The Slovenia Times

Slovenia open Euro 2024 with draw against Denmark

Slovenia celebrating Erik Janža's equalizer against Denmark Photo: Jure Makovec/STA

Slovenia earned a draw with Denmark in their opening match at the Euro 2024, overcoming a weak first half to equalize in the final stages of the 16 June game.

Denmark's Christian Eriksen scored in the 17th minute and it took Slovenia until the 77th to respond through Erik Janža after a series of near misses.

The first half was dominated by Denmark but Slovenia stepped up in the second half, especially in the last 20 minutes of the game, and capitalised on a corner kick to earn a point with a deflection goal.

The Danes were favourites today, but not by much of a margin since the two teams won the same number of points in the qualifying.

In his first reaction after the game, Slovenian head coach Matjaž Kek congratulated his team. He said they did not excel all the time, as it was clear that some of his players were overwhelmed due to the importance of the match.

"We had chances in the first half that we should have seized. But then this deflection after Janža's kick came as a reward for everything that the boys showed on the pitch," he said as he thanked fans in Stuttgart for support from the stands.

There were more than 10,000 of them cheering for Slovenia at the Stuttgart Arena, plus large groups in fan zones in the city, which is home to the largest Slovenian community in Germany.

This was Slovenia's first Euro game since 2000 and their first big-tournament match since 2010, when they appeared in the World Cup.

Their next opponent will be Serbia in a face-off that will take place in Munich on 20 June. Slovenia will then take on England in Cologne on 25 June.


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