Eriksen Scores On Emotional Euros Return As Denmark Held By Slovenia

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Christian Eriksen scored for Denmark in a 1-1 draw with Slovenia at Euro 2024 on Sunday, almost three years to the day since he nearly died in his team’s opening game at the last tournament.

The Manchester United midfielder fired his side ahead on 17 minutes in front of a Stuttgart stadium filled overwhelmingly by Denmark supporters, but Erik Janza’s late deflected effort earned Slovenia a point in their first match at the Euros since 2000.

“I do think this time my story at the Euros is very different from the last one,” said Eriksen.

“I did have it in mind I hadn’t scored at the Euros, but nothing else than football was on my mind. In the end it would’ve been a different story if we’d got the three points, we’d have been much happier.”

Denmark go on to play England in their second Group C game in Frankfurt on Thursday, while Slovenia continue their campaign against Serbia in Munich.

“I have the feeling we were quite naive after the goal we conceded, but I think we’ll learn from this for the other games,” said Slovenia coach Matjaz Kek.

“They saw this is not an insurmountable mountain.”

Denmark reached the semi-finals of the pandemic-delayed Euro 2020 tournament before losing to England, riding a wave of emotion triggered by Eriksen’s collapse in Copenhagen, which left him needing to be resuscitated on the pitch after he suffered a cardiac arrest.

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He eventually resumed his career after being fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, making his return to international duty nine months later and appearing at the 2022 World Cup.

On the eve of Denmark’s Euro 2024 opener, Eriksen said the harrowing incident is no longer something he routinely thinks about, intent instead on focusing helping his country make another deep run in Germany.

Slovenia midfielder Timi Max Elsnik admitted there would be few surprises for either team after they finished just behind Denmark on a head-to-head record in their qualifying group.

Highly-rated Slovenia striker Benjamin Sesko nearly caught Kasper Schmeichel out with a powerful long-range drive, but moments later it was Denmark who struck.

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