STUTTGART, Germany (AP) — For Christian Eriksen, Denmark’s opening game at the European Championship was a much happier occasion this time.

The Manchester United midfielder scored the opening goal in a 1-1 draw with Slovenia on Sunday. It was his first match at the Euros since suffering a cardiac arrest in Denmark’s opener in the previous edition of the tournament in 2021.

Eriksen neatly slotted a finish into the corner in the 17th minute of the Group C game in Stuttgart.

Erik Janza equalized for Slovenia in the 77th with a shot that took a big deflection and span beyond Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

It was exactly 1,100 days ago that Eriksen collapsed on the field at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen while playing for Denmark against Finland. In scary scenes, medics worked frenetically to give him chest compressions before he was carried away on a stretcher.

He returned to the sport in 2022, fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, and — now aged 32 — is still an integral part of Denmark's team.

“He’s special," Denmark striker Yussuf Poulsen said. "It’s special that we´re even able to play with him again. I’m happy for him.

"I’m happy for the team also but I’m really happy for him, not just today but in general, that he can be with us and create some memorable memories.”

The Danes were European champions in 1992 after coming into that tournament as a late replacement for war-torn Yugoslavia and then reached the semifinals at Euro 2020, which was held in 2021 because of the coronavirus.

Slovenia is still waiting for its first win at the Euros. The country's only other appearance was in 2000, when the team drew two of its three games and didn’t make it out of the group stage.


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