Finland held on to claim three points in their opening Group B match with Denmark in a game that was temporarily postponed due to the collapse of Christian Eriksen.
Joel Pohjanpalo scored the only goal on 59 minutes to give the relative underdogs their first-ever win at a major tournament, as the hosts – backed by a rousing crowd – couldn’t rally an equaliser.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg also missed a penalty on a distressing night for Denmark both on and off the pitch.
Although the match will go down as a historic one for Finland, it’ll undoubtedly be remembered across the continent for Eriksen’s medical incident.
Just under two hours after Denmark’s talisman had shockingly collapsed while receiving the ball on 41 minutes, a ‘request made by players of both teams’ meant the game would restart at 0-0.
Eriksen is now, thankfully, awake in hospital in a stable condition and the prayers of thousands were answered with some hope.
The teams had come together prior to the second kick-off in a heartwarming embrace as both sets of fans at the Parken Stadium sang his name.
Five quiet minutes were played before a brief half-time break.
It was Finland who struck first in the second half as Pohjanpalo headed in a Jere Uronen cross and celebrated mutedly.
Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel got an arm to the ball, but it squeezed in just before the hour mark to send the traveling supporters wild.
Schmeichel’s side could’ve been level 14 minutes later when Kasper Hjulmand’s men were awarded a penalty, but midfield enforcer Hojbjerg’s tame effort was saved by Lukas Hradecky down to the Finnish stopper’s left.
As Finland soaked up the pressure, Robin Lod made a goal-saving challenge to deny Eriksen’s replacement, Mathias Jensen.
Yussuf Poulsen came close, too, but Markku Kanerva’s side cleared and saw the match out.
Prior to the incident, the first half was one-way traffic.
Hradecky twice saved well, while Thomas Delaney and Martin Braithwaite both missed half-chances before the harrowing scenes unfolded.
Fans, clubs, and players have been sending their thoughts to Eriksen and his loved ones on social media.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said in a statement released upon the match restarting: “Moments like this put everything in life into perspective. I wish Christian a full and speedy recovery and pray his family has strength and faith.
“At these times, the unity of the football family is so strong and he and his family carry with them the good wishes and prayers of everyone.
“I heard of fans of both teams chanting his name. Football is beautiful and Christian plays it beautifully.”
Finland will travel to St Petersburg next to face Russia on Wednesday, while Denmark will once again play at the Parken Stadium as they welcome Group B favourites Belgium.
In the other group match, first-half goals from Romelu Lukaku and Thomas Meunier have given Belgium the lead over Russia.