Euro 2020: Belgium defeat Denmark to qualify for last 16

 


Denmark host the world’s top-ranked side Belgium at Euro 2020 on Thursday with the trauma of Christian Eriksen’s collapse still raw, while the Netherlands can move into the last 16 on their return to a major tournament.

Five days after Eriksen required emergency medical treatment to revive him at Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium, Denmark play Group B leaders Belgium looking to move on from a harrowing 1-0 defeat by Finland.

“It will be very emotional to return to the Parken, we expect to have incredible support from our fans and from the whole country,” said Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand.

“We have to be ready for that and use this energy in a positive way.”

Denmark fans will stage a minute’s applause in the 10th minute in support of Eriksen.

“We will enter the pitch against Belgium with Christian in our hearts and thoughts,” said Danish captain Simon Kjaer in a post on Twitter.

“It gives us peace in our minds, which allows us to focus on the game of football.

“We will play for Christian, and as always for all of Denmark.”

The 29-year-old Eriksen is to be fitted with a defibrillator after suffering a cardiac arrest during his team’s opening game.

“After Christian has been through different heart examinations it has been decided that he should have an ICD (heart starter),” the Danish football federation announced ahead of Thursday’s 1600GMT kick-off.

Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku, who scored twice in their 3-0 win over Russia and shouted a message of support to Eriksen into a pitchside camera, said the players would kick the ball out of play for the minute’s applause.

“Several of our players have played with him. But tomorrow we’ll be there to win the game, which promises to be difficult,” said Lukaku, Eriksen’s team-mate at Inter Milan.

Belgium, who will advance to the knockout phase if they win, have Kevin De Bruyne back from the facial fractures he sustained in last month’s Champions League final.

“The programme is very clear for Kevin De Bruyne. He is medically fit, he’s got the green light to play in a match situation,” said coach Roberto Martinez.

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