Kanerva happy with Finland win after emotional but sombre night

Playing in its first ever major international tournament, Finland claimed a shock 1-0 win after striker Joel Pohjanpalo headed home the winner on the hour.

Markku Kanerva

"It was a very emotional night for us," Finland head coach Markku Kanerva said following his team's shock 1-0 victory over the Denmark side on Saturday (File Photo).   -  REUTERS

Finland's 1-0 win over Denmark in its European Championship opener on Saturday will be remembered for several reasons, coach Markku Kanerva said after his team's historic result was overshadowed by Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen's terrifying health scare.

Playing in its first ever major international tournament, Finland claimed a shock 1-0 win after striker Joel Pohjanpalo headed home the winner on the hour, while keeper Lucas Hradecky saved a penalty in the 73rd minute.

Finland had only that one attempt on goal, compared with Denmark's 22 shots on goal at the Parken Stadium. "It was a very emotional night for us," Kanerva said.

"First time in a major tournament and an opening game against Denmark in their home stadium. When we heard the national anthems, it was very emotional for us."

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"And then what happened with Christian Eriksen -- a very dramatic and sad incident. And then finally, we get a good result from the game. Of course, I am happy for that. Unbelievable, we are going to remember this for a long time for different reasons."

Eriksen required CPR and emergency medical treatment after collapsing on the pitch, leading to the match being suspended for an hour and 45 minutes before it was restarted. The 29-year-old was rushed to hospital where his condition was stabilised.

The Danes were clearly affected by the trauma of Eriksen's collapse, with some wiping away tears before the restart. Finland's Pohjanpalo also refused to celebrate after scoring the winner.

"I said to them that I understood the emotions of the football game and how they would feel after what had happened to Christian," Kanerva added.

"I said to them, 'Try to focus as much as you can on the game'. I said 'I know it will be difficult to do that', but they coped really well."

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