Harry Kane converted the rebound after his initial penalty was saved in the 104th minute as England registered a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Denmark in extra time in the European Championship semi-finals at Wembley on Wednesday (Thursday in IST).
England will return to its national football stadium on Sunday (Monday in IST) to play Italy and will be competing in its first final since the 1966 World Cup. The WC trophy remains England’s only international title. In the intervening 55 years, England has lost in the semi-finals four times in either the World Cup or the European Championship.
For that reason, the last-four win will go down as one of the most significant victories in English football history. Three of the aforementioned defeats — in 1990, 1996 and 2018 — were decided on penalties. It looked like the teams were heading into the shootout until Raheem Sterling wriggled into the area down the right, cut inside and fell under the slightest contact of Mattias Jensen.
Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel guessed the right way to block Kane’s penalty, but the England captain reacted quickly and put the ball into the net from six yards out. Denmark’s players, whose emotionally charged run to the semi-finals was powered by a resolve to win the title for Christian Erisken, were almost on their knees by that point.
And, Danish hopes of an equaliser were damaged when Jensen was forced off injured in the second half of extra time. Denmark had to finish the knockout match with 10 men as it had already used up its six substitutions by then.
England showed another side of its face by rallying for victory after conceding a goal for the first time at Euro 2020. Mikkel Damsgaard curled in a brilliant free-kick into the top corner in the 30th minute. An own goal by Simon Kjaer in the 39th minute evened the score and England dominated the second period of regulation time against a tiring opponent.
Disciplinary probe over penalty incident
The UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings against England on Thursday over a laser pen shone at Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel during the deciding moment of its Euro 2020 semi-final in London. Television footage showed that Schmeichel was targeted by a spectator using a green laser as Harry Kane stepped up for a penalty kick.
RESULT:Semi-finals: England 2 (Simon Kjaer 39’ (OG), Harry Kane 104’) beat Denmark 1 (Mikkel Damsgaard 30’)