Denmark’s comeback kid Christian Eriksen scores on return

Playmaker resumers international duty after astonishing recovery from heart attack

Christian Eriksen said he made his return to international football in the "perfect way" by scoring two minutes after coming on for Denmark on Saturday following a near-fatal heart attack last year.

Denmark lost 4-2 to the Netherlands in the international friendly, with Eriksen producing a stunning finish into the top corner in the 47th minute after he came on as a half-time substitute.

The 30-year-old playmaker collapsed on the pitch and received life-saving treatment during Denmark's Euro 2020 clash with Finland. Nearly eight months later, he joined Premier League club Brentford as a free agent in January.

“I was happy the ball came to me and of course, it was a lovely finish,” Eriksen told Sky Sports. “To start the comeback in international football like this was the perfect way.


"I felt very welcome [by the Netherlands fans]. I've been here before [for Ajax] for many years so of course, they know me, but it was a very heart-warming reception for sure. I'm looking forward to playing at the Qatar World Cup but there are a lot of games in between and I'm focused on them."

Germany rolling again

Elsewhere, Germany eased past Israel 2-0 in their friendly international on Saturday, scoring twice in the first half with Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, to make it eight wins in eight matches under coach Hansi Flick. The Germans, who next face Netherlands in Amsterdam on Tuesday, are eager to get their team ready for the World Cup in November to make amends for their 2018 shock first-round tournament exit.

"I am satisfied with our game today," said Flick. "We are satisfied with every part of our game. I would have been angry if we had conceded in the end though," he said of an Israel stoppage-time penalty awarded after Germany's Nico Schlotterbeck had brought down Yonathan Cohen. Kevin Trapp, however, saved the spot kick.

“At top level you have to be focused over 90 minutes. We need to learn from that. Imagine doing that at a World Cup,” said Flick.

Germany, missing many players including Joshua Kimmich, Antonio Ruediger and Serge Gnabry, got off to a slow start. They had little trouble reaching their opponents' box, but struggled with the last pass.

The hosts’ first good chance came on the half-hour mark with Israel keeper Ofir Marciano palming a low Havertz shot wide.

Marciano denied the attacking midfielder again in the 36th, blocking another effort from close range, but the keeper was beaten by Havertz’s glancing header from the resulting corner.

Germany went into the break with a two-goal cushion when Havertz's Chelsea team-mate Werner flicked in an Ilkay Gundogan free kick in first-half stoppage time.

“I am a striker and I want to score goals. At Chelsea it may not be going as I would have wished,” said Werner, struggling for form at his club, after bagging his sixth goal in Flick’s eight games in charge.

“There are differences in the style when you play for the club or the national team. Maybe it fits me more here. I feel well when I play here.”

A number of substitutions in the second half took much of the pace out of the game and Thomas Mueller missed a chance to score when his 89th-minute penalty hit the post.

Israel missed their chance to cut the deficit when Trapp saved Cohen’s spot kick.