has said Kevin De Bruyne and Axel Witsel will start, together with Eden Hazard, and since Belgium have already qualified, teenager Jérémy Doku may get his first minutes of EURO action. Belgium will top the group with a draw but Martínez wants to win every game. After a difficult start against Denmark, I am sure his team will be fast out of the blocks. And with all that experience and talent in opposition, Finland won’t have it easy.
A top-class cameo display from Kevin de Bruyne inspired his side to reverse an early deficit at the Parken Stadium, as fans and players paid tribute to stricken midfielder Christian Eriksen, who continues to recover from his mid-game cardiac arrest last weekend.
In beating the Danes 2-1 last Thursday, the Red Devils became the first team to come from behind to win at this edition of the Euros; stretching their perfect record in the competition – qualifiers included – to 12 wins out of 12. In fact, they have now won 21 of their last 25 matches altogether, with the only defeat in that time coming at Wembley in the Nations League last October.
Given recent runs to the latter stages of major competitions for the current ‘golden generation’, reaching the final for the first time since 1980 – when they lost 2-1 to West Germany in Rome – remains the goal of the most experienced squad at these Championships.
A multi-talented selection, which now contains five players with 100 or more caps, will come into their third and final group stage fixture amid familiar surroundings. Their fifth match in St Petersburg during the past three years sees them back on the Krestovsky Stadium turf as strong favourites to top their group – thereby securing a last-16 clash with one of the third-place finishers.
Though Martinez and company lost to France there in the 2018 World Cup semi-final, they recovered to beat England in the third-place play-off four days later, before later seeing off Russia in the picturesque port city on two separate occasions – a 4-1 win in their faultless qualifying campaign and last week’s 3-0 canter on Group B’s dramatic opening night.