On a Monday evening (9 p.m. LIVE! at Kicker) Finland has plenty of opportunity for something historic—and even eagle owls have it in their hands. Coach Marco Kanerva does not want to look to Copenhagen.
Coach Marco Kanerva has an eye on history with Finland.
After their 1-0 victory over Denmark, the Finnish national team began their first European Championship in the drama about Danish Christian Eriksen, who must top the historic victory – albeit in special circumstances – now. Belgium is the name of the big obstacle that Finland has to cross on Monday evening. Coach Kanerva on Sunday emphasized “the greatest match in Finnish football history”.
One win and Finland will be in the round of 16. “The big dream is in our hands,” Kanerva said. “It’s good to have this opportunity. We will do our best to make that dream come true.”
But the task couldn’t be more difficult. World number one Belgium, one of the favorites for the tournament, plays in St Petersburg. The Red Devils have already qualified for the Round of 16 after two out of three throws, and the last ailing stars Kevin De Bruyne, Axel Witsel and Eden Hazard must train. “They are three world-class players,” said their colleague Jason Denayer, “of a completely different caliber.” “He is in good shape” and wants to defend the Belgian star as a group, said De Bruyne’s Canerva.
But the most important part of our job is to focus on the part where we can influence ourselves – that is our own game.
Statistics give the Finns courage. Even the record in the previous eleven duels speaks little about the blatant outsider (4-3-3). In addition, a tie may be enough. The starting position of Group B is complicated, and there could also be a three-way comparison with Russia and Denmark. “We even have a chance to win this group. It’s in our hands,” Kanerva said.
Kanerva: Hide Parallel Game
And that is what the Finnish coach and his team want to focus on, so the result of the parallel match between Russia and Denmark is only marginally important in the 90 minutes against Belgium. “But the most important part of our job is to focus on the part where we can influence ourselves – that’s our own game.” Perhaps the biggest game, too.