Slovenia 1 Denmark 1: Christian Eriksen’s fairytale goal cancelled out as Erik Janza scores vital Euro 2024 equaliser

Slovenia 1 Denmark 1: Christian Eriksen’s fairytale goal cancelled out as Erik Janza scores vital Euro 2024 equaliser

DENMARK are in the mood for miracles yet again at the Euros.

And they will need another to have any chance of beating England this week after a worrying second half collapse against Slovenia in Group C.

GettyErik Janza scored a late equaliser for Slovenia against Denmark[/caption]

AFPChristian Eriksen fired Denmark ahead early on in the game[/caption]

ReutersThe Great Dane was denied a fairytale matchwinning display late on[/caption]

APSlovenia’s Erik Janza celebrates wildly after he secured a point[/caption]

For so long in this match, the story was Christian Eriksen – scoring a 17th minute volley 1,100 days after suffering a cardiac arrest in the Danes’ Euro 2020 opener.

It is an astonishing footballing fairytale – one dripping with emotion – sending Denmark on their way to a perfect start at Euro 2024, and sending the Three Lions a firm message.

That was until the 77th minute. The Slovenians had been pushing, wasting numerous opportunities before finally taking one via a deserved deflected strike from Erik Janza.

Slovenia are still waiting for their first ever Euros victory, but for now, an improbable maiden appearance in this competition’s knock-outs is still on the cards.

As for Denmark, an unwanted setback ahead of a mouth-watering tie with Gareth Southgate’s England on Thursday, one that will likely be pivotal in shaping the group.

We should not ignore Eriksen’s seismic moment back on this stage. Brought back to life on the pitch on June 12, 2021 and fitted with an ICD, no one ever believed he would be competing at this level again, let alone scoring.

But the 32-year-old has emphatically defied the doctors and doubters, producing one of his best performances since his comeback with Brentford on February 26, 2022.

It was a display that will at least make Southgate sit up and take note.

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After Eriksen’s collapse, Kasper Hjulmand’s Danes somehow managed to drag themselves to the semi-finals at Euro 2020, agonisingly losing to England in extra-time.

But if they play like this in the coming days in Frankfurt, the semis seem fanciful.

Slovenia struggled to cope at times, back after a 24-year absence from the Euros.

Yet 21-year-old superstar striker Benjamin Sesko showed glimpses of why Arsenal and Chelsea were desperate to buy him this summer before he committed to Red Bull Leipzig, going close with two long-range efforts in either half.

Eriksen’s Manchester United teammate Rasmus Hojlund had a quiet game by his standards, touching the ball just six times in the opening half an hour and missing a second half sitter.

But Eriksen was quickly into his groove – just like in his Tottenham days – pulling strings and driving into the box. It quickly paid off, latching onto a backheeled flick from Jonas Wind.

As the ball rippled the net, all Eriksen could do was smile and look to the heavens, thankful to be alive, thankful for another opportunity to grace this tournament.

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Speaking pre-match, he suggested he was trying not to think about the significance of this outing, to keep relaxed both mentally and physically.

And he really was enjoying himself out there, unlucky not to see a second bobble past Jan Oblak after his second attempt at a corner was deflected just wide.

The hat-trick could have been complete before half-time with a mis-timed curling effort blazing over the bar from 14 yards.

By the break, Eriksen had been directly involved in seven of Denmark’s eight shots.

The second half brought more joy to Slovenia’s attacking exploits as Andraz Sporar almost caught out Schmeichel before a weak VAR check on a possible penalty was waved away.

Hojlund had a tap-in from two yards somehow denied by a brave Oblak smother and Slovenia wasted two close-range efforts of their own from Sporar and Gnezda Cerin.

With time running out, Sesko smacked the post from range and minutes later, Janza took aim from 20 yards after a cleared corner, wrongfooting Schmeichel to spark delirium.

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