Sports Desk, Jun 17 (EFE).- Playing for stricken captain Christian Eriksen, watching from his hospital bed, Denmark jumped out to a lead over mighty Belgium in their Euro 2020 match on Thursday, but Kevin de Bruyne spurred a second-half comeback to send the Red Devils through to the knockout stage with a 2-1 win.
Eriksen, 29, experienced cardiac arrest on the field during last Saturday’s opener against Finland and continues his recovery at Copenhagen’s Rigshospitalet.
While he had to watch Thursday’s contest on television, the sound of the 25,000 people in the stands at Parken Stadium paying tribute to the midfielder reached Eriksen through the open window of his room just 500m away.
Buoyed by emotion, the Danes went ahead in the 2nd minute on Yussuf Poulsen’s goal and went on to stifle the high-powered Belgian attack for the rest of the opening period.
Though he had hoped to save De Bruyne – who was hurt in last month’s Champions League final – for the decisive stages of the tournament, Belgium coach Roberto Martinez put the Manchester City man on the field to start the second half.
De Bruyne didn’t disappoint. After assisting on Thorgan Hazard’s equalizer in the 55th minute, he scored the eventual match-winner 15 minutes later.
With one game left in the preliminary stage, Belgium sit atop Group B with 6 points, while Russia and Finland have 3 apiece and Denmark remain without a point. EFE alc/dr