STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Fairytale Euro debut for Finland as they beat Denmark after Christian Eriksen’s collapse

Finland was making its debut at a major tournament but what should have been the biggest win in the country's soccer history was completely overshadowed by Eriksen's medical emergency.

Published: 13th June 2021 08:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th June 2021 08:22 AM   |  A+A-

Hradecky

Finland's goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky makes a save against Denmark. (Photo | AP)

By Associated Press

COPENHAGEN: Joel Pohjanpalo scored and Lukas Hradecky saved a penalty to give Finland a 1-0 victory over Denmark on Saturday in a European Championship game overshadowed by Christian Eriksen’s collapse on the field.

The game was suspended for about 90 minutes after Eriksen needed urgent medical treatment near the end of the first half before being taken to a hospital. The Danish football federation said Eriksen was awake and in stable condition.

“Of course you can’t play a game with such feelings," Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand said. "What we tried to do was incredible. It’s incredible that the players managed to go out and try to play the second half and still be dominant. I’m very affected myself.”

READ HERE | Christian Eriksen 'awake' in hospital after collapse during match

When play resumed, Pohjanpalo put Finland ahead against the run of play in the 60th minute when he rose above Joakim Maehle to head home a cross from Jere Uronen. Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel got his hands on the ball but couldn’t keep it out.

It was Finland's only effort on goal in the entire game as Denmark dominated throughout and finished with 23 total shots, although only six were on target.

The Danes' best chance came when they were handed a penalty after Yussuf Poulsen went down under a challenge from Paulus Arajuuri. But Hradecky dived to his left to stop a tame effort from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the 74th.

Finland was making its debut at a major tournament but what should have been the biggest win in the country's soccer history was completely overshadowed by Eriksen's medical emergency.

“It’s been definitely one of the most difficult games of my career,” Finland forward Teemu Pukki said. “We decided to do what the Danish team decided to do. ... It wasn’t easy to come back to the pitch. But once we heard everything seemed to be fine we started concentrating again on the game. And in the end we are proud of the victory. But the atmosphere after the game is definitely not as glorious as usual.”

Eriksen was given urgent medical attention on the field for about 10 minutes before he was carried off on a stretcher. The teams held an emergency meeting and decided to continue the match after it became clear that Eriksen was in stable condition.

Hjulmand said he was given the option of finishing the game on Saturday or resuming on Sunday.

“The players couldn’t imagine not being able to sleep tonight and then having to get in tomorrow, get on the bus and play a game,” Hjulmand said. “Honestly, it was best to get it over with.”

Denmark captain Simon Kjaer, who is close friends with Eriksen, couldn’t go on for long, though. He was substituted in the 63rd minute.

“Simon was very, very affected,” Hjulmand said. “I can’t imagine playing a football game myself after that. He was overwhelmed, they are very good friends.”

Denmark had dominated the first half until the incident, and forced three decent saves from Hradecky in the opening 20 minutes. Jones Wind first tried a hard shot from the edge of the area, before Hradecky tipped a header from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg over the bar and then palmed away a dipping long-distance shot from Eriksen in the 19th.

The Danes then failed to test Hradecky again until the penalty save.

At the final whistle, Finland's players celebrated loudly in front of their fans, while Denmark's hugged on the field.

Top-ranked Belgium beat Russia 3-0 in the other Group B match at Euro 2020.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp