DENMARK Under-21s will be treating the Hongkong League XI with the utmost respect when they meet them in the first semi-final of the Lunar New Year Carlsberg Cup at Mongkok Stadium on Saturday. Bent Mortensen, secretary of the Danish Football Association, said there were no weak nations in modern-day football and it would need a strong performance from the young Danes to win through to Tuesday's final. ''This will be the first time we have played in Hongkong so we do not know their team or how they play,'' said Mortensen, who will arrive with the 16-strong squad tomorrow. ''But football is very good all over the world these days and there are no weak nations. ''We have to be very careful when we play Hongkong - we certainly won't be treating them as a little football nation.'' Mortensen said Denmark's remarkable success in last summer's European Championships in Sweden, where they stepped in at short notice for trouble-torn Yugoslavia and went on to beat world champions Germany 2-0 in the final, had made them a target to be shot down at all levels. This has been borne out in the senior side's World Cup qualifying campaign, in which they were held to goalless draws by Latvia, Lithuania and the Republic of Ireland before winning 1-0 in Northern Ireland. ''We were happy and surprised to win the championship and now all the players representing Denmark feel the responsibility of defending their position as European champions,'' added Mortensen. The most experienced members of the Hongkong-bound squad are Jacob Laursen, the captain from Silkeborg who has 16 Under-21 caps, and midfielder Michael Hansen, who also plays for Silkeborg and has won 15 caps. Other players to watch out for are the highly-rated twins from FC Copenhagen, Michael and Martin Johansen, Odense Boldklub's Brian Skaarup and midfielder Jesper Kristensen, who plays for Brondby - Denmark's first professional club - which produced the Laudrup brothers, Michael and Brian, and goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel. Under coach Jan Poulsen, the Denmark Under-21s have played three games, drawing 2-2 with the CIS in August, losing 2-1 to Poland and beating Ireland 3-2 in October.