Christian Eriksen made a memorable return to Parken by scoring while captaining Denmark to a 3-0 friendly victory over Serbia on Tuesday. 

Brentford midfielder Eriksen was playing at the stadium in Copenhagen for the first time since suffering a cardiac arrest there during the Euro 2020 game against Finland last June. 

The 30-year-old, who had an implantable cardioverter defibrillator fitted, only returned to competitive action in February and was handed the captain's armband for the game by Kasper Schmeichel. 

Eriksen was welcomed to the pitch with a banner that read "Welcome back, Christian" and followed up his goalscoring comeback against the Netherlands last week with a fine curling effort from just outside the box in the 57th minute. It rounded off the win after goals from Joakim Maehle and Jesper Lindstrom. 

A rapturous standing ovation met the former Inter and Tottenham playmaker when he was withdrawn by head coach Kasper Hjulmand in the 80th minute, bringing an emotional comeback to a close. 

Eriksen began speaking to the media after the final whistle but was pulled away by Schmeichel so he could take part in the celebrations with his team-mates. 

"This evening ranks high. And that reception gave me chills. Yes, it's hard to describe," Eriksen said to Discovery, before Schmeichel interrupted the interview so they could enjoy the occasion together.

Christian Eriksen will captain Denmark when he returns to Parken in a friendly against Serbia on Tuesday. 

It will be the first time Eriksen has played in the stadium since he suffered a cardiac arrest during Denmark's Euro 2020 group game against Finland last June. 

The 30-year-old had to have an implantable cardioverter defibrillator fitted, which made him ineligible to play in Italy and resulted in him leaving Inter for Brentford.

He returned to competitive action in the Bees' 2-0 loss to Newcastle United in February, and scored within two minutes of being introduced as a half-time substitute on his international comeback against the Netherlands in Amsterdam last week. 

Eriksen will now have the honour of captaining his country when he steps back onto the pitch at Parken. 

"It will definitely be very special because I have not been to Parken since it happened," he said. "Now, I'm really looking forward to being back on the pitch and being a football player again. 

"That's what it's about for me. But, I also look forward to the fact that after the match, we can put it behind us. 

"It will be very emotional and very special, but I am looking forward to it because it is something positive we are talking about." 

Denmark boss Kasper Hjulmand revealed that Kasper Schmeichel, who has skippered the side in the absence of the injured Simon Kjaer, approached him to ask that Eriksen be given the armband. 

"It's great to have him back. We've missed him," Schmeichel added. "It's not only on the pitch - we all saw what he can bring in the second half against the Netherlands – but also off the pitch. Something was missing."

Christian Eriksen says his comeback goal against the Netherlands was "just a warm-up", as he prepares to make a "special" return to Copenhagen with Denmark.

Eriksen will make his long-awaited return to the Parken Stadium, where he suffered a cardiac arrest during his country's Euro 2020 clash with Finland in June 2021, when Denmark host Serbia in a friendly on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old made an incredible return to international football on Saturday, scoring 114 seconds after coming on as a substitute during Denmark's 4-2 loss to the Netherlands. 

Having netted with a fine right-footed finish into the top corner at the Johan Cruyff Arena, the stadium where he began his club career with Ajax, the Brentford midfielder is now looking forward to what is sure to be an emotional return to home turf.

"That [the Serbia match] will be even more special," Eriksen told Danish TV station Kanal 5.

"[Saturday's goal] was just a warm-up for Tuesday, when I'll be running in exactly the place where it happened."

 

Kasper Hjulmand has already confirmed that Eriksen, who joined Brentford after being left unable to play for former club Inter due to Serie A rules around his implanted cardioverter-defibrillator device, will start the much-awaited contest.

Denmark qualified for this year's World Cup in eye-catching style, picking up 27 points from their 10 qualification games, and Eriksen is looking forward to competing in Qatar.

The 30-year-old also thanked the Dutch fans for the standing ovation he received upon his return to international football.

"To start the comeback in international football like this was the perfect way," Eriksen told Sky Sports on Saturday.

"I felt very welcome. I've been here before for many years so, of course, they [the fans] know me, but it was a very heart-warming reception for sure.

"I'm looking forward to playing at the Qatar World Cup, but there are a lot of games in between and I'm focused on them."

Less than a year after she shattered the outdoor world record of 15.67m at the Tokyo Olympics last summer, Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas shattered the world indoor record in the triple jump with a massive 15.74m on Sunday’s final day of the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.

Ukraine’s Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk produced a lifetime best of 14.74m to bump Jamaica’s Kimberly Williams, who jumped a season-best 14.62, down to third.

Williams medal means Jamaica now has two medals from the championships following Stephenie-Ann McPherson’s bronze medal in the 400m on Saturday.

However, it was Rojas, who stole the spotlight when on her final jump, she flew beyond her own world record of 15.43m, to establish a new mark and become the first woman to win three world indoor titles.

She also shattered the previous championship record of 15.36 set by Tatyana Lebedeva in 2004. She has equalled that mark on her penultimate jump of the competition.

Rojas already owned the world-leading mark indoors with 15.41m she set in Spain on March 2.

 

Bahamian superstar, Shaunae Miller-Uibo, added to her massive trophy case by winning gold in the Women’s 400m at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade on Saturday.

Adding to a bronze medal in the 400m from the 2014 World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Miller-Uibo got a good lead on the field at the start and used her strength to carry her home in a time of 50.31. Dutch 400m Hurdles Olympic bronze medallist Femke Bol was second in 50.57, while Jamaica’s Stephenie Ann-McPherson was third in a national indoor record 50.79.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards ensured the Caribbean swept the 400m events with a brilliant championship record 45.00 to win gold ahead of the USA’s Trevor Bassitt (45.05) and Sweden’s Carl Bengstrom (45.33).

The 2017 World Championships 200m bronze medallist now has two World Indoor Championships medals after his bronze from the 4x400m in the 2012 edition in Istanbul.

 

Devynne Charlton and Britany Anderson finished first and second in the first semi-final of the Women’s 60m to advance to the final scheduled for later on Saturday.

Charlton capitalized on a bullet start to cross the finish line in 7.81, a Bahamian national indoor record, while Anderson ran 7.85 for second.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Jerod Elcock advanced to the final of the Men’s 60m after finishing second in the first semi-final in 6.63 behind the USA’s Marvin Bracy who eased to 6.51 for the win.

A big clash is expected in the final, later on Saturday, between Italy’s Olympic 100m champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs and 2019 World 100m champion and 2018 World Indoor 60m champion and world record holder Christian Coleman. Jacobs won semi-final two in a world-leading 6.45 while Coleman won the third semi-final in 6.51.

 

Jamaica’s Britany Anderson and the Bahamas’ Devynne Charlton both advanced to the semi-finals of the Women’s 60m Hurdles at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade on Saturday morning.

Charlton won the fifth heat in 8.02, while Anderson finished third in the sixth heat, in 8.10.

The region will be well represented in the semi-finals of the Men’s 60m as well. Mario Burke of Barbados and Jamaica’s Nigel Ellis both ran 6.64, a personal best for Ellis, to finish second and third in the second heat to advance.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Jerod Elcock finished second in heat five with 6.63 to progress, while heat six saw Guyana’s Travis Collins and Rikkoi Brathwaite of the British Virgin Islands run the same time (6.66) to finish as the top two.

The semi-finals and finals of both the Women’s 60m Hurdles and Men’s 60m are scheduled for later on Saturday.

Jamaica's Natoya Goule won her heat in 2:01.65 to advance in the Women’s 800m. The final is scheduled for Sunday.

 

 

If Ato Boldon’s words are anything to go by, we should expect big things from his pupil Briana Williams at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade.

Williams, who was selected on Jamaica’s team for the 60m, started her season on January 14 at the Purple Tiger meet in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with times of 7.20 in the preliminaries and 7.18 in the final.

On January 29th, the Olympic 4x100m relay gold medallist ran 7.22 to finish fourth at the Millrose Games in New York. She returned to New York a week later at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix running 7.09 in the preliminaries, a personal best, and 7.11 in the final.

“The Briana that ran 7.19 in January and 7.09 in February has improved steadily and I think she’s ready to be a factor in Serbia,” Boldon, the four-time Olympic and two-time World Championship medallist, said in an interview with Sportsmax.Tv.

“Is there another 60m PR coming? I believe so. That’s why we are going,” he added.

The World Indoor Championships will be held from Friday, March 18-Sunday, March 20 in Belgrade, Serbia.

Ewa Swoboda (6.99), Marybeth Sant-Price (7.04), Mujinga Kambundji (7.05), and Mikiah Briscoe (7.07) are the only participants that have gone faster than Williams this season.

 

 

Christian Eriksen has been named in Denmark's squad for their upcoming friendlies, capping a remarkable return for the playmaker after suffering a cardiac arrest at Euro 2020.

The 30-year-old's career looked to be over just nine months ago when collapsing on the pitch in Denmark's group-stage clash with Finland in Copenhagen.

He subsequently underwent an operation to have an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) fitted, which left him unable to feature for former club Inter due to Serie A rulings.

However, after spending time building up his fitness with boyhood club Odense and Ajax's reserve side, Eriksen was handed a six-month contract with Brentford in January. 

And having featured three times for his new club in what is his second spell in the Premier League, the former Tottenham midfielder is now back in the Denmark fold.

Eriksen was part of the 23-man squad named by Kasper Hjulmand on Tuesday ahead of friendlies against the Netherlands and Serbia later this month.

"He is 100 per cent ready and is where he needs to be," Hjulmand said of Eriksen, who has 109 caps to his name.

Denmark have already booked their place at the 2022 World Cup, which Eriksen may now be a part of following this latest chapter in his incredible return to the pitch.

Also included in Denmark's latest squad is Preston North End goalkeeper Daniel Iversen, who is in line for his senior debut, while Barcelona's Martin Braithwaite has been left out.

The Red and Whites take on the Netherlands in Amsterdam on March 26 and host Serbia at Parken Stadium three days later.


Denmark squad:

Kasper Schmeichel, Frederik, Ronnow, Daniel Iversen, Rasmus Nissen, Alexander Bah, Joachim Andersen, Victor Nelsson, Andreas Christensen, Jannik Vestergaard, Joakim Maehle, Christian Eriksen, Philip Billing, Christian Norgaard, Pierre Emile Hojbjerg, Mathias Jenney, Thomas Dela, Jesper Lindstrom, Jacob Bruun Larsen, Kasper Dolberg, Andreas Cornelius, Jonas Wind, Andreas Skov Olsen, Yussuf Yurary

Cristiano Ronaldo conceded that Sunday's 2-1 defeat to Serbia was "tough" but vowed that Portugal's hopes of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup are "still very much alive."

Despite an early goal from Renato Sanches in Lisbon, an equaliser from Dusan Tadic and a 90th-minute Aleksandar Mitrovic header saw Serbia leapfrog Portugal to win Group A in World Cup qualifying.

Fernando Santos' men must now go through the play-offs in March if they are to qualify for the showpiece tournament, though captain Ronaldo reassured he still believes his side will qualify for Qatar.

"Football has shown us time and time again that, at times, it is the most winding paths that lead to the most desired outcomes," the 36-year-old posted on Instagram.

"Yesterday's result was tough, but not enough to get us down. The objective of being present at the 2022 World Cup is still very much alive and we know what we have to do to get there. No excuses. Portugal [are] heading to Qatar."

Ronaldo scored six goals in seven games for his country in qualifying, which included a goal against the Republic of Ireland that saw him become the all-time record goalscorer in international football, overtaking Iran's Ali Daei (109).

Portugal head coach Santos played down a gesture made by Ronaldo after the late defeat, insisting that his captain was referencing March's reverse fixture in Belgrade, in which the Manchester United forward was not awarded a stoppage-time goal despite the ball appearing to cross the line in the 2-2 draw.

"Nobody was explaining anything," Santos told reporters when asked about Ronaldo. "He was telling the other guy that there [in Serbia] he had scored a goal at the last minute and that the referee didn't count.

"That's what he was saying at the time. It wasn't a matter for us to be there now. On the field, he said that we scored a goal there and the referee didn't, but it's his outburst. It's perfectly normal."

Fernando Santos played down Cristiano Ronaldo's gesture after Portugal missed out on automatic World Cup qualification, though the under-fire head coach guaranteed his team will be in Qatar next year.

Portugal will feature in the World Cup play-offs following Sunday's dramatic 2-1 defeat at home to Serbia in Lisbon.

Requiring only a draw to book their trip to Qatar in Group A, Portugal were on track after Renato Sanches and Dusan Tadic traded goals in the opening half.

However, Aleksandar Mitrovic came off the bench and scored in the 90th minute to send Serbia to the showpiece tournament.

Portugal superstar and captain Ronaldo cut a frustrated figure afterwards, gesturing as coach Santos approached him on the pitch post-game.

But Santos insisted Ronaldo was referencing March's reverse fixture in Belgrade, where the five-time Ballon d'Or winner was not awarded a stoppage-time goal, despite the ball appearing to cross the line in the 2-2 draw.

"Nobody was explaining anything," Santos told reporters when asked about Ronaldo. "He was telling the other guy that there [in Serbia] he had scored a goal at the last minute and that the referee didn't count.

"That's what he was saying at the time. It wasn't a matter for us to be there now. On the field, he said that we scored a goal there and the referee didn't, but it's his outburst. It's perfectly normal.

"Now no one goes after a game to explain what happened or didn't happen. I went to raise the players' heads."

Ronaldo's Portugal will take part in the play-offs as one of the second-placed seeded teams.

The play-offs will not be contested in two-legged ties, with the semi-finals and final set to take place in March next year.

"The truth is that we did not have a good performance overall," Santos said. "Therefore, we have to say sorry. The Portuguese people are obviously sad. Not more than us, but just like us.

"But my team will be at the Qatar World Cup. That is guaranteed. We just have to compete in the play-offs which is not common for us. Portugal never went through a play-off with me, but they played it on three occasions and qualified for the finals in all of them.

"We will do it again. And I personally took part in a play-off, too. And I also qualified for the World Cup."

Serbia head coach Dragan Stojkovic insisted there is no limit to what the country can achieve after they qualified for the 2022 World Cup in dramatic fashion.

Aleksandar Mitrovic scored in the 90th minute to break Portugal's hearts as Serbia reached next year's showpiece tournament in Qatar thanks to a last-gasp 2-1 victory in Group A on Sunday.

Portugal only required a draw to earn automatic qualification and Cristiano Ronaldo's men were on track after Renato Sanches and Dusan Tadic traded first-half goals in Lisbon.

However, Serbia dominated and were rewarded when substitute Mitrovic headed home late as Portugal were relegated to the play-offs.

"We have no limit, we will analyse everything after this, and we did everything we did perfectly," Stojkovic said post-game.

"We showed in the end that we are better. We have the potential for much bigger things."

Serbia failed to qualify for Euro 2020 following a disappointing play-off defeat to Scotland.

Mitrovic – Serbia's all-time leading scorer – said: "I don't know what to say. I would cry and laugh at the same time. 

"Great victory, we came to Portugal to play football, to win. We were better, outplayed the opponent and deservedly celebrated."

Serbia captain Tadic, who equalised in the 33rd minute to cancel out Sanches' early opener, praised the impact of Stojkovic.

Stojkovic was appointed in March, replacing under-fire boss Mladen Krstajic.

"There are a lot of emotions at the moment and everyone is very happy and satisfied," Tadic added. "Since [Stojkovic] came, I think that a smile has returned and that we are playing beautiful football, which we showed today. 

"We showed that we can come to Portugal to dominate and win. I think that everyone who wears this coat of arms and who is a citizen of this country should be very happy and proud."

"Serbia should go to the World and European Championships continuously," Tadic said. "I hope that [Stojkovic] will stay for a long time and that Serbia will go to big competitions all the time."

Bernardo Silva apologised to Portugal fans following a dramatic 2-1 loss to Serbia in Lisbon on Sunday that left the Selecao facing a World Cup qualifying play-off.

Portugal only needed to avoid defeat in order to finish top of Group A and secure an automatic qualifying spot for the tournament in Qatar next year.

Renato Sanches' early strike put the hosts in the lead, but Dusan Tadic levelled and Aleksandar Mitrovic headed in a 90th-minute winner to seal sensationally seal Serbia's World Cup spot.

Manchester City midfielder Silva pulled no punches with his verdict on Portugal's performance.

"[It was a] terrible game for Portugal," Silva told O Jogo. "We managed to score the goal early, but then we stopped playing. Words fail me. We have to do more than we did today.

"We have a play-off, where we'll give our best. At home, with 65,000 people we had to do better. I want to apologise because they came to see a game they shouldn't have seen.

"The plan was to try to win the game. To have the ball. Something that didn't happen in any moment of the game. That at home and with the quality of our players is unacceptable. We have to see what failed and try to improve from there on."

Joao Palhinha agreed with Silva's assessment of the team's negative performance, but insisted they are good enough to qualify for the World Cup.

"We are here to take responsibility," Palhinha told RTP. "We didn't play a good game, we just defended in the second half and Serbia ended up having happiness in the final minutes, but [qualification is] still within our reach.

"Serbia played a good game, but we had the capacity and level to be superior. We are very sad, the dressing room is on the wane for not having achieved the direct qualification, but we have to go chasing them in the next games, because we have more than value to be in the World Cup.

"Life is not a constant of victories, all people who are successful in life go through difficulties and this feeling has to give us more strength."

Aleksandar Mitrovic's late winner saw Serbia seal their spot at the 2022 World Cup with a 2-1 victory over Portugal in Lisbon.

Portugal went ahead after just two minutes as Bernardo Silva capitalised on a defensive error to set up Renato Sanches, who opened the scoring with an unerring finish. 

Dusan Tadic's deflected strike levelled the scores later in the first half, with Rui Patricio partially culpable for allowing the ball to cross the line.

Substitute Mitrovic completed a dramatic turnaround in the 90th minute as he headed in from Tadic's cross to send Serbia top of Group A and condemn Portugal to the playoffs.

Portugal enjoyed a dream start as Silva dispossessed Nemanja Gudelj before finding Sanches, who advanced into the area and rifled past Predrag Rajkovic.

Dusan Vlahovic thought he had equalised 10 minutes later as he struck towards the bottom-right corner, but his left-footed effort bounced off the post and away from danger.

Serbia did draw level in the 33rd minute when Tadic's fierce strike from the edge of the area took a deflection, causing Patricio to fumble into his own net.

The hosts came within inches of reclaiming the lead after the interval as Sanches' blocked effort was cleared against Rajkovic's back and rolled just wide.

Serbia appeared surprisingly conservative in the second half but Mitrovic, who headed wide only minutes before, grabbed a dramatic winner with just a minute remaining of normal time as he nodded in at the back post from Tadic's cross to ensure his country's place at the World Cup.

Aleksandar Mitrovic's late winner saw Serbia seal their spot at the 2022 World Cup with a 2-1 victory over Portugal in Lisbon.

Portugal went ahead after just two minutes as Bernardo Silva capitalised on a defensive error to set up Renato Sanches, who opened the scoring with an unerring finish. 

Dusan Tadic's deflected strike levelled the scores later in the first half, with Rui Patricio partially culpable for allowing the ball to cross the line.

Substitute Mitrovic completed a dramatic turnaround in the 90th minute as he headed in from Tadic's cross to send Serbia top of Group A and condemn Portugal to the playoffs.

Portugal enjoyed a dream start as Silva dispossessed Nemanja Gudelj before finding Sanches, who advanced into the area and rifled past Predrag Rajkovic.

Dusan Vlahovic thought he had equalised 10 minutes later as he struck towards the bottom-right corner, but his left-footed effort bounced off the post and away from danger.

Serbia did draw level in the 33rd minute when Tadic's fierce strike from the edge of the area took a deflection, causing Patricio to fumble into his own net.

The hosts came within inches of reclaiming the lead after the interval as Sanches' blocked effort was cleared against Rajkovic's back and rolled just wide.

Serbia appeared surprisingly conservative in the second half but Mitrovic, who headed wide only minutes before, grabbed a dramatic winner with just a minute remaining of normal time as he nodded in at the back post from Tadic's cross to ensure his country's place at the World Cup.

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