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Danish soccer star alert after collapse

by The Associated. Press | June 13, 2021 at 3:03 a.m.
Paramedics using a stretcher to take out of the pitch Denmark's Christian Eriksen after he collapsed during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Denmark, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (Friedemann Vogel/Pool via AP)

COPENHAGEN -- Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen was taken to a hospital Saturday after collapsing on the field during a match at the European Championship, leading to the game being suspended for more than 90 minutes.

The governing body of European soccer said Eriksen has been stabilized and the Danish soccer federation said he was alert.

"Christian Eriksen is awake and is undergoing further examinations at Rigshospitalet," the Danish federation wrote on Twitter.

Danish soccer federation director Peter Moeller said Eriksen got a "heart massage" while being treated on the field.

"He fell over and got help and heart massage on the field," Moeller told Danish public broadcaster DR. "He was fortunately awake when he left the stadium."

The Euro 2020 match between Denmark and Finland had been halted in the 43rd minute with the score 0-0. Finland eventually won 1-0.

Eriksen was given urgent medical attention on the field for about 10 minute after collapsing near the end of the first half. He was then carried off on a stretcher.

Eriksen had just played a short pass when he fell face-forward onto the ground. His teammates immediately gestured for help and medics rushed onto the field. Eriksen was given chest compressions as his Denmark teammates stood around him in a shielding wall for privacy.

The Finland players huddled by their bench and eventually walked off the field while Eriksen was still getting treatment, as did the referees.

Eriksen was eventually carried off to a loud ovation, with his teammates walking next to the stretcher.

Inter Milan team physician Piero Volpi told The Associated Press that the Italian club was in contact with the Danish soccer federation.

Volpi added that Eriksen never contracted covid-19, has no medical conditions that he's aware of and has passed every medical exam without problem.

"But we'll talk about that when the time is right," Volpi added of Eriksen's medical history. "Right now, the important thing is that he recovers."

Eriksen is one of Denmark's biggest stars and the incident brought an instant sense of shock to the Parken Stadium, where about 15,000 fans fell into hushed silence. Some supporters could be seen crying and hugging in the stands.

As the fans in the stadium were waiting for updates, Finland supporters started chanting "Christian," which was then answered by the Danish fans shouting "Eriksen."

A huge roar then went up from all supporters when the stadium announcer said Eriksen was "stable and awake."

In the match,Joel Pohjanpalo scored and Lukas Hradecky saved a penalty to help Finland beat Denmark.

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.

BELGIUM 3, RUSSIA 0

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- Romelu Lukaku delivered a heartfelt message to Denmark player Christian Eriksen after scoring the first of his two goals in Belgium's victory over Russia.

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

Lukaku plays for Italian team Inter Milan alongside Eriksen.

Substitute Thomas Meunier added a second goal in the 34th minute and Lukaku made it 3-0 in the 88th for top-ranked Belgium, which validated its status as one of the favorites at Euro 2020 with a comfortable win in front of a heavily pro-Russian crowd of 26,264 spectators.

WALES 1, SWITZERLAND 1

BAKU, Azerbaijan -- Keiffer Moore headed in an equalizer to give Wales a draw with Switzerland.

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 non-league 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.

Denmark's Christian Eriksen is taken away on a stretcher after collapsing on the pitch during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (Stuart Franklin/Pool via AP)
Denmark's Christian Eriksen is taken away on a stretcher after collapsing on the pitch during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (Stuart Franklin/Pool via AP)
Denmark's players go to his teammate Christian Eriksen after he collapsed during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Denmark, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (Wolfgang Rattay/Pool via AP)
Denmark's players go to his teammate Christian Eriksen after he collapsed during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Denmark, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (Wolfgang Rattay/Pool via AP)
Denmark's players react as their teammate Christian Eriksen lays on the ground during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Denmark, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (Wolfgang Rattay/Pool via AP)
Denmark's players react as their teammate Christian Eriksen lays on the ground during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Denmark, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (Wolfgang Rattay/Pool via AP)
Denmark's Christian Eriksen is taken away on a stretcher after collapsing on the pitch during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (Stuart Franklin/Pool via AP)
Denmark's Christian Eriksen is taken away on a stretcher after collapsing on the pitch during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (Stuart Franklin/Pool via AP)
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