England came from behind to edge out Denmark 2-1 in extra time in the semifinals of the Euro 2020 on Wednesday at Wembley Stadium.
Harry Kane netted the winner to secure a first final for England at a major international tournament since the 1966 FIFA World Cup.
The European Championship delivered a second semifinal clash with England and Denmark coming toe-to-toe again for all the spoils for the fourth consecutive Euros in London.
The two teams headed in the game with Euro 2020 glory within their grasp – England was handed a home advantage as they try to lift their first major international trophy in 55 years.
Denmark, meanwhile, have been to a European Championship final before. Their current team, powered on by the desire to win the tournament for Christian Eriksen, who had a shocking cardiac arrest during their opening game against Finland.
Mikkel Damsgaard shot Denmark into the lead in the 30th minute through a brilliant free-kick.
Denmark’s defense were visible after they went in front but were consistently tested by the likes of Sterling, Kane, Mason, Saka, Phillips and others.
England responded 9 minutes later as a Simon Kjaer own-goal cancelled out Mikkel Damsgaard’s superb free kick for the Danes on the stroke of half time.
The two sides were impressive after restart – England were on top throughout but struggled to break down the battling Denmark defence.
The game ended in a pulsating 1 – 1 draw after 90 minutes, dragging the match into a hard fought Extra time at Wembley Stadium in London.
England were awarded a penalty in the 103rd-minute after Raheem Sterling went down with minimum contact, allowing captain Kane to decide the match.
Schmeichel saved the penalty but the rebound gives Kane another chance and he capitalizes on it to give England a 2-1 lead to enter the final of a major tournament after almost 2 generations.
Since winning the 1966 World Cup, England have reached only four major semi-finals, losing at the 1990 and 2018 World Cups, as well as Euro 1968 and 1996, when Gareth Southgate infamously missed a crucial penalty in the shoot-out against Germany.
England now set up an Euro 2020 final against Italy on Sunday 11 July, 2021 at Wembley.
England: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Phillips, Rice (Henderson 95); Saka (Grealish 69, Trippier 106), Mount (Foden 95), Sterling; Kane
Denmark: Schmeichel; Christensen (Andersen 79), Kjær, Vestergaard (Wind 105); Stryger (Wass 67), Højbjerg, Delaney (Jensen 88), Mæhle; Braithwaite, Dolberg (Nørgaard 67), Damsgaard (Poulsen 67)
Acknowledgement: Betway Ghana ( Headline Sponsor)
Mark F. | SilverFM