Denmark held by Slovenia after Christian Eriksen’s fairytale goal

Playmaker scores opener almost three years to the day since his collapse in game against Finland

Denmark's Christian Eriksen scores the opening goal in the Euro 2024 Group C match against Slovenia at the Stuttgart Arena. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Euro 2024 Group C: Slovenia 1 [Janža 77] Denmark 1 [Eriksen 17]

Christian Eriksen marked his return to the European Championship with a goal but Denmark were held to a 1-1 draw by Slovenia.

It is almost three years to the day since Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest during Denmark’s Euro 2020 match against Finland before coming back to the sport eight months later.

He put Denmark ahead in Stuttgart after only 17 minutes and they appeared to be heading for victory, but Erik Janza netted with a deflected effort 13 minutes from time.

Benjamin Sesko also hit the post for Slovenia, who will feel they could have snatched all three points.

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Much-hyped RB Leipzig striker Sesko had the first real chance of the match, driving just past the post from outside the box.

But shortly afterwards Denmark took the lead with a fine goal, Jonas Wind flicking on a quick throw-in to Eriksen, who chested the ball down and placed his shot inside the post.

Erik Janza celebrates scoring Slovenia's equaliser during the Euro 2024 match against Denmark at Stuttgart Arena. Photograph: Carl Recine/Getty Images

Slovenia were struggling to get into the game and Eriksen nearly created a second goal with a drilled cross that Sesko hit against team-mate Jan Mlakar before the ball trickled just past the post.

Slovenia threatened from two long throws early in the second half, with a quick VAR check for a possible penalty dismissed.

Jan Oblak kept them in the game in the 64th minute with a great block to deny Rasmus Højlund after a ball into the six-yard box from Wind.

But thereafter Slovenia provided most of the threat, with Adam Gnezda Cerin and Andraz Sporar both missing the target when they should have done better.

With 76 minutes on the clock, Sesko took the ball down 25 yards out and fired a superb strike against the post, but from the resulting corner Slovenia made the breakthrough.

Denmark were only able to clear to just outside the box, where Janza met it with a crisp volley that flew past Kasper Schmeichel via a sizeable deflection.