England win Euro 2020 opener as Denmark confirm Eriksen cardiac arrest
England launched their bid for Euro 2020 glory with a 1-0 win over Croatia on Sunday as Denmark’s team doctor confirmed Christian Eriksen had suffered a cardiac arrest and was "gone" before being resuscitated.
Raheem Sterling scored at a sun-baked Wembley as England won their opening game of a European Championship finals for the first time at the 10th attempt.
Inter Milan star Eriksen suddenly collapsed in the 43rd minute of Denmark’s Group B game against Finland, lying motionless as medics administered CPR and the crowd looked on aghast.
“He was gone, and we did cardiac resuscitation, and it was cardiac arrest,” team doctor Morten Boesen told a press conference on Sunday, adding that so far there was no explanation for what had happened.
Players in the Danish team were given the option to continue the game or postpone the match but head coach Kasper Hjulmand said he regretted the decision to carry on.
Denmark forward Martin Braithwaite called the incident “one of the scariest moments of my life”.
– England make winning start –
The forward’s sharp finish in the second half was enough for the home side to send the Wembley crowd home happy.
“I always said if I played at Wembley in a major tournament, I’m scoring. I had to score in my back garden and delighted to do that,” he told the BBC.
There were fears before the match that supporters would boo players for taking the knee to protest against racial injustice as they had done before pre-tournament friendlies.
England, seeking to end a 55-year wait for a major trophy, are playing all three group games at their London home. If they top Group D they will also play there in the last 16, while London is also the venue for both semi-finals as well as the final on July 11.