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Eriksen scores on return to Copenhagen stadium

Copenhagen (AFP) – Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen scored on his return to the Copenhagen stadium on Tuesday where he suffered a cardiac arrest last year.

The Dane, wearing the captain’s armband, struck in the 57th minute to round off Denmark’s 3-0 friendly win against Serbia in the Parken Stadium where he collapsed and nearly died in a European championship match against Finland last June.

Eriksen, who has relaunched his club career with Premier League side Brentford, had also scored on his international return last Saturday two minutes after coming off the bench in a 4-2 defeat to the Netherlands.

On Tuesday, Joakim Maehle opened the scoring for Denmark after quarter of an hour with Jesper Lindstrom adding a second eight minutes after the break. 

Erikson scored the third with a shot from outside the box for his 38th goal in 111 appearances.

Taking to the pitch, Eriksen was handed the captain’s armband and received a standing ovation from the home crowd.

“Welcome home Eriksen” and “Welcome home Christian” banners were unfurled by fans as the players took to the pitch at the capital’s national stadium.

The match was sold out, unheard of for a friendly match in Denmark for years. 

Eriksen had revealed his emotion on the eve of his return to the stadium where little more than nine months ago the Danish players had to form a circle to shield spectators’ eyes as doctors worked to resuscitate him and millions of TV viewers watched in horror.

“It’s always been special to play in Parken but tomorrow it will probably be a little more special,” the 30-year-old told Danish television.

“It’s a good end to a chapter but also the start of a new one”. 

Following the cardiac arrest, Eriksen had a pacemaker implanted to regulate his heartbeat.

He has performed strongly for Brentford since signing in January after being released by Inter Milan.

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