MX23RW : Friday, September 21 22:05:32

Live Commentary: Czech Republic Under-21s 1-2 Denmark Under-21s - as it happened

Follow Sports Mole's live coverage of the opening match of the European Under-21 Championship between host nation Czech Republic and Denmark.

Denmark Under-21s came from behind to beat Czech Republic Under-21s in the opening match at the European Under-21 Championship.

The host nation made a bright start when defender Pavel Kaderabek put them ahead midway through the first half.

Jannik Vestergaard got the Danes back on level terms after the break, before substitute Pione Sisto added a late winner.

Read how all the action unfolded below.


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4.32pmGood afternoon! The opening match of the European Under-21 Championship gets underway is around half an hour, with host nation Czech Republic taking on a Denmark side that were impressive during their qualifying campaign. Let's start with a look at the team news...

4.33pmCZECH REPUBLIC STARTING XI: Koubek, Kaderabek, Brabec, Baranek, Hybs, Petrak, Zmrhal, Kliment, Frydek, Krejci, Prikryl

4.34pmDENMARK STARTING XI: Busk, Scholz, Sorensen, Vestergaard, Knudsen, Christensen, Hojbjerg, Thomsen, Falk, Fischer, Poulsen

4.36pmThe hosts are without a couple of the big names in their squad as Tomas Kalas and Vaclav Kadlec are both suspended for this match. However, Ondrej Petrak has overcome a hamstring injury to take his place in the starting XI.

4.38pmDenmark had a number of injury concerns coming into this match, but Pierre Hojbjerg and Yussuf Poulsen both start despite carrying leg injury, while Uffe Bech and Emil Berggreen are both fit enough to be included on the bench after missing time in training over the last week.

4.40pmLasse Vigen Christensen is also on the bench for Denmark, which is interesting as he was the top scorer in qualifying with five goals. In their 10 qualifying ties, Denmark won eight, and drew just twice, before beating Iceland in the playoffs.

4.43pmAhead of this match, Czech Republic coach Jakub Dovalil told reporters: "We have paid a lot of attention to our tactics during our training camp and here in Prague. We have shown the players the strengths and weaknesses of the Denmark side. We've analysed their set pieces and will try to surprise them. The chances are 60-40 in their favour. They get forward in numbers and Fischer, Poulsen and Vestergaard are very good players."

4.46pmMeanwhile, Denmark coach Jess Thorup said at a pre-match press conference: "We're looking forward to the opening game in front of a full house. It doesn't matter who's favourite for the opening game. We're looking forward to starting the tournament, hopefully with a good result. We all know that we're going into the tournament with the eight best teams. We know it'll be a very difficult game, it's the opening match. We're going to meet a very strong team and we have to be ready for the game. We're very satisfied with our qualifying campaign. We scored a lot of goals, we're good at that, but we also know that at this tournament, we might not have the ball quite as much as we did in qualifying, so it also depends on how we defend and not only on our forwards."

4.49pmThese two sides played in a friendly just seven months ago in the same Eden Stadium that hosts this evening's match. In that game, the sides shared a 2-2 draw.

4.52pmA short opening ceremony is taking place on the pitch ahead of kickoff. So far, some men with colourful hair have been playing the drums, apparently to symbolise the referee's relationship with the fans, and now a group of women dressed as the tournament's logo are performing a ballet routine.

4.54pmThe flags of the competing nations are brought out onto the pitch to the sounds of Taylor Swift's 'Shake It Off', naturally. While these pre-match formalities take place, it's worth highlighting the travelling support for Denmark, as around 1,000 Danish supporters are in the stadium, many of them in facepaint!

4.57pmWith the performances over, the players can finally make their way out of the tunnel. As always, the anthems of both sides will be played before kickoff. The Danish fans make a decent amount of noise despite outnumbering the Czech supporters.

5.00pmPREDICTION! Right then, with just a few minutes to kickoff there's just time for a prediction while the team photos are taken. Czech Republic have a strong history in this competition, but they're missing a couple of players and Denmark looked very impressive in qualifying, so I'm going for a 2-1 Denmark win.

1 minKICKOFF! The host nation get the action underway!

2 minThe Czech side make a mark early on as Yussuf Poulsen is hacked down by Matej Hybs in midfield. The Denmark striker has been struggling with a knee injury in the build up to this match, and has quite a lot of tape on his knee.

4 minCHANCE! Jakob Busk has to make an early save in the Denmark goal as Jan Kliment skips in from the right before driving the ball towards goal from the edge of the box, but the keeper held on.

4 minBOOKING! Well it hasn't taken long for the referee to reach for his cards. Jakub Brabec was brought down in the run up to Kliment's strike, and the Polish official goes back to book Jonas Knudsen for the challenge.

7 minDenmark try to get on the attack for the first time, with Poulsen and Fischer linking up down the right, but the latter was unable to cross the ball into the box, allowing the hosts to quickly press back down the other end.

9 minBrabec floats a high ball over the top towards Matej Hybs, but the defender can't control it in time to keep it in. Meanwhile, there's a worrying moment for the Czech side as Krjci and Zmrhal both try to win a high ball and end up clashing heads. There's no blood, but the teammates look a little dazed.

11 minDenmark really haven't got going yet. The coach has been shouting instructions from the sidelines trying to inspire his side, but they just can't get the ball to their forwards.

13 minPavel Kaderabek makes a blistering run forward for the Czech Republic, sprinting from near his own penalty box down the right flank before crossing in to Frydek on the edge of the Denmark area, but the midfielder was crowded out before he could get the shot away.

16 minA high challenge from Frederik Sorensen catches Tomas Prikryk, giving the Czech Republic a free kick in a promising position around 35 yards out. Frydek lifts it over the wall looking to set up Petrak and Zmrhal, but Busk just managed to get to it first.

18 minPoulsen really appears to be a marked man so far as he's brought down for a second time while trying to break forward. A clash with Beranek brings him down on the edge of the box, but the referee says it was a fair challenge.

20 minSome sloppy defending from Denmark gives the host nation the game's first corner. They take it deep, with Martin Frydek waiting on the edge of the box, but it looks like the midfielder was surprised by decision, and was unable to create anything from it.

22 minCHANCE! Denmark's first real sight of goal so far this evening results in a long-range shot from Pierre Hojbjeg. However, his swerving effort from 25 yards out was always rising and fails to trouble Koubek.

24 minDenmark manage to force their first corner, which Hojbjerg manages to delivery to the head of Knudsen, but Koubek is quickly off his line to claim it for the hosts. Meanwhile, it looks like Denmark are actually getting ready to make a change. It hasn't been a great start, but it really is quite early to be making the switch.

26 minSUB! Denmark are indeed making it change and it's Frederik Sorensen going off. It might not actually be a tactical change as the defender does grab his hamstring as he makes his way off. Fulham's Lasse Vigen Christensen comes on, with Andreas Christensen dropping from midfield into Sorensen's defensive role.

28 minAn amazing throw-in from Frydek drops beautifully in the box for Prikryl, but he just miscues, allowing Denmark to recover. They seemed rather surprised by the midfielder's long-range throw.

30 minCHANCE! Poulsen is brought down again in midfield, allowing Hojbjerg to try his luck straight from the set piece with another long-range effort. It bounces just in front of the keeper though and straight into Koubek's arms.

32 minBOOKING! It's another yellow card for Denmark as Jannik Vestegaard puts the boot in late on Jan Kliment. It also gives the host nation a free kick just to the right of the penalty box.

34 minCHANCE! The free kick is taken short to Frydek on the edge of the box, and Beranek tries to backheel the ball in as the midfielder flicks it into is path, but Busk managed to make the stop.

35 minHojbjerg is really starting to have an impact for Denmark as he sends in a dangerous-looking cross, but Fischer's header is forced behind by Beranek. So far, Czech Republic are defending well though to keep their opponents out.

36 minGOAL! Czech Republic Under-21 1-0 Denmark Under-21 (Pavel Kaderabek)

36 minWith a finish that any striker would be proud of, defender Pavel Kaderabek has claimed the opening goal of the tournament to put the Czech Republic ahead in Prague. The full-back got forward in support of a quick break from Petrak, who squared it to him on the edge of the box, leaving Kaderabek to hit it first time into the bottom left corner, beating a diving Busk. What a stunning strike!

38 minDenmark quickly win a corner down the other end as they try to get back on level terms before the break. Fischer and Poulsen both try to make the most of a mis-timed clearance by Brabec, but it's put behind for a goal kick.

40 minDenmark are really on a charge now as they win another corner, which Hojbjerg whips in dangerously, but Knudsen can't quite connect with the ball, while Poulsen is crowded out.

42 minCHANCE! Denmark are really knocking on the door as half time approaches, but it's just not happening for them in front of goal. Poulsen picks up a lovely ball forward from Christensen, but the striker can only scuff the ball straight at Koubek.

44 minDOUBLE SAVE! Busk is being made to work hard in the Denmark goal as Czech Republic come close to doubling their advantage. Frydek unleashes a drive from the edge of the box, which the keeper parries at Prikryl, who tries to roll it in on the rebound, but the keeper recovers well to make a second stop, this time turning it behind.

45+1 minKliment is on the charge again for the host nation, but Scholz does just enough to keep him off the ball before trying to launch a quick counter-attack, but it comes to nothing. Denmark had responded well after going behind, but they've been wide open at the back in the last five minutes, and are lucky not to be more than one down.

45+3 minHALF TIME: Czech Republic Under-21s 1-0 Denmark Under-21s

5.51pmSo at the break it's the Czech Republic who are ahead after a fantastic strike from defender Pavel Kaderabek midway through the interval. Denmark had chances to get back on level terms, but could have easily found themselves falling further behind in the last couple of minutes before the break.

5.53pmUnderstandably, the scoreline has gone down well with the majority of the crowd in Prague:


5.57pmIn the opening 45 minutes, both sides had 50% possession, but the Czech Republic certainly made the most of theirs, with 10 shots to Denmark's two. Each side had half of their efforts on target, while three of the host nation's efforts were blocked, and just two went wide. It was a fairly physical first half, with both teams committing seven fouls, but two of the Danish defenders have picked up bookings.

6.01pmIncidentally, it's turning into quite a day for Pavel Kaderabek. As well as netting the opening goal of the tournament in his home country, he also completed a move from Sparta Prague to Bundesliga side Hoffenheim.

6.03pmThe players are starting to make their way back out ready for the second half. It will be interesting to see how Denmark react after coming under pressure again in the final moments of the first half.

46 minRESTART! The second half gets underway in Prague.

48 minThere have been no real chances in the opening couple of minutes of this second half, but it's Denmark who have to be alert as the home side are pushing forward, but a long ball into the box is easily dealt with by Jakob Busk Jensen.

50 minFrydek gets the ball to Kaderabek on the right flank, and the defender takes it to the goalline before attempting to square it back for Kliment, but Busk dives at the ball to keep it away from the striker.

52 minCHANCE! Kliment has a chance to double the Czech side's advantage as they make the most of some space at the back with a lightening-quick counter attack, but the striker's attempt at finding the bottom left corner is a fraction wide of the post.

54 minDenmark are certainly playing better as a team in this second half, with Vestergaard, Christensen and Falk working well to get the ball through the middle, but they're still yet to really force Tomas Koubek into anything more than a routine save.

55 minCHANCE! Rasmus Falk is closed down by Kaderabek as he tries to find the space to get his shot away. He loses out to the defender, but Knudsen manages to win a corner.

56 minGOAL! Czech Republic Under-21s 1-1 Denmark Under-21s (Jannik Vestergaard)

56 minThe initial corner is cleared, but Nicolaj Thomsen manages to cross it back in, and it's Jannik Vestergaard who rises highest, nodding into the bottom of the net. It's another defender on the scoresheet!

57 minSUB! Denmark make their second change of the match, and it's an attacking one, with winger Viktor Fischer making way for Ugandan-born striker Pione Sisto.

59 minDenmark are trying to make the most of their new-found confidence as they pile forward again. Sisto tries his luck after taking a touch 20 yards out, unleashing a curling effort, but it doesn't trouble the keeper.

62 minSisto has been trying to get involved all over the pitch since coming on. The striker is certainly a physical presence, but he's going for solo glory a bit too much at the minute. Denmark got back into this game by working as a team, and they'll need to carry that on if they're to come away with the win.

63 minSUB! The Czech Republic make their first change, replacing Prikryl with Michal Travnik.

65 minDenmark are continuing to dictate the match at the minute as Hojbjerg swerves a challenge from Brabec to unleash an effort from just inside the box, but Kaderabek is there to make the block.

67 minPENALTY APPEAL! Hjobjerg wants a spot kick as he takes a tumble following a chalenge from Knudsen. It looked like the striker went down well after the challenge though, and the referee recognises the dive and waves play on.

69 minCHANCE! Denmark are bearing down on the host nation's box yet again, but once more Sisto wastes a promising position with an attempt at solo glory, smashing the ball well high of the bar.

71 minThe section of Denmark supporters are making their voices heard as they try to be a 12th man for their side. The home fans have been largely silent in the last 10 minutes as they've watched their side be completely dominated by the Danes.

73 minVigen Christensen and Hojbjerg link up on the edge of the box before the latter plays it into the box. Yet again there's a shout for a penalty as Andreas Christensen goes down, but the referee barely gives it a look.

75 minCzech Republic go on the attack for the first time in a little while as they try to relieve the pressure at the back. Sisto tries to halt Hybs' run, but he goes in late on the defender to give away a promising-looking free kick.

76 minCHANCE! Michal Travnik tries to make his first real contribution since coming off the bench by lining up the free kick, and he hits it well, but it ends up swerving away from the top corner.

77 minSUB! It's another change for the Czechs with Ladslav Krajci making way for Jiri Skalak.

79 minSisto continues to cause more problems than chances for Denmark as he gets forward again, attempting to round Kaderabek, but he ends up fouling the goalscorer to give the ball back to the Czech side.

82 minHojbjerg is brought down by Travnik around 25 yards out to give the Danes a chance to force a late winner. It's Sisto who takes it, and he does produce a superb strike this time, hooking it over the wall before it dipped wildly, leaving the keeper scrambling, but it didn't quite drop enough to squeeze under the bar. It was a good effort by the substitute though.

83 minCHANCE! Yussuf Poulsen has been kept quiet all match, but he finally times a run into the box to perfectly, holding off Kaderbarek to get clean through on goal, but Koubek was quick off the line to make the stop.

85 minGOAL! Czech Republic Under-21s 1-2 Denmark Under-21s (Pione Sisto)

85 minIt's taken him a little while to find his eye for goal after coming on early in the second half, but Pione Sisto has pulled off a superb finish to seemingly hand the win to Denmark, poking the ball through a crowded penalty area following a free kick.

88 minDISALLOWED GOAL! There's more late drama as the Czech Republic have the ball in the back of the net. Travnik dives in for a header after Busk parries the ball away after some tenacious play down the right from Skalak, but the assistant referee's flag is up as the midfielder was just offside.

90 minCHANCE! Travnik's disallowed effort has reminded Denmark that they haven't won this yet, and they immediately go back down the other end in a bid to add a third. Poulsen slots it through for Christensen, but Brabec turns it just behind for a corner. It was actually only a few inches from being an own goal, but he looked like he was in control.

90+2 minThere's still time for the scoreline to change as the match enters five minutes of stoppage time. Skalak has started to prove a bit of a menace down the right as he charges back towards the Denmark box, but he lacks support.

90+4 minVigen Christensen gives away a free kick just inside the Denmark half as the host nation continue to press for a late equaliser. Travnik hammers it forward, but they can't create anything from it.

90+5 minTravnik is involved again, delivering a low cross from the left flank, but none of his teammates can get a foot to it to turn it in.

90+6 minFULL TIME: Czech Republic Under-21s 1-2 Denmark Under-21s

6.55pmSo, Denmark turn it around in the second half with goals from captain Jannik Vestergaard and substitute Pione Sisto securing a 2-1 win over host nation Czech Republic.

6.56pmWith Germany are Serbia also in Group A, the Czechs will need strong performances and a bit of luck in their remaining two group fixtures to progress to the knockout stages.

6.57pmWell, that's all from this match, but don't stray too far as the other two sides in this group will be kicking off shortly. Until then, thanks for joining me this evening. Goodbye.

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Germany's forward Kevin Volland controls the ball during the 2013 UEFA U-21 Championship group B football match between Germany and Spain in the coastal city of Netanya, north of Tel Aviv, on June 9, 2013
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