Grzegorz Michalewski: Surprise or sensation? In which categories do the Finns consider their victory over Denmark in their first appearance in the European Championship finals? This meeting had a drama and how was it received in Finland?
Thomas Arsius: To be sure, this victory was not spontaneously accepted as if it had been obtained under normal circumstances. We know very well how exciting this match is. The Finns are happy and proud of their team, but the situation is known to be the way it is. In any case, it is the spontaneous behavior of the fans during the match and the players themselves after scoring the goal, which proves that this spontaneity was not in the normal situation.
How did Finnish coach Marko Kanerva react to this dramatic event with Eriksen? How was the decision to end this meeting made?
It is known that more information is reaching us now and I know that Marko said they respect the decision of the Danish players who have been in contact with Eriksen 100%. On this basis, they made the decision to end the match on the same day. I think most of the national teams will behave like the Finns.
How did he relate to everything that happened to Eriksen in Finland?
Everyone is glad that it did not end tragically. Goalkeeper Hradecky, captain of the team, said after the match that everything is less important. Your health is the most important! In this case, Finland’s success was greatly exceeded. Everyone is happy that Eriksen is doing much better. According to players and fans, he might be the biggest winner of this match.
Joel Pohjanpalo scored the winning goal for the Finns in this historic match. How is this goal celebrated in the country?
It is known that the strength of the Finnish national team is the team itself. There are not many such individuals. Pohjanpalo has made an excellent decision to loan Union Berlin. At Bayer Leverkusen, where he played previously, he had a lot of competition and little chance of making a regular appearance. He was performing very well in Al-Ittihad, scoring six goals in the Bundesliga. It is likely that he will be the successor to Tim Bucky in the national team. Everyone counts on Pohjanpalo in the team and is pleased with his effectiveness. Hopefully he can show up in the next matches and Finland will surprise us again.
Watch also: Denmark coach: Christian Eriksen wants us to keep playing
In the end, Lukas Hradecky turned out to be the hero of the Finns, who saved Pierre-Emile Hojberg’s penalty a quarter of an hour before the end of the match.
As far as I remember, Hradecky did well in the Bundesliga on penalties. After the match, he said that the penalty kick was executed very poorly. I put it very politely. I don’t remember the exact words he used, but he generally found this shot easy to defend.
A match with Russia is ahead of Finland, so there will be political undertones. It is undeniable that the neighbors, to put it mildly, do not like each other. There were not many such mutual encounters, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Finnish team could not win with Russia. “Sborna” in the match against Belgium failed all the way to the streak and now it may turn out that after two matches the Finns can unexpectedly secure their exit from the group.
So far, little has been said about this match with Russia. It is known that in the coming days it will be the first topic. For now, the Finns are happy with their victory over Denmark and that Eriksen’s health has improved. The first comments that came out regarding the next match against Russia are that everyone hopes that after this match the Finns will be guaranteed to advance to the knockout stage. I watched the match between Russia and Belgium and I think with a little luck the Finns can create another surprise.
What is the greatest advantage of the Finnish team in this tournament? What captivated you the most in their match against Denmark?
discipline. We knew very well that the Danes would play the match and the Finnish team would have to defend themselves. Let us not deceive ourselves that they were very lucky, but in sports it is necessary to achieve success. This team is like family. They come to the training camps and say that they have already missed them. It adds a lot of faith and strength. With every minute of this match, when the Danes didn’t use their next stops, including the penalty kick, the Finns were known to likely end this victory. Let’s hope they maintain the same discipline in the upcoming matches. I’ve already mentioned that the Finns don’t have much in the way of exclusivity, but Kamara seems to be a great player, definitely shining midfield. The attitude of the Finns towards the euro can be compared with the recent performances of hockey players at the World Cup. They’ve also won medals there in recent years, including gold. They didn’t have their biggest star in the lineup, but this team was their strength, and they were drawn to these successes.
The full conversation is in the attached video.
Grzegorz Michalewski, Polsat Sport
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