Romelu Lukaku paid tribute to his Inter Milan teammate Christian Eriksen after scoring against Russia to help world number one side Belgium start Euro 2020 with a 3-0 win.
Denmark midfielder Eriksen collapsed on the pitch earlier on Saturday in the Group B game with Finland and received emergency treatment on the field.
There was some doubt as to whether Belgium’s game with Russia – Denmark’s group rivals – in St Petersburg would go ahead as scheduled because of events in Copenhagen before it was given the all-clear after the Danish Football Association revealed Eriksen was “awake” in hospital.
Lukaku opened the scoring after pouncing on a mistake by Andrey Semenov and celebrated his goal by shouting “Chris, Chris, I love you” in front of a television camera.
After the game, the former Manchester United forward said he cried when he heard what had happened to Eriksen.
“I was scared. You live strong moments together,” he told ITV. “I spent more time with him than with my family.
“It was difficult to play the game. I hope he is healthy and I dedicate this performance to him.”
After Lukaku’s opener, Roberto Martinez’s side added a second before half-time after substitute Thomas Meunier – an early replacement for injured Leicester defender Timothy Castagne – slotted home when Anton Shunin failed to hold a cross.
In-form Lukaku sealed a comfortable win by scoring his team’s third goal with a composed finish in the closing stages.
The victory put Belgium, one of the fancied teams at Euro 2020, top of the group, level on points with Finland, who beat Denmark in a game which was suspended following Eriksen’s collapse before being re-started.