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England beats Denmark 2-1, reaches Euro 2020 final

LONDON — England has damaged by means of its semifinal ceiling at main soccer tournaments. A title match awaits for the primary time in 55 years.

Harry Kane transformed the rebound after his preliminary penalty was saved within the 104th minute to offer England a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Denmark in additional time within the European Championship semifinals on Wednesday at Wembley Stadium.

England will return to its nationwide soccer stadium on Sunday to play Italy and will probably be competing in its first final for the reason that 1966 World Cup. That stays England’s solely worldwide title.

In the intervening many years, the English have misplaced within the semifinals 4 instances in both the World Cup or the European Championship. For that cause, this can go down as one of the vital important feats within the nationwide staff’s historical past, one thing England greats David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, Paul Gascoigne and Gary Lineker by no means achieved.

“We dug deep and we got there when it mattered,” Kane mentioned. “We’re in a final at home. What a feeling.”

After the final whistle, Kane led the jubilant England followers in a crowd of greater than 60,000 — the largest gathering for a sporting occasion in Britain for the reason that coronavirus outbreak almost 16 months in the past — in a rendition of “Sweet Caroline.”

The gamers and administration walked across the perimeter of the sector, waving to followers after which their family members. England coach Gareth Southgate was serenaded with a tune, and he may need appreciated this win greater than anybody.

Two of these semifinals losses — in 1990 and 1996 — had been determined by way of a penalty shootout, with Southgate lacking a vital kick in one in all them in opposition to Germany. And a shootout appeared like the place England and Denmark had been headed till Raheem Sterling wriggled into the realm down the suitable, reduce inside and fell beneath the problem of Mattias Jensen.

The contact appeared minimal, and a video evaluation was wanted. After a quick wait that will need to have felt longer to England’s followers, the choice stood.

Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel guessed the suitable option to block Kane’s penalty however the ball got here again to the England captain, who reacted shortly to place it into the web from six yards out.

“I was fortunate to have it bounce back,” Kane mentioned. “That’s football – sometimes it falls your way.”

Denmark’s gamers, whose emotionally charged run to the semifinals was powered by a resolve to win the title for Christian Eriksen after the midfielder’s collapse on the sector in the course of the group stage, had been virtually on their knees by that time.

And Danish hopes of an equalizer had been broken by having to play with solely 10 males for the second half of additional time after Jensen was compelled off injured. Denmark had already used up its six substitutes by then.

Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand’s largest grievance was with the awarding of the penalty.

“It was a penalty that shouldn’t have been a penalty,” Hjulmand mentioned, “and it’s something that annoys me right now.”

England confirmed one other facet by rallying for victory after conceding a objective for the primary time at Euro 2020 when Mikkel Damsgaard scored with a free kick within the thirtieth.

It was a shot that Eriksen – Denmark‘s captain who’s recovering at dwelling after struggling cardiac arrest and collapsing on the sector in opposition to Finland on June 12 – would have been happy with as his substitute within the staff whipped the ball over the defensive wall and into the highest nook.

At that stage, Denmark was on prime, with its urgent and slick passing in midfield inflicting England issues and sparking concern among the many beforehand boisterous dwelling followers.

Denmark wasn’t forward for lengthy, although.

Moments after Sterling was denied from point-blank vary by Schmeichel, Bukayo Saka was despatched free down the suitable by Kane’s move and the winger’s low cross was bundled into the web by Denmark defender Simon Kjaer within the thirty ninth, beneath strain from Sterling. It was the eleventh own-goal of Euro 2020.

The second half noticed England management the sport but it surely nonetheless wanted a closely debated penalty name to complete off a tiring Denmark, which retreated into its personal half within the closing levels.

“I always felt we would get there but I knew it might be a tortuous path,” Southgate mentioned. “We’ve been so smooth through the knockout stage we knew we would have a hurdle to overcome.”

Denmark‘s bid to match its unlikely European title from 1992 – when the staff got here in as a late substitute for Yugoslavia and wound up profitable the entire thing – fell quick. But the staff gained new followers from around the globe for the way in which it recovered from the near-tragedy of Eriksen, its captain and most well-known participant.

The staff lined up in entrance of the 8,000 flag-waving Denmark followers at one finish of the stadium and saluted them on the finish of the sport.

“They have been through so much,” Hjulmand mentioned. “We have two people who have saved one of our best players’ life.”

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