In Group A, Denmark fell to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Finland in a match marred by the unfortunate incident of Inter Milan midfielder Christian Eriksen slumping near the end of the first half. It was the quick intervention of Danish captain Simon Kjaer and the medical staff who realised the Dane’s heart had stopped that helped save his life before he was transferred to a hospital where he was certified to be stable. The match continued some hours later, with Joel Pohjanpalo scoring the match-winner in the 59th minute as Finland picked up a win on their first-ever appearance in an international competition.
In the group’s other game, Romelu Lukaku scored twice as Belgium romped to a 3-0 victory over Russia. The Inter striker opened the scoring after only 10 minutes and dedicated the goal to Inter teammate Eriksen before Thomas Meunier doubled their advantage. Lukaku scored his side’s third after 88 minutes to add gloss to the scoreline.
Wales held Switzerland to a 1-1 draw in their Group B encounter at the Baku Olympic Stadium in Azerbaijan. Breel Embolo opened the scoring for the Swiss just four minutes into the second half before Kieffer Moore equalised for the Welsh side in the 74th minute.