(MENAFN – IANS)
Copenhagen, June 13 (IANS) Joel Pohjanpalo’s 59th-minute header gave Finland a 1-0 victory over Denmark and their first victory in the finals of a major football tournament on Saturday night in Copenhagen, but the Opening game for both teams in the European Championships will almost certainly be remembered for another reason.
The match was dominated by a single incident that left fans around the world in shock after Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsed on the field in the 42nd minute.
Eriksen passed out minutes before the break, and his shocked companions formed a shield around him when a member of the medical staff appeared to perform CPR on him. The 29-year-old was treated for about 10 minutes before being taken off the field, with his teammates holding sheets to protect him, Xinhua reports.
Simon Kjaer and Kasper Schmeichel were seen comforting their desperate partner, Sabrina Kvist Jensen.
A photo posted online shortly afterwards showed that Eriksen is conscious and both UEFA and the Danish Football Association have confirmed that the player was “awake” and that his condition had “stabilized”, although he is due to undergo tests in hospital.
UEFA later reported that after a meeting between both teams and referee Anthony Taylor, both teams had asked to end the game, with the Danes saying they wanted to win for their team-mate.
Until Eriksen’s collapse, Finnish goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky had been the best on the field, with saves from Jonas Wind, Eriksen and Pierre-Emile Hjobjerg, with Denmark dominating with Teemu Pukki isolated in Finland’s attack.
Play restarted with the remaining minutes of the first half played before a five-minute break before the start of the second half.
Denmark completely controlled the ball but were unable to test Hradecky again, although he had 19 shots when Joel Pohjanpalo made Finland’s first. The football is such that Pohjanpalo’s header from Jere Urenon’s left cross ended up in the back of the net as Schmeichel failed to score in time and the Finns took the lead.
Denmark controlled the game but did not threaten to score until the 72nd minute, when they were awarded a penalty following Paulus Arajuuri’s awkward challenge of Yussef Poulsen. Hojbjerg came forward to score, but his timid penalty was easily saved by Hradecky.
Under normal circumstances Eriksen would have taken the penalty, but what happened early in the game shows that there are many things worse than a missed penalty.
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