Southampton have just four players representing the club at the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament that began on Friday.
Denmark’s Jannik Vestergaard, Poland’s Jan Bednarek, and Scotland duo Stuart Armstrong and Che Adams have now all played their first games in the tournament.
Unfortunately for them, they all featured for their respective countries in losing efforts, though one of those defeats is an outlier due to the severe and troubling circumstances that surrounded it.
Read about the games below.
12 June: Denmark 0-1 Finland
Jannik Vestergaard’s Denmark were felled by Finland at home on Saturday.
However, this 1-0 defeat in Copenhagen was overshadowed by a horrible incident that involved his teammate Christian Eriksen in the first half.
The game was suspended after Eriksen, the former Tottenham Hostpur man who was a thorn in Southampton’s side on plenty of occasions during his time in the Premier League, collapsed on the pitch.
Eriksen’s teammates, as well as their Finnish opponents, looked distraught at seeing Eriksen on the ground, prompting many to fear the worst for the Inter Milan midfielder.
The Dane was transported to a local hospital and, thankfully, he was able to recover enough to be able to talk to doctors, friends, family and his teammates after suffering an apparent cardiac arrest on the pitch.
Despite what had happened, both Denmark and Finland elected to finish the game later that same evening.
Finland’s Joel Pohjanpalo headed home his country’s winner on their first ever appearance in a major international tournament.
Former Saints captain Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had the chance to level the score from the penalty spot, but fluffed his chance with a weak penalty that was easily saved.
Vestergaard came on as a late substitute, completing 27 minutes of the game as he helped out with his team’s attempts to grab an equaliser late on.
Denmark’s next game sees them take on Belgium on Thursday 17 June.
St Mary’s Musings wishes Eriksen a speedy recovery.
14 June: Scotland 0-2 Czech Republic
Stuart Armstrong and Che Adams made their first appearances in a major international tournament as Scotland ended their 23-year wait to qualify.
However, Hampden Park wasn’t a happy hunting ground for the Scots in front of their home fans as the Czech Republic ran out 2-0 winners.
Armstrong started the game and went close to scoring as his shot was deflected over the bar in the second half. However, that was symbolic of how the Scots fared as they wasted plenty of chances throughout the game.
The Czechs took the lead late in the first half when Patrick Schick rose above the Scotland defence the guide the ball home with a lovely header.
Adams came on as a second-half substitute and looked a nuisance as Scotland hunted for an equaliser. However, that wasn’t to be.
Bayer Leverkusen striker Schick got his country’s second goal, too, and it was a belter from distance.
The ball reached Schick around the halfway line as Jack Hendry’s blocked shot was turned over to him. The Czech striker that smashed a perfect shot from far out to clear the flailing David Marshall and nestle into the back into the net to extend his country’s lead.
Scotland face England next on Friday 18 June, and after that opening game disappointment, the importance surrounding their tie with the Three Lions has taken on much more importance than they’d like.
14 June: Poland 1-2 Slovakia
Jan Bednarek’s Poland fell to a shock 2-1 defeat to Slovakia in their opening game at Zenit St. Petersburg’s stadium in Russia.
Saints defender Bednarek started the game and played the full 90 minutes.
Slovakia took the lead in the first half through Robert Mak’s solo effort.
Karol Linetty levelled the scoreline for Poland quickly after the half-time break, but that good work was undone when midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak was sent off for a soft second yellow card.
Slovakia took advantage of the extra man when Inter Milan defender Martin Skriniar slotted home a low shot to regain the lead on 62 minutes.
Bednarek came close to equalising for Poland in the dying minutes, skewing his shot just wide of the post before the final whistle.
Spain are up next for Poland on Saturday 19 June.