Eriksen scores as Denmark draw with Slovenia

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Christian Eriksen scored at Euro 2024 three years after cardiac arrest / Clive Mason/GettyImages

Christian Eriksen marked his return to the European Championship with a special goal – but Slovenia responded to draw with Denmark in Stuttgart.
The midfielder, now playing for Manchester United, collapsed on the pitch against Finland in Denmark’s opening match of Euro 2021 and was later fitted with an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD).
Eriksen’s return to the Euros began perfectly as he netted his side’s opening goal of this tournament 17 minutes in, firing into the bottom left corner after a smart flick-on from Jonas Wind.

He was a standout performer as Denmark controlled possession in the first half and created more chances to extend their lead.
However, Slovenia, who also faced Denmark in qualifying, were backed by vociferous fans in Stuttgart and levelled when Erik Janza’s powerful effort flew past goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel with 13 minutes left.
Slovenia’s pressure had been growing in the second half and star man Benjamin Sesko sent a warning sign minutes earlier when he smashed an effort against the post.
Matjaz Kek’s side, who had struggled to contain Eriksen in the first half, could even have snatched a late victory when Andraz Sporar drilled a shot into the side-netting and also volleyed wide.
Chances had already come and gone for Manchester United striker Rasmus Hojlund, as well as for Eriksen, while Adam Cerin headed wide at the other end.
This result only intensifies a pulsating Group C – which also includes England and Serbia – but will come as a blow to Denmark, who are hoping to go one better than their semi-final achievement in 2021.
Slovenia prevent perfect Eriksen return
Image caption: Slovenia remain winless in seven matches against Denmark
Eriksen said this week it had been his “goal” to return to the highest level with Denmark and while he played at the Qatar World Cup in 2022, this felt like an even bigger milestone.
“Everything more than one game is an improvement,” he said as he reflected on what it would mean to play in another Euros for his country.
His strike wrapped up a strong first-half display from the Danes and Slovenia, while dangerous in flashes, had not been allowed to settle.
There were signs of a threat from RB Leipzig striker Sesko, but Slovenia had struggled to get him involved as Eriksen linked well with club team-mate Hojlund, and Wind caused problems out wide.
But as the match wore on, Slovenia showed their strength on set-pieces, testing Denmark’s defence with long throw-ins and dangerous corner routines.
After Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak denied Hojlund from close range, preventing Denmark from extending their lead, the best of the chances fell to Slovenia.
Sporar spurned several of them after getting in behind Denmark’s backline on numerous occasions and, while Sesko had a big presence, he could only rattle the post with a powerful long-range effort.
Eventually, it was Janza who produced the deserved equaliser, thumping his finish first time past a stationary Schmeichel after the ball was flicked on from a corner.
Slovenia travel to Munich next to take on Serbia on Thursday, while Denmark must prepare for a crucial match against group favourites England in Frankfurt.

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