“We are all reminded what the most important thing in life is and that is to have valuable relations.”
Match report: Denmark 0-1 Finland
Euro 2020 Group A: Joel Pohjanpalo scored the only goal of the game in a match that was completely overshadowed by the collapse and subsequent resuscitation of Christian Eriksen just before half-time.
Thank you. It’s been a strange evening, dear Reader. Thanks for all your kind messages and Tweets, enquiring after my welfare and providing welcome translations. I am absolutely fine but as much as I’d love to make this all about me, I don’t think it would be approriate. There’ll be a match report along at some point but in the meantime I’ll leave you with this ...
Full time: Denmark 0-1 Finland
Peep! Peep! Peeeeeeeeep! It’s an extraordinary, historic and a momentous result for Finland, whose players will be well aware and completely happy in the knowledge that for all their heroism, this match won’t be remembered for the result.
Congratulations to them, their opponents, the match officials, the backroom staff of both teams and the medics, not to mention all those in the stands for all their efforts – some of them apparently life-saving and heroic - on a very difficult and surreal evening in Copenhagen.
90+4 min: Another long ball towards Vestergaard is hoofed clear. It’s all over.
90+3 min: Denmark are lumping it towards the Finland goal and hoping for the best with the game deep in added time.
89 min: Jannik Vestergaard is now playing in attack for Denmark, for whom time is running out. The result of this match is academic, of course. Their only concern will be for their stricken team-mate Christian Eriksen, who is reported to be stable in hospital after collapsing in the first half and receiving CPR on the pitch.
87 min: Finland goalkeeper Hradecky flaps at a cross that sails to the feet of Poulsen. The Dane is unable to react quickly enough to score beforethe ball’s hacked clear.
85 min: Going back to the penalty won by Denmark - I’ve just seen it again and I don’t think Youssef Poulsen was touched before he went to ground.
84 min: Finland substitution: Brentford’s Marcus Forss replaces the goalscorer, Joel Pohjanpalo.
81 min: Brilliant defending from Finland’s Robin Lod, who slides in to hook clear as Jensen tried to connect with a ball squared by Vestergaard in the six-yard box. Jensen takes the corner, which Hradecky punches clear.
80 min: While I was taking care of the replacement admin, Braithwaite failed to pick out Cornbleius with a half-shot, half-cross from the right.
79 min: Danish substitution: Andreas Cornelius on for Thomas Delaney. Finland double-substitution: Joni Kauko and Rasmus Schuller on for Teemu Pukki and Tim Sparv.
77 min: I must confess I thought it was a very soft penalty that would be overturned on review. Referee Anthony Taylor thought long and hard about it before pointing to the spot.
75 min: With the obvious ongoing caveat that Hjobjerg has more important things on his mind at the moment, that was a woeful penalty-kick. He aimed for the bottom right-hand corner but got nowhere near it. Hradecky guessed the right way and saved comfortably.
It’s a dreadful effort from Hjobjerg, whose shot is stopped by Lukas Hradecky.
PENALTY FOR DENMARK!
72 min: Arajuri is adjudged to have brought down Poulsen as the Dane chased a through ball into the penalty area from Thomas Delaney.
70 min: Youssef Poulsen finds a pocket of space oin the edge of the six-yard box and leaps to try and get his head to a ball from deep from Braithwaite. It’s a mite too high.
70 min: Danish right-back Daniel Wassd has never scored for his country and looking at that high effort he just sent over the cross-bar from the edge of the penalty area it’s not difficult to see why.
67 min: Denmark’s Mathias Jensen is penalised for clattering into Jere Urenon.
66 min: Danish double-substitution: Jannick Vestergaard and Andreas Olsen replaced Simon Kjaer and Jonas Wind moments after Finland scored.
63 min: On any other day I’d say Kasper Schmeichel should have done better but you can forgive him for being distracted this evening. Pohjanpalo’s header wasn’t brilliant, a downward effort that bounced straight in front of Schmeichel and went past him. The goalscorer wheeled away in celebration before reining in his completely undertsandable basic instincts.
60 min: An already weird match takes another strange turn as Finland go ahead. Jere Urenon crossed from the left and Joel Pohjanpalo got the run on his man to leap and plant a downwards header past Kasper Schmeichel.
GOAL! Denmark 0-1 Finland (Pohjanpalo 58)
Finland take the lead!
58 min: Martin Braithwaite canters down the inside left and squares the ball for Jonas Wind. Under pressure from his marker, he’s not able to make clean contact and steer the ball goalwards. It breaks for Thomas Delaney, who sends a shot high over the bar.
56 min: It may have been scoreless in the first half but Denmark were battering Finland prior to Eriksen’s collapse. They’re still dominating now that play has resumed but the game is comparatively sedate.
55 min: Danish left-back Joakim Maehle skips away from Glen Kamara but makes a dog’s breakfast of his shot from distance.
54 min: Teemu Pukki is penalised for a high boot as he comes close to kicking Simon Kjaer in the head while trying to win a loose ball.
53 min: Mathias Jensen has been kept busy since replacing Eriksen. He’s teed up by Hjobjerg but shoots high over the bar from distance.
51 min: Finland captain Tim Sparv is booked for a foul on Yurary (aka Yussuf Poulsen). Jensen’s free-kick from deep is cleared.
49 min: Mathias Jensen takes the set-piece and his delivery is cleared by Paulus Arajuuri, who thumps it away with his head.
48 min: Martin Braithwaite tries to get on the end of a good cross from the right but the ball is intercepted by Jukka Raitala. Corner for Denmark.
48 min: Corner for Denmark. The ball’s swung towards the near post, where Finland clear.
Second half: Denmark 0-0 Finland
46 min: Play re-resumes after a quick turnaround in what seems likely to be one of the strangest games I’m ever like to provide commentary of a sort on. One thing’s for sure, and I am not in any way trying to be glib, the players of Finland certainly won’t forget their Big Tournament debut in a hurry.
Half-time: Denmark 0-0 Finland
Peep! Well, that was ... eventful. The first half finishes scoreless, with the players of both teams having apparently agreed to continue following a long break in play for treatment to the stricken Christian Eriksen, who collapsed and had to receive CPR. He is reported to be stable in hospital, awake and talking.
45+1 min: Finland goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky was kept busy before the break in play and finds himself in possession again, collecting a cross from the right.
44 min: Thomas Delaney goes in hard on Robin Lod, relieving the Finn of possession.
Denmark 0-0 Finland - play resumes ...
41 min: For better or worse, play resumes with Mathias Jensen on for Christian Eriksen.
Denmark 0-0 Finland - the match will resume very shortly ...
With Christian Eriksen reported to be stable in hospital, this match is going to continue from the 41st minute at 7.30pm BST. Here’s hoping the players and match officials are all happy with that decision. Their courage is to be commended.
Reader kindness: I have received an astonishing number of emails and Tweets from concerned readers (and colleagues) asking how I am in the wake of having to report on the unfortunate events at the Parken Stadium, even if it is from afar. Thank you very much for your concern - I am fine, just a little rattled like everyone else.
The match is being played ...
Wow! In a quite astonishing turn of events, the Danish FA have reported that the game will resume at 7.30pm BST once their players have been reassured that Christian Eriksen is in a stable condition. The last four minutes of the first half will be played, followed by a five-minute half-time break and then the second half. Belgium v Russia will also go ahead.
Apologies for jumping the gun a nbit there. The match is postponed but Uefa have yet to officially confirm it. One suspects Belgium’s game against Russia tonight might also be postponed. Again, these are mere administrative trivialities compared to the bigger picture surrounding Christian Eriksen’s welfare .
Match postponed: As expected, Uefa have confirmed that the Group B match between Denmark and Finland has been postponed.
Uefa update: Uefa have promised an update at 7.45pm (CEST), which is obviously an hour earlier in the UK. They’re already running a little late, which is completely understandable, but it seems absolutely inconceivable that the players of Denmark and Finland will be asked to continue this game tonight. Christian Eriksen has been stabilised but his team-mates, the players of Finland and all present in the stands of the Parken Arena have been traumatised.
In no particular order: The medical staff, the Danish players, the Finnish players, the backroom staff from both teams, the referee, his officials and the crowd at the Parken Stadium deserve a massive amount of credit for their individual and collective responses to what happened in Copenhagen tonight.
Having said that, I am prepared to give the medical staff a little more credit than everyone else, but you know what I mean, eh? Here’s hoping Christian Eriksen will make a full recovery but for now let’s just be grateful he’s still with us after collapsing and receiving CPR on the pitch. We wish him, his wife Sabine and their kids, and all his friends and family all the very best.
I’m reliably informed that this says Eriksen “is awake” and undergoing tests in hospital.
Christian Eriksen: It has been confirmed that the 29-year-old Danish midfielder has been taken to hospital and stabilised after collpasing on the pitch of the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen moments before half-time. There are photos of a conscious Eriksen being stretchered off the pitch, wearing an oxygen mask and with his eyes open.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that either Eriksen or one of the medics treating him – and hats off to them, by the way – gave fans the thumbs-up as he left the pitch.
The Danish FA have just reported that Eriksen is “awake”. Thank God for that.
Update: England have cancelled their media duties, as Gareth Southgate and Harry Kane, a friend and former team-mate of Erikssen’s, felt it would be inappropriate to take questions from the press at this difficult time for everyone with a love for football.
Eriksen in hospital 'and stabilised'
Some good news. Uefa report that Eriksen hasd been transferred to hospital and been stabilised.
Denmark v Finland: There are pictures in circulation from a reputable news organisation, which I have seen but am not going to publish here, that suggest Eriksen was conscious and wearing an oxygen mask as left the pitch on a stretcher. We can but hope they are genuine. There are no official updates on his condition yet.
Denmark v Finland: The game has, for the time being suspended and it seems very unlikely to continue this evening. Obviously the actual match could not be more unimportant and everyone’s thoughts are with Christian Eriksen.
He has been removed from the pitch on a stretcher and a kind Danish reader has emailed to say he is only 500 metres from the most renowned hospital in Copenhagen, where he will receive the best possible care.
Denmark v Finland: I have no further reports to bring you at the moment and I’m not about to engage in idle London-based speculation about what’s going on in a small corner of a field in Copenhagen. My hands are shaking here, so it’s a little difficult to type. I will bring you any confirmed news as it comes. It’s worth saying again: C’mon Christian! Fight!
What we know: The ball went out of play for a Denmark throw-in down near the corner flag. Rushing to receive the ball from whoever was taking it, Christian Eriksen collapsed face first into the turf as the ball hit his knee.
Two nearby Finnish players, a Dane and referee Anthony Taylor immediately signalled for urgent medical assistance. Soon after that arrived, one of the Danish medical team was seen performing compressions on Eriksen’s chest as his teammates formed a ring around him and the staff treating him.
As of five minutes ago, Eriksen was still receiving treatment on the pitch. The BBC have ended their coverage and I’m told the match has been postponed. This is awful.
Denmark v Finland: On the BBC, they’ve cut back to the studio and probably not before time. Gary Lineker, Cesc Fabregas, Alex Scott and Micah Richards all look in total shock, as am I. It’s difficult to know what to type here, really. Please God, Christian will be OK.
Denmark v Finland: A young woman, who I guess is Eriksen’s wife or partner has made her way on to the pitch and is being consoled by Denmark skipper Simon Kjaer and Kasper Schmeichel. The Finland players, looking very shaken, have retired to the dressing-room. Denmark’s distraught players continue to form a wide circular shield around their stricken team-mate.
Denmark v Finland: Christian Eriksen collapsed down by one corner flag near the touchline. His own team-mates and a couple of Finland players immediately signalled to referee Anthony Taylor that he needed urgent medical attention.
I think Taylor had spotted that anyway and immediately halted play so the medical staff could come on and work on the midfielder. They continue to do so while the clearly concerned players of Finland maintain a respectful distance on the other side of the pitch.
45+2 min: As the players of Denmark, some of them distraught, form a shield around their team-mate Christian Eriksen while the team’s medical staff work on him, those from Finland are keeping their distance but also look incredbly concerned and upset. The crowd has fallen largely silent. This is truly traumatic for all present at the Parken Stadium. Come on, Christian!
45 min: This is truly awful. Erikssen is being resuscitated on the pitch as his distraught team-mates stand around him in an outward facing ring to shield him and give their teammate and the medical staff looking after him some privacy. He just dropped face first into the ground as he went to receive a throw-in.
44 min: Erikssen appears to be getting CPR on the pitch. Oh my, this is awful! His teammates are standing around creating a kind of human screen to give him some privacy as the medical staff attend to him. I think I can see somebody pumping his chest.
Game stops after Christian Eriksen collapses
42 min: There’s huge concern from referee Anthony Taylor and the players of Denmark as Christian Eriksen goes to ground. I think he just collapsed and fell over as he went to receive a throw in. This is very worrying.
40 min: Danish right-back Daniel Wass heads the ball straight into the arms of Hradecky after connecting with a cross. Moments previously, Martin Braithwaite had cut inside from the left and shoots well wide.
38 min: Pukki is cutting an isolated figure up front for Iceland, whose plan is to sit back, soak up Denmark’s pressure and then try to hoist the ball his way and hope for the best. Swap Pukki for Burak Yilmaz and it’s pretty much what Turkey tried to do against Italy last night ... a tactic that worked, for a while.
37 min: A Christian Eriksen cross from the right flank is headed clear by Finland. They’re hanging in there but are being outclassed in nearly every department.
35 min: Shaughnessy resumes play with a swab of cotton wool stuck up one nostril. Denmark float a free-kick from deep towards the far post, where Hradecky gathers for Finland.
32 min: finland defender Daniel O’Shaughnessy goes down after shipping a blow to the head, prompting referee Anthony Taylor to stop play so he can receive treatment. He seemed to clash heads with Simon Kjaer.
29 min: For Denmark, Yussuf Yurary tries to get on the end of a curled cross to the far post. Finnish defender Jere Urenon tries to clear it and collides with his own goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky, who is hardly inspiring confidence in his team-mates. Following a break for medical attention, Urenon is fit to continue.
28 min: Teemu Pukki is flat on his back halfway inside the Denmark half after getting an accidental arm in the face from Andreas Christensen. He seems to be OK.
27 min: For Denmark, Martin Braithwaite finds himself with the ball at his feet a little left of goal but slices his shot wide of the left upright.
25 min: Daniel O’Shaughnessy hurls another long throw into the Denmark box, where Joel Pohjanpalo leaps but only gets a shoulder to it.
23 min: Teemu Pukki gets his first sniff, trying to out-sprint Simon Kjaer and latch on to a long ball. Kjaer holds him back and Pukki gets a free-kick. He was through on goal if he hadn’t been fouled there but Kjaer doesn’t get a c ard of any colour. From the free-kick, Finland get a throw-in.
21 min: Denmark win a corner and Andreas Christensen and Simon Kjaer lumber up from their centre-half positions. The inswinger bounces and sits up nicely for an unmarked Thomas Delaney about eight yards from goal, but he fires over the bar.
20 min: Denmark win a throw-in deep in Finland territory, down by the corner flag. The newcomers clear their lines.
19 min: Christian Eriksen brings another smart save out of Luka Hradecky, who dives to his right to parry a curling shot from distance from the Danish midfielder.
17 min: Nothing comes from the ensuing corner, which Finland clear. They are being completely dominated but haven’t conceded yet.
15 min: Brilliant from Hradecky in the Finland goal, who seems determined to hog the headlines. He contorts himself in mid-air to tip a header from Pierre-Emile Hjobjerg over his own bar.
12 min: Hradecky is called into action again. He plucks a Christian Eriksen corner from the air. Denmark’s players are trying to unerve him, crowding him on his own goal line.
8 min: Finland goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky is having a baptism of fire. He saves a shot from distance from Jonas Wind, moments after fumbling another effort in his own box after some pinball in the penalty area. Denamrk are bossing proceedings in these early stages.
4 min: Finland’s Robin Lod is penalised for a clumsy challenge on Martin Braithwaite and goes in the refereee’s notebook early doors.
2 min: Finland win another throw-in, this time deep in Denmark territory. Daniel O’Shaughnessy has a powerful long throw on him and Delaps the ball deep into the Denmark penalty area. They clear.
Denmark v Finland is go ...
1 min: The pre-match formalities between captains Simon Kjaer and Tim Sparv over, Denmark get the ball rolling. Finland win an early throw-in halfway inside their own half, which Daniel O’Shaughnessy takes.
Not long now: Referee Anthony Taylor leads the teams out on to the Parken Stadium sward, the Danes wearing their customary red and white shirts, the Finns in navy. Both sets of players line up either side of the team of match officials and it’s times for the anthems. What a moment this must be for the players of Finland.
Match report: Wales 1-1 Switzerland
Group A: Wales came from behind to rescue a point against Switzerland in a game they were perhaps lucky not to lose. Ben Fisher was at the Baku Olympic Stadium. Here’s how he saw the match unfold ...
Denmark v Finland line-ups
Denmark: Schmeichel, Kjaer, Maehle, Christensen, Delaney, Braithwaite, Eriksen, Wass, Wind, Poulsen, Hojbjerg
Subs: Lossl, Rannow, Andersen, Vestegaard, Skov Olsen, Dolberg, Damsgaard, Norgaard, Stryger, Cornelius, Jensen, Boilesen
Finland: Hradecky, Arajuuri, O’Shaughnessy, Toivio, Kamara, Lod, Pukki, Sparv, Uronen, Pohjanpalo, Raitala
Subs: Joronen, Jaakkola, Vaisanen, Taylor, Jensen, Schuller, Soiri, Hamalainen, Kauko, Lappalainen, Ivanov, Forss
The Guardian’s Football Weekly podcast has gone daily for the duration of the Euros and will be recording at the close of play each night. You can listen to our first episode here. If you are not already a subscriber, you can download – free of charge – from all the usual pod platforms.
Finland’s captain speaks: Well, writes. Tim Sparv took time out from his preparations for Euro 2020 to write a guest column for the Guardian revealing what qualification means to him, his team-mates and their compatriots.
Tonight’s match officials
Anthony Taylor leads an all English judge and jury in Copenhagen tonight. We wish him well, even if the sight of Stuart Attwell on VAR duty is perhaps a cause for concern.
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Referee’s assistants: Gary Beswick and Adam Nunn
Fourth official: Sandro Scharer
VAR: Stuart Attwell
Euro 2020 Group B: Denmark v Finland
It’s an exciting, landmark day in the history of Finland as the home of Jari Litmanen, Kimi Raikonnen and Jean Sibelius line up in the finals of a major football tournament for the very first time. Markku Kanerva’s side surprised many across the continent, including plenty of his own compatriots, by finishing as group runners-up behind Italy in qualifying and while little is expected of a team ranked 54th in the world this summer, they will be hoping to bloody a couple of noses now they’ve finally arrived on the big stage.
They take on a Denmark side packed full of household names, among them Kasper Schmeichel, Christian Eriksen, Martin Braithwaite and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and managed by Kasper Hjulmand, an interesting character who took up coaching when his playing career was cut short by a knee injury he suffered at the age of 26. They are many people’s idea of tournament “dark horses”. But then so were Turkey and look what happened to them last night.
In a huge boost to their chances, Denmark will enjoy home advantage for their three group games and will play in front of 11,250 fans in their 38,000 Parken Stadium. Kick-off is at 5pm (BST) but stay tuned in the meantime for team news and build-up.