Boston Herald

Denmark’s Eriksen collapses

Finland wins Euro debut


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.

EURO 2020

The game in Copenhagen, Denmark, 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 soccer federation said Eriksen was awake and in stable condition.

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.

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.

Belgium 3, Russia 0 — Romelu Lukaku delivered a heartfelt message to Denmark player Christian Eriksen and Inter Milan teammate after scoring the first of his two goals in a win over Russia.

After swivelling to shoot into the bottom corner in the 10th minute, Lukaku headed to a television camera and grabbed it with both hands, saying “Chris, Chris, I love you.”

Substitute Thomas Meunier added a second goal in the 34th minute and Lukaku made it 3-0 in the 88th for topranked Belgium, which validated its status as one of the favorites with a comfortabl­e win in front of a heavily proRussian crowd of 26,264 spectators in St. Petersburg.

Switzerlan­d 1, Wales 1 — With his head wrapped in bandages the same color as his red shirt, Kieffer Moore nodded in an equalizer to give Wales a draw with Switzerlan­d on Saturday at the European Championsh­ip in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The goal off a cross from Joe Morrell in the 74th minute hinted that Wales could again be a surprise contender at Euro 2020, like it was five years ago when the team reached the Euro 2016 semifinals.

For Moore, it was the biggest step so far in a long journey to soccer’s elite after starting in the nonleague system in southwest England.

He nearly gave Wales a lead with a looping header which Switzerlan­d goalkeeper Yann Sommer stretched to push over the bar, but he was hurt in a clash on the resulting corner.

Moore left the field bleeding and returned in bandages, but was largely cut out of the game as Wales defended deeper in the first half.

Switzerlan­d dominated possession but wasted numerous chances before Breel Embolo scored the opening goal in the 49th minute. First he won a corner when his shot was pushed wide after a solo run, then rose above his marker to head in a cross from Xherdan Shaqiri.

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