MOSCOW - Peter Schmeichel has told son and fellow goalkeeper Kasper that Danish destiny is in his hands as Denmark head in to a clash against France on Tuesday that has uncanny echoes of his own World Cup campaign 20 years ago.
"20 years ago to the day I played against France in Denmark's final group game with destiny in our own hands," the former Manchester United great tweeted late on Sunday. "On Tuesday @kschmeichel1 will be doing exactly the same, with Denmark in the same position as they were in 1998," he wrote above photographs of himself and his son in action. You can do it Denmark."
By uncanny coincidence, Denmark and then hosts France were drawn in the same four-team pool -- Group C -- back in 1998. After the first two games, they were in exactly the same positions, with France qualified already on 6 points and Denmark on 4 and needing a draw to be sure of reaching the next round.
The younger Schmeichel, who plays for Leicester City, looks a lot like his blond, vocal and imposing father. But Schmeichel Jr. will not entirely want to emulate his old man, who reached but failed to stop a Youri Djorkaeff penalty that helped France win 2-1. But Denmark made it through that year as South Africa blew their chance in a draw with Saudi Arabia.
This year it is Australia who find themselves with 1 point and needing to beat pointless Peru on Tuesday, hoping France beat Denmark and hoping they will overhaul the Danes' goal difference.
Some Australians fear France and Denmark might settle for a draw that would suit both. But the Danes, who in 1998 went on to reach the quarter-finals helped by another family duo, the Laudrup brothers, may be wiser to follow the elder goalkeeping Schmeichel's advice -- to keep their destiny in their own hands.
20 years ago to the day I played against France in Denmark's final group game with destiny in our own hands.
On Tuesday @kschmeichel1 will be doing exactly the same, with Denmark in the same position as they were in 1998.
You can do it Denmark #WorldCup #ForDanmark pic.twitter.com/16kOSvYlX7