‘Definitely was not easy’ - City striker on distressing win

Pukki Euros Denmark Finland

Norwich City star Teemu Pukki started as Finland won an unusual match 1-0 against Denmark in Copenhagen - Credit: Stuart Franklin/AP

Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki has discussed how Finland handled the distressing restart of last night’s Euros win, following the collapse of Denmark star Christian Eriksen. 

The former Tottenham midfielder collapsed in the 41st minute with the score 0-0 in Copenhagen and received urgent medical attention to resuscitate him – with his tearful teammates forming a shield to block views. 

The whole football world were united in hoping desperately that a high-profile tragedy had not just happened on camera in front of millions of television viewers and, thankfully, were able to breathe a huge sigh of relief eventually. 

It would emerge that Eriksen was stable and awake in hospital and that he had regained consciousness and spoken to medical staff while still in the Parken Stadium. 

Just under two hours after the start of the worrying scenes, the match was restarted, after Uefa had discussed the options with both teams. 

Canaries star Pukki had shaken off his recent ankle ligament injury to start and earn his 92nd cap, receiving treatment himself for a bloodied nose in the first half after being caught in the face by a stray arm. 

Bayer Leverkusen striker Joel Pohjanpalo squeezed a header past Kasper Schmeichel in the 60th minute, to score as the Nordic nation made their debut at a major tournament – and it proved to be the winner. 

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Tottenham midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg wasted a chance to equalise for Denmark, having a penalty saved by Lukas Hradecky in the 74th minute, as the Finns claimed a surreal victory and tried to contain their celebrations at the final whistle. 

Pukki, who had been substituted in the 76th minute after no clear chances, said after the game: “I must say, this has definitely been one of the most difficult games of my career. 

“Hopefully everything is getting to a better direction now, we decided to do what the Danish team wanted to do and were ready to continue whatever decision was taken. 

“It definitely was not easy to come back to the pitch. After we heard that everything seemed to be fine, we started concentrating again on the game. 

“In the end, we are glad about the victory. The atmosphere after the game was definitely not as glorious as usual but we got an important three points.” 

Finland boss Markku Kanerva thought his players “coped really well” in “difficult” circumstances 

“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. 

"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." 

With three teams going through from each group, Finland have the opportunity to progress but are likely to need at least a draw against Russia on Wednesday (2pm) before playing the team top of Fifa’s world rankings, Belgium, the following Monday (8pm), with both games being played in St Petersburg. 

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