Finnish coach Markku Kanerva has said he is proud of third place in Euro 2020 Group B, following a 2-0 defeat to Belgium on Monday to see if he can finish last. 16 can fetch.
Belgium dominated the match, but only in the 74th minute a breakthrough with the goal of goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky, who threw a header from Thomas Vermaelen over the line after it crashed off the woodwork.
“Of course it felt bad that they got the goal so close to the end,” Kanerva told reporters.
“But of course they also had other chances, although we were a little unhappy about the setback,” Kanerva added. “But on the other hand, Belgium was better, there is no way around it.”
Finland resolutely defended but did not have a real chance on its own until after the hour mark when Glen Kamara shot straight at Thibaut Courtois.
“Of course, against an opponent of this caliber it is terribly difficult to create those points,” Kanerva said. “But this is the next step we need to develop in terms of offensive play.”
Finland, who finished third in Group B with three points, will have to wait until the end of the group stage to see if their adventure in an everyday tournament will ever continue.
“Our big dream was to get through, and there is indeed still a small chance of doing so. But it now feels a little empty,” Kanerva said.
“These are memorable games, and we’ll probably appreciate them a little later.”
He added that he was proud that Finland finished above Russia, with Denmark second on goal difference after the three teams all finished on three points.
“Great kudus to Denmark. I believe they deserve second place,” Kanerva said.
“The support from fans was quite fantastic, it felt like a home game. The players got a lot of energy out of it. This support has inspired and motivated us over the years.”