Christian Eriksen marked his emotional return to Parken Stadium with a brilliant goal on Tuesday as the playmaker captained Denmark to a 3-0 win over Serbia on the same ground in Copenhagen where he suffered a cardiac arrest nine months ago.
It was Eriksen’s first appearance at Parken since his near-fatal collapse there during a match against Finland at the European Championship, and he was given a rapturous welcome by fans as he led the Denmark team out for the friendly. He was warmly embraced by Serbia captain Dusan Tadic before kickoff.
The biggest cheer of the evening came in the 58th minute, though, after Eriksen cut inside onto his right foot and powered home a shot from the edge of the area. He ran toward the crowd with a clenched fist and slid on his knees in celebration.
He was afforded a standing ovation when he was substituted in the 80th minute and, naturally, was named as man of the match a few minutes later — to more cheers from the crowd.
Eriksen came on as a halftime substitute and scored against the Netherlands on Saturday in his first appearance for Denmark since his collapse. He is back playing club soccer with Brentford in the Premier League after being fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator.
Joakim Mæhle and Jesper Lindstrøm also scored for Denmark against Serbia in a match between teams who will be heading to the World Cup in Qatar at the end of the year.
On a busy night of friendlies, Italy plays its first match since missing out on World Cup qualification when it visits Turkey, while European powers France, Spain, England, Belgium and Germany are also in action.