Kevin de Bruyne has urged Belgium to bounce back against Denmark, who have secured their place in the last 16 of Euro 2020, as fans and players pay tribute to Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen, recovering from a heart attack.
Eriksen is in hospital after fainting on the pitch at Parken Stadium in Saturday’s match against Finland.
The huge tributes were paid to Denmark’s talismanic number 10 before and during the game. The match was stopped in the 10th minute when players, officials, and supporters applause for a minute.
This came after Yussuf Poulsen gave the visitors a dream to start one minute and 39 seconds into the match, coming in after a mistake in the Belgian defense.
De Bruyne was sent off early in the second half, and the Manchester City midfielder changed the game.
Martin Braithwaite came close to equalizing for Denmark late. But his header was evident at the top of the bar.
Furthermore, the win means that Belgium is top of Group B with six points from two matches while Denmark is bottom with zero points.
Denmark returned to Parken Stadium for the first time after Eriksen’s collapse.
Denmark returned to Parken Stadium for the first time since Eriksen’s tragic incident collapsed on the pitch over the weekend.
In addition, both the sets of fans showed their support for the player with messages to him on banners in the stands.
At the same time, the conclusion of the Danish national anthem was greeted with a huge roar.
And that was surpassed barely two minutes later when Denmark took the lead after an error in Belgian defense.
Belgium, who thrashed Russia 3-0 in their first match, could not continue as the incident seemed to overwhelm them.
But De Bruyne’s introduction at the start of the second half changed all that as he provided an excellent cameo performance.
The midfielder has recently recovered from a broken nose and eye socket. But his return and performance from off the bench will definitely give the Belgians a natural boost of heading into the knockout rounds.
Players and fans from Denmark and Belgium supported Christian Eriksen during minute-long applause after their European Championship team match.
Referee Bjorn Kuipers stopped the match in the 10th minute after Yussuf Poulsen gave Denmark a chance to take the lead.
Eriksen is recovering from a heart attack at the same stadium when Denmark opened with Finland in Copenhagen on Saturday.
Kevin de Bruyne encouraged Belgium to bounce back.
Kevin de Bruyne encouraged Belgium to bounce back and defend their place in the last 16.
“The thing that disappointed me was the result. I didn’t expect much from this game. But I can’t really express how proud I am of this team now,” said Danish coach Kasper Hjulmand.
“We do know that it’s obviously going to be a very tough few weeks for you, Christian. But we’re here for you. We’re going to hold on, and we’re going to beat the Russians. We’re not done in this race yet.
“Four days ago, they have almost lost one of their best friends during their first game in the Euro 2020. And they go on and play a game like this, and this is just amazing.”
Fans gathered in large numbers before the start of the match. And many wore Eriksen’s shirt, while local buildings hung banners on their windows in support.
A large canvas was unveiled in Eriksen’s shirt on the pitch before the match. And supporters of both nations displayed banners with the words “For Christian” and “Belgium loves you Christian.”
“You Will Never Go Alone” was played just before the players came to the stadium. And there was a powerful song of the Danish national anthem.
The midfielder Thomas Delaney said: “We all have accepted the fact that it is really difficult for us to be here again. and sing the national anthem.”
Poulsen scored for Denmark two minutes later. Which led to an emotional outcry for the players who ran to their fans over the touchline.
Belgium was in control of half of Denmark when the game was halted in the 10th minute to allow time for applause.
Former England international Karen Carney said that she had “goosebumps” before the match.
“Everyone was emotional. I’m sure that he is watching and happy. This brought everyone together.”
Moreover, the Commentator Conor McNamara added: “The applause was such an outpouring of love and support. The love the football world has shown and how much it is appreciated, is there for all to see.”
Several members of the Belgian team have played with Eriksen at club level, including team-mate Romelu Lukaku at Inter Milan.
Lukaku, who scored two goals as Belgium beat Russia 3-0 on Saturday. Announced a message of support for Eriksen with a pitchside camera behind one of his goals.
Eriksen also played for defenders Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld during his seven-year tenure at Tottenham.
On Tuesday, Eriksen said he “fine under the circumstances” and then posted a photo on his hospital bed with his thumbs-up.
Danish captain Simon Kjaer, who plays for AC Milan, sent a statement ahead of the game saying the team would “play for Christian.” And now, he will be fitted with a heart-starting machine.