Christian Eriksen sealed a fairytale return to international football with a goal, but it was not enough to prevent Denmark from slumping to a 4-2 friendly defeat to the Netherlands.
The midfielder, playing his first international since suffering a cardiac arrest at Euro 2020, scored with his first touch after coming on as a half-time substitute on an emotional night in Amsterdam.
An entertaining game saw the Netherlands take the lead after just 16 minutes when Steven Bergwijn brilliantly headed Daley Blind’s left-wing cross into the top corner, but the Danes equalised with their next attack as Jannik Vestergaard flicked home from Joakim Maehle’s delivery.
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AMSTERDAM - (lr) Frenkie de Jong of Holland, Denzel Dumfries of Holland, Steven Berghuis of Holland, Steven Bergwijn of Holland, Nathan Ake of Holland, Virgil van Dijk of Holland celebrate the 2-1 during the friendly match between the Netherlands and Denm

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The Dutch restored their advantage before the half-hour mark though. Manchester City defender Nathan Ake was left unmarked at the back-post and he nodded Bergwijn’s cross past Kasper Schmeichel for his third international goal.
A foul in the penalty area by Jannik Vestergaard on Berghuis allowed Memphis Depay to make it 3-1 from the spot on 39-minutes, but Denmark were back in it straight after the break as Eriksen pulled one back by brilliantly finding the far top corner.
The Danes did play with more control following their half-time substitutions, but Bergwijn settled the tie when he cut inside and curled into the far top corner to make it 4-2.

TALKING POINT - Eriksen’s fairytale return

Less than a year ago, Christian Eriksen’s career looked over after he collapsed from a cardiac arrest during Euro 2020.
The midfielder, who’s played three times since joining Brentford earlier this season, came on as a substitute at the break to a standing ovation from the Amsterdam ArenA crowd, the home of his former club Ajax.

AMSTERDAM - (lr) Andreas Skov Olsen of Denmark, Christian Eriksen of Denmark celebrates 3-2 during the friendly match between the Netherlands and Denmark at the Johan Cruijff ArenA on March 26, 2022 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. ANP MAURICE VAN STEEN (Photo

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Within two minutes of taking to the field he had scored, calmly curling into the far top corner with his first touch of the game to reduce Denmark’s deficit, and he was not finished there, smashing a wonderful 30-yard drive against the post mid-way through the second half.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Steven Bergwijn (Netherlands). He may not have hit the heights Spurs fans hoped he would, but the forward was in sparkling form for the Netherlands in this one, proving a constant threat to the Denmark defence.
He got himself a goal in the first half, he was involved in the move that led to the penalty, and was generally a menace whenever his side pressed forward.

AMSTERDAM - Steven Bergwijn of Holland celebrates the 1-0 during the friendly match between the Netherlands and Denmark at the Johan Cruijff ArenA on March 26, 2022 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. ANP MAURICE VAN STEEN (Photo by ANP via Getty Images)

Image credit: Getty Images

The 24-year old continued to impress after the break, forcing Schmeichel into another good save with a shot from distance before grabbing his second by curling into the far top corner.

PLAYER RATINGS

NETHERLANDS: Flekken 6, Di Ligt 6, van Dijk 6, Ake 7, Dumfries 7, Koopmeiners 6, Berghuis 8, De Jong 7, Blind 7, Depay 8, Bergwijn 9. Subs: Danjuma n/a, Malen n/a, Malacia n/a
DENMARK: Schmeichel 8, Nelsson 6, Vestergaard 5, Anderson 6, Maehle 6, Delaney 6, Hojbjerg, Bah 6, Wing, Poulsen 6, Lindstrom 6. Subs: Norgaard 6, Skov Olsen 6, Eriksen 7, Kirstensen 6, Dolberg 6, Jensen n/a

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

16’ - GOAL! NETHERLANDS 1-0 DENMARK (Bergwijn): Oh that is terrific! The Netherlands break down the left and Daley Blind whips in a superb cross, met by Bergwijn near the penalty spot, who heads home his third international goal
20’ - GOAL! NETHERLANDS 1-1 DENMARK (Vestergaard): They've barely threatened, but the Danes are level! A free-kick clatters into the wall but falls for Joakim Maehle, whose inswinging cross is nodded home by Jannik Vestergaard! That didn't last long!
29’ - GOAL! NETHERLANDS 2-1 DENMARK (Ake): Nathan Ake is left unmarked at the back-post and he's perfectly picked out by Berghuis from a short corner. Lovely routine and excellent header
37’ - GOAL! NETHERLANDS 3-1 DENMARK (Depay): Vestergaard slides in on Berghuis in the box and it’s a clear penalty. Depay is on spot-kick duty and he confidently sends Schmeichel the wrong way, slamming coolly into the back of the net
47’ - GOAL! NETHERLANDS 3-2 DENMARK (Eriksen): What a fairytale return! The midfielder has only been on the pitch two minutes, but he’s picked out in bags of space in the area and brilliantly curls into the far top corner with his first touch!
71’ - GOAL! NETHERLANDS 4-2 DENMARK (Bergwijn): Tottenham fans will want to see this! What a finish by Bergwijn, who picks up the ball outside the area, cuts inside and curls into the far top corner from 12-yards. Superb
90+5’ - GOAL DISALLOWED! Pierre-Emile Højbjerg thinks he's pulled one back as he heads home from a deep cross, but it's disallowed for pushing

KEY STATS

  • Memphis Depay has scored 11 goals in eight games under Louis van Gaal
  • Denmark have now played 14 matches since they last won an away friendly - against Canada in 2013
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