England also beat Denmark and are in a European Championship final for the first time. It was a well-deserved success in a tight, tough semi-final – but the decisive scene sparked discussions.
Harry Kane scored, Wembley shook, Wembley sang – and in the end saw a historic success for English football. “Football’s coming home” resounded from tens of thousands of throats as the brave outsider Denmark was defeated. After the 2: 1 (1: 1) after extra time, the Three Lions are in the final of a European Championship for the first time and dream of the second big title after the World Cup triumph 55 years ago. On Sunday, however, the task against top favorites Italy will be even more difficult.
The Danes were also tough opponents, the remarkable journey of the Scandinavians ended late and in a particularly bitter way: In extra time, captain Kane took an extremely questionable penalty kick, he only scored in the margin (104th) and made it to the final Perfect.
Sterling talks about controversial penalty kick scene
“If he touches me in the box like that, it will of course be a penalty,” said Raheem Sterling, who fell very easily in stoppage time. “This final is a step in the right direction for England, but we are still not there.”
Mikkel Damsgaard (30th) gave Denmark hope with a brilliant free kick and conceded the hosts’ first goal at this EURO. An own goal by Simon Kjaer (39th) brought the quick equalizer.
And team manager Gareth Southgate could still become a trailblazer in the history of English football – 25 years ago he was the big obstacle: In England’s only European Championship semi-final in 1996, he missed the decisive penalty against Germany.
60,000 spectators at Wembley Stadium
Before the duel with Denmark, however, the height of fall was great for all Englishmen, the island was in a state of emergency. Hundreds of thousands drank and sang warmly in and in front of the pubs in the afternoon, and those who got a ticket were a happy fan. Even Prince Charles had the guard band in the garden of Clarence House sing the hymn that also rolled through Wembley: “Football’s.” coming home “. And even in the dressing room, this euphoria was well received, “of course I have the pictures of the final in my head,” said captain Harry Kane – even before the semifinals.
And the pressure grew when the teams stepped onto the pitch at Wembley: around 60,000 spectators were present despite rising corona numbers, at least 50,000 of them wanted to roar England for victory. The Three Lions then started like a favorite, won the balls early, Denmark found it difficult to get out of their own half.
Much more than a weak conclusion Raheem Sterling (13th) did not jump out, and Denmark became more self-confident. Organized by Dortmund’s Thomas Delaney, the supposed outsider presented himself at eye level – and that soon brought something countable.
Denmark is getting tired – Sterling goes down
Just like that, Jordan Pickford made it into the history books of English football, he set a record with 721 minutes without conceding a goal, then Damsgaard put the ball down. His violent shot hit the crossbar from about 23 meters, but it didn’t seem untenable for Pickford.
England reacted well, however, found the pressure of the early stages again and was rewarded. Sterling (38th) failed to Kasper Schmeichel, only a minute later Kjaer steered a sharp cross into his own goal.
At the beginning of the second half, both teams appeared waiting again, the next mistake, the next goal should be avoided. Then it was England, however, that found themselves deeper in the opposing half from minute to minute. Harry Maguire failed with his head on the strongly reacting Schmeichel (55th).
In the sixth game of the tournament, both teams soon looked increasingly tired, and Denmark in particular reacted almost entirely in the final phase. England pressed, Schmeichel kept moving into the center, the goalkeeper of the English first division team Leicester City showed a very strong game. Then Sterling went to the ground very easily in extra time, but Schmeichel even saved this penalty – and was powerless with the margin.
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