Finland edge out Denmark after Christian Eriksen collapse halts Euro 2020 tie
By PA Sport Staff
Finland marked their arrival at a first international tournament with a 1-0 win over Denmark in Copenhagen, where the match had been suspended just before half-time after Inter Milan midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsed and was taken to hospital.
The former Tottenham playmaker had suddenly dropped to the ground at the Parken Stadium as he ran back from the Finland penalty area, leaving players from both teams in clear distress.
English referee Anthony Taylor immediately called medics on to the pitch and Eriksen underwent prolonged treatment, with compressions performed on the chest of the Denmark midfielder before he was taken to hospital for further treatment.
It had been a bright opening by the hosts in the Group B fixture, with Finland keeper Lukas Hradecky saving from Jonas Wind and then a header from Tottenham midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
Eriksen tested Hradecky again in the 18th minute with a drive from the edge of the penalty area, which forced Hradecky into another diving stop.
Finland threatened when Norwich forward Teemu Pukki, now recovered from ankle ligament damage suffered at the end of the Sky Bet Championship campaign, looked to break away from Simon Kjaer.
The Denmark captain appeared to pull back Pukki, but English referee Anthony Taylor was not interested and waved play on.
Shortly before half-time, the match was then suspended after Eriksen collapsed.
The Inter midfielder was eventually taken away on a stretcher for further assessment at hospital, where his condition was said to have stabilised.
UEFA confirmed players from both sides requested the Group B fixture be finished on Saturday evening, restarting at 08.30pm local time (1930BST).
After both sets of teams were applauded back on to the pitch, the remaining five minutes of the first half were played out at a low tempo ahead of a short half-time break.
Denmark substitute Mathias Jensen, who had replaced Eriksen, fired a shot over from the edge of the penalty area early in the second half.
Finland took the lead in the 58th minute when Bayer Leverkusen forward Joel Pohjanpalo headed past Kasper Schmeichel, who could not keep the ball out.
Denmark made a double change shortly after the hour mark as Andreas Skov Olsen and Southampton’s Jannik Vestergaard replaced captain Kjaer and Wind.
The hosts were awarded a penalty in the 74th minute when Yussuf Poulsen was brought down by a sliding challenge from Paulus Arajuuri, with contact from the defender’s knee appearing minimal.
Hojbjerg, though, saw his spot-kick saved as Hradecky dived low to his left.
Vestergaard sent in a low cross through the six-yard box, but Skov Olsen was denied by a saving tackle from Finland’s Robin Lod as there was to be no fairytale ending for Denmark.