reEngland boss Kasper Hjulmand said some of his players were ’emotionally finished’ after witnessing Christian Eriksen’s appalling collapse, but confirmed it was their choice to end the game. ‘Euro 2020 against Finland, rather than postponing it until Sunday.
Danes’ star man Eriksen collapsed shortly before half-time in the Group B opener in Copenhagen and required emergency medical treatment on the pitch.
His teammates formed a protective shield around him as medics appeared to perform CPR, before accompanying his stretcher from the field.
“It was a really tough night, where we were all reminded of the most important things in life,” said Hjulmand. “These are meaningful relationships. These are the people who are close to us. It’s family and friends.
“Everything, everything, everything – all thoughts are with Christian and his family.
“I couldn’t be more proud of this team, which takes good care of each other.
“There are players in there who are completely finished emotionally. Players who, another day, would not have been able to play this game. They stand. It was a traumatic experience. “
The match was suspended for around 90 minutes before the surprise announcement of his resumption, with players being told of Eriksen’s condition improving after he was declared awake and stable in hospital.
On their return to the pitch, Joel Pohjanpalo’s header earned the Finns a famous victory on their tournament debut, with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg missing a chance to equalize from the penalty spot.
« [Eriksen] is one of my very dear friends, the way the players talked in the locker room to decide not to do anything until they knew Christian was aware and OK, ”added Hjulmand.
“There was no pressure from UEFA to play tonight,” he said. “We knew we had two options. The players couldn’t imagine not being able to sleep tonight and then having to get on the bus and come back tomorrow. Honestly, it was better to be done with it. Of course you can’t play a game with such feelings and what we tried to do was amazing.