After both he and Henrik Dalsgaard sat out Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Belgium in the Nations League, Christian put in a man-of-the-match performance on debut as The Danes drew 0-0 with England in Copenhagen on Tuesday. The 26-year-old played 75 minutes of the stalemate, impressing with his customary all-action display. The point leaves Denmark third in League A2 with Iceland to play next month.
Also in League A, Pontus Jansson played every minute of Sweden’s opening two matches which saw defeat to the World Champions, France, and European Champions, Portugal. The appearances were Pontus’ 24th and 25th for his nation as a Kylian Mbappe goal and then a Cristiano Ronaldo double, the first of which saw him become the first European player to 100 international goals, settled the matches. Things don’t get a whole lot easier in League A3 with a visit to the World Cup runners-up, Croatia, next month.
Patrik Gunnarsson kept a clean sheet for Iceland’s Under-21s in European Championship qualifying before taking his place on the bench for the senior team during their 5-1 Nations League defeat to Belgium. The 19-year-old stopper was making his eighth appearance for the Under-21s as they beat Sweden 1-0, a win which leaves them third in Group A, four points behind leaders Ireland but with a game in hand.
Elsewhere in Under-21 qualifying, Josh Dasilva made his England debut off the bench during their crucial 2-1 victory over Austria as the Young Lions followed up Friday’s 6-0 win over Kosovo with three points against their nearest challengers in Group C. Josh played the final quarter at the Keine Sorgen Arena on Monday, adding an Under-21 appearance to his outings at Under-19 and Under-20 level. The win means Aidy Boothroyd’s side need just four points from their final three matches to qualify.
That win over Austria also kept Halil Dervisoglu and Turkey’s slim hopes alive after they beat Andorra 1-0 in Friday. Guven Yalcin netted the only goal as Turkey closed the gap on Austria to five points with three games to play. The appearance was Halil’s eighth at Under-21 level and sixth in this qualifying campaign.
Bryan Mbeumo featured off the bench twice for France as they took maximum points this week to keep the pressure on Switzerland at the head of Group B. The winger won the penalty which Odsonne Edouard scored to wrap up the points in Georgia on Friday and then won his seventh cap in Azerbaijan on Monday as Les Espoirs prevailed 2-1. France trail The Swiss by three points with four to play.
In Group H, Mads Bech won his fourth Denmark cap during their 1-1 draw against Ukraine. Having won their first five, The Danes looked set for defeat until a 95th minute Emil Riis Jakobsen goal rescued a point in Aalborg. Mads then sat out Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Northern Ireland in Ballymena which left them three points clear of Romania with three to play.
Jaakko Oksanen and Finland’s hopes of qualifying from the same group are now over after they suffered a pair of defeats to Romania and Ukraine. The 19-year-old was a late substitute during Friday’s 3-1 home defeat to Romania before earning his 10th cap from the start on Monday in Helsinki.