The Latest: Lukaku delivers message to Eriksen at Euro 2020

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Denmark’s players react as their teammate Christian Eriksen lays injured on the ground during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Denmark, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (Wolfgang Rattay/Pool via AP)

The Latest on soccer’s European Championship:

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Romelu Lukaku delivered a heartfelt message to Denmark player Christian Eriksen after scoring the first goal in Belgium’s 3-0 victory over Russia at the European Championship.

Lukaku swiveled to shoot into the bottom corner in the 10th minute and then headed straight to a television camera on the touchline. He grabbed it with both hands and said “Chris, Chris, I love you.”

Lukaku plays alongside Eriksen at Italian club Inter Milan. Eriksen was taken to the hospital after collapsing on the field during Denmark’s match against Finland in Copenhagen.

That led to the match being suspended for about 90 minutes before resuming just before Belgium’s game started in St. Petersburg. Eriksen was in a stable condition.

Substitute Thomas Meunier scored Belgium’s second goal in the 34th minute and Lukaku added the third in the 88th.

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Christian Eriksen was named player of the match in Denmark’s 1-0 loss to Finland at the European Championship.

Eriksen collapsed on the field late in the first half and received urgent medical treatment before being taken to a hospital. The Danish soccer federation says Eriksen is awake and in stable condition.

The match was suspended but resumed after about 90 minutes.

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Czech Republic goalkeeper Jiří Pavlenka has left the national team because of persistent back problems.

The team says the Werder Bremen keeper didn’t travel with the squad to Glasgow for its opening game against Scotland on Monday.

Pavlenka says “the pain is persistent. I have to put aside my personal ambitions.”

That leaves Tomáš Vaclík as the first choice in the goal. Aleš Mandous will be his backup.

Augsburg goalkeeper Tomáš Koubek will join the team on Tuesday to replace Pavlenka. Koubek make his national team debut five years ago in a 1-0 loss to Scotland in a friendly.

The Czechs already lost Slavia Prague goalkeeper Ondřej Kolář before the tournament because of a head injury.

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Two players in the European Championship match between Belgium and Russia have been substituted after their heads clashed while jumping for the ball.

Belgium wing back Thomas Castagne was the first to come off the field after the incident with Russia midfielder Daler Kuzyaev in the 24th minute and had a huge lump on the right side of his face.

Kuzyaev eventually came off in the 30th. He was replaced by Denis Cheryshev.

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Joel Pohjanpalo scored and Lukas Hradecky saved a penalty to give Finland a 1-0 victory over Denmark in a European Championship game overshadowed by Christian Eriksen’s collapse on the field.

The game was suspended for about 90 minutes after Eriksen needed urgent medical treatment near the end of the first half before being taken to a hospital. The Danish soccer federation says Eriksen is awake and in stable condition.

Pohjanpalo put Finland ahead against the run of play when the match resumed. He rose above Joakim Maehle to head home a cross from Jere Uronen.

Denmark dominated most of the game and was handed a penalty when Yussuf Poulsen went down under a challenge from Paulus Arajuuri. But Hradecky dived to his left to stop a tame effort from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

Finland was making its debut at a major tournament.

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Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku scored a goal at the European Championship and celebrated by running straight to a television camera and saying “I love you” to Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen.

Eriksen collapsed on the field in Copenhagen during a Euro 2020 match against Finland. He was taken to a hospital and was said to be awake.

Lukaku gave Belgium a 1-0 lead over Russia in St. Petersburg. He and Eriksen are teammates at Italian club Inter Milan.

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Danish soccer federation director Peter Moeller says Christian Eriksen got a “heart massage” while being treated on the field after collapsing during a match at the European Championship.

Moeller tells Danish public broadcaster DR that Eriksen “fell over and got help and a heart massage on the field. He was fortunately awake when he left stadium.”

The match was suspended for about 90 minutes but eventually resumed in the 43rd minute.

Moeller says it was important for the Denmark players to know that Eriksen was OK and that they were honoring him by finishing the match.

Moeller says the federation has been in contact with Eriksen and “he’s fine and they play the match for Christian.”

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Belgium’s players have been jeered by sections of the crowd at Saint Petersburg Stadium while taking a knee before the start of a European Championship match against Russia.

Loud music was played while the gesture against racism was taking place but the boos were still audible.

Russia’s players chose not to take a knee.

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The game between Denmark and Finland at the European Championship has restarted.

The match was suspended for about 90 minutes after Christian Eriksen collapsed and was taken to a hospital. UEFA says Eriksen has been stabilized and the Danish soccer federation says he is awake.

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The game between Denmark and Finland will resume at 8:30 p.m. local time.

UEFA says both teams have decided to complete the game even though Christian Eriksen was taken to a hospital after collapsing on the field near the end of the first half. The Danish soccer federation says Eriksen is awake.

A stadium announcer says the last few minutes of the first half will be played followed by “a short break” before the second half.

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The game between Denmark and Finland will resume at 8:30 p.m. local time.

UEFA says both teams have decided to complete the game even though Christian Eriksen was taken to a hospital after collapsing on the field near the end of the first half. The Danish soccer federation says Eriksen is awake.

A stadium announcer says the last few minutes of the first half will be played followed by “a short break” before the second half.

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Inter Milan team physician Piero Volpi tells The Associated Press that the Italian club is contact with Danish federation regarding the health of Christian Eriksen.

Eriksen plays for Inter and helped the team win the Serie A title last month.

Volpi says “we’re in contact with the Danish federation, the team manager, the team physician. But we still don’t know anything yet.”

Volpi adds that they have “heard what UEFA said and we’re all happy that he’s been stabilized. But that’s all we know.”

Volpi says Eriksen never contracted COVID-19, has no medical conditions that he’s aware of and has passed every medical exam without problem since joining Inter in January 2020 from Tottenham.

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England called off a planned pre-match news conference with coach Gareth Southgate and captain Harry Kane after Denmark midfielder Christen Eriksen collapsed during a European Championship game.

Kane played with Eriksen at Tottenham. He was due to be talking at Wembley Stadium about Sunday’s game against Croatia.

The English Football Association says “our thoughts this evening are with Christian Eriksen and his family, and all connected with the Danish Football Union.”

Denmark’s game against Finland was suspended just before halftime after Eriksen collapsed on the field.

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Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen has been taken to a hospital after collapsing on the field in Copenhagen during a match at the European Championship.

UEFA says Eriksen has been stabilized.

UEFA says the Denmark and Finland teams have met with officials and a decision on the game will be made shortly. The match was suspended while Eriksen was receiving medical treatment on the field.

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Denmark’s match against Finland at the European Championship has been suspended.

The match was stopped after Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsed on the field.

Eriksen was taken off on a stretcher after needing medical attention for about 10 minutes.

Eriksen collapsed untouched near the end of the first half and was immediately surrounded by medical personnel. His teammates then formed a shielding wall around him.

The Finland players huddled by their bench and eventually walked off the field while Eriksen was still getting treatment. Eriksen was carried off to a loud ovation.

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Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship game against Finland.

Eriksen fell to the ground near the sideline late in the first half and was immediately surrounded by medical personnel. His teammates formed a shielding wall around him to give him privacy as the medics treated him.

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Ukraine midfielder Oleksandr Zinchenko says playing in the Dutch capital at the European Championship will bring back some happy memories.

The Manchester City defender spent a season on loan at Dutch club PSV Eindhoven before moving back to England permanently.

Zinchenko says the season at the Philips Stadium was “a great career push. That was the first time I met European football and the experience was really valuable to me.”

Zinchenko plays at left back for City but is expected to switch to the central midfield for Sunday’s match against the Netherlands at the Johan Cruyff Arena.

He says he is happy to play wherever coach Andriy Shevchenko puts him.

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Heavy rain in Bucharest has soaked the National Arena field and prevented Austria and North Macedonia from training ahead of their European Championship game.

Some Austria players warmed up and cooled down by diving headlong into the water pools.

Training was canceled to protect the playing surface for Sunday’s opening Group C match.

UEFA says both teams have headed to Steaua Bucharest’s stadium in the city to practice. Austria has first use of it. North Macedonia will be an hour later.

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A party atmosphere is building in Copenhagen an hour before Denmark faces Finland at the European Championship.

Denmark is hosting a major tournament game for the first time and 15,000 fans will be allowed into the Parken Stadium for the Group B opener. A large number of them were already on hand to greet goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and his two backups with a loud ovation when they walked onto the field to start warming up.

Thousands of fans also gathered in a nearby park to sing songs and drink beer hours before the game.

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Kieffer Moore scored late to help Wales hold Switzerland to a 1-1 draw in Group A at the European Championship.

Moore had his head wrapped in red bandages after an early collision and then used it to nod in a cross from Joe Morrell in the 74th minute after a short corner.

Switzerland dominated possession and wasted a string of chances before Breel Embolo headed in the opening goal in the 49th off a corner from Xherdan Shaqiri.

Switzerland substitute Mario Gavranovic volleyed the ball into the Welsh net late but it was ruled out for offside on a video review.

Italy leads Group A at Euro 2020 after its 3-0 win over Turkey on Friday.

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The national soccer teams from Wales and Switzerland both took a knee before their European Championship match got started in Baku.

Wales has committed to taking a knee before games at Euro 2020 to protest racism. England is doing the same.

Scotland has pledged it will be “taking a stand against racism” at its two home games in Glasgow and will kneel before the match against England in London.

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The national soccer teams from Wales and Switzerland have begun warming up in front of near-empty stands in Baku ahead of their Group A match at the European Championship.

Up to 31,000 fans are allowed for Euro 2020 games at the Olympic Stadium but attendance may fall short of that.

Relatively few fans of either team have made the journey to Azerbaijan.

A group of Wales fans chanted as their team was announced and their voices echoed around the stadium.

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Netherlands captain Georginio Wijnaldum says Dutch players will not take a knee in an anti-racism gesture before their opening European Championship match against Ukraine on Sunday.

Wijnaldum says the team already is involved in anti-racism initiatives with the Dutch soccer federation and has decided not to take a knee at the Johan Cruyff Arena because they have not done it in other recent games.

Wijnaldum says the team already does a lot to promote an anti-racism message but adds “it is never enough until it (racism) has stopped.”

Sections of fans have booed England players when they took a knee before two Euro 2020 warm-up matches.

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Netherlands coach Frank de Boer says defender Matthijs de Ligt is not ready to play in the team’s opening European Championship match against Ukraine on Sunday.

De Ligt is recovering from a groin injury but has been training with the team in recent days. He said earlier this week he hoped to be able to play Sunday in the Netherlands’ first major tournament match since the 2014 World Cup.

But De Boer says “it is a bit too early. We don’t want to take any risks. We have two more group matches.”

He did not say who would replace the Juventus defender in the starting lineup for the team’s Euro 2020 opener. The Netherlands already is missing center back and captain Virgil van Dijk with a long-term knee injury.

De Boer says he expects De Ligt to be available for the next match against Austria on Thursday.

The Netherlands will play all three of its Group C matches at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam.

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Spain has sent home the 17 extra players it called up this week to form an alternative squad after a coronavirus outbreak had threatened to infect the team at the European Championship.

Six players with previous experience with the national team and 11 players from Spain’s under-21 team were called up by coach Luis Enrique after captain Sergio Busquets tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.

Diego Llorente also tested positive on Tuesday but he has returned to the squad after four consecutive negative results.

The extra players left a day after the squad was vaccinated and following three consecutive days of negative tests for the entire group.

The 23-man squad for Euro 2020 practiced together for the first time this week.

Spain plays its opening match against Sweden in Seville on Monday.

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The European Championship moves to Baku on Day 2 of the tournament before heading to Copenhagen and then St. Petersburg.

The first match on the day’s Euro 2020 schedule will be between Wales and Switzerland in Baku. Italy beat Turkey 3-0 in the other Group A match on Friday in Rome.

The middle match pits Denmark against Finland in Copenhagen in Group B. And the final game of the day in that same group will be between Belgium and Russia in St. Petersburg.

The European Championship began a year late because of the coronavirus pandemic but is still being called Euro 2020.

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More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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