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England through to first ever Euros final after beating Denmark 2-1 in extra time

Written by on 07/07/2021

England have beaten Denmark 2-1 in extra time in the semi-final of Euro 2020 at Wembley to progress to their first major final in 55 years.

Raheem Sterling was fouled in the box late in the first period of extra time, with the referee pointing to the spot.

Captain Harry Kane stepped up only to see his penalty saved by Kasper Schmeichel, but the rebound fell kindly to him and he powered the ball home.

England saw out the final period of extra time to send Wembley into ecstasy.

The Three Lions started the match brightly to the roar of the home fans; a great cross from Kane into the box just a touch too far for Sterling – he had another chance a few minutes later but scuffed it into Schmeichel’s arms.

England fans created an electric atmosphere inside the stadium. Pic: AP
Image: England fans created an electric atmosphere inside the stadium. Pic: AP
Danish fans were heavily outnumbered due to COVID travel restrictions
Image: Danish fans were heavily outnumbered due to COVID travel restrictions

The crowd quietened as Denmark got more of the ball and started to probe into England’s half.

Then, in the 30th minute, the home fans were stunned when Mikkel Damsgaard’s free kick flew over the wall and beat Pickford.

More on Denmark

Mikkel Damsgaard's stunning free kick gave Denmark the lead
Image: Mikkel Damsgaard’s stunning free kick gave Denmark the lead

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Agony and the ecstasy for fans

It was the first goal England conceded at the tournament and nervous moments followed as Denmark looked to be in control.

But Wembley was rocking again in the 39th minute when a Saka cross came off Denmark’s Simon Kjaer and found the back of the net as he attempted to hold off a charging Raheem Sterling.

 Denmark's Simon Kjaer scores and own goal to put England level
Image: Simon Kjaer turned the ball into his own net as Sterling charged in
Sterling and Saka celebrate the equaliser
Image: Sterling and Saka celebrate the equaliser

That equaliser came only a minute after Kasper Schmeichel had made a brilliant point-blank save from the Manchester City star.

The second half started with Harry Maguire picking up what looked to be a very questionable yellow card.

But, minutes later, he rose to direct a fantastic header towards the corner of the net – only to be denied by another miraculous fingertip save from Schmeichel.

Kasper Schmeichel pulled off a fantastic save to deny Maguire
Image: Kasper Schmeichel pulled off a fantastic save to deny Maguire

It seemed to boost England and the crowd, with the Three Lions seizing the initiative and pushing forward.

Fans’ favourite Jack Grealish came on to cheers as he replaced Saka in the 68th minute, while the Danes made a triple substitution – bringing on Wass, Poulsen and Norgaard.

Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie were in the Wembley crowd
Image: Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie were in the Wembley crowd

Mason Mount forced Schmeichel to tip over the bar mid-way through the half, and almost immediately after England had a penalty appeal denied by VAR when Harry Kane went down in the box.

Tension rose as the clock ticked down, before six minutes of injury time saw England firmly on the front foot – but they couldn’t fashion a last-gasp winner to send Wembley into ecstasy.

The home side maintained the pressure as extra time began, with Phil Foden and Jordan Henderson coming on for Declan Rice and Mason Mount.

Kane converted after his penalty was easily saved
Image: Kane converted after his penalty was easily saved
The goal sent Wembley wild
Image: The goal sent Wembley wild

Grealish had a shot palmed away in the 98th minute by Schmeichel, but Raheem Sterling blazed his follow-up over the bar.

 Sky News

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