England seal historic EURO 2020 Final spot
- S. Kjær (39′OG)
- H. Kane (104′)
- H. Maguire (49′)
- H. Kane (104′ MISSED PEN)
FT: 1 - 1
- M. Damsgaard (30′)
- D. Wass (72′)
Gareth Southgate’s England are one win away from banishing 55 years of hurt after Harry Kane’s winner booked their place in Sunday’s UEFA EURO 2020 Final with victory over Denmark.
Captain Kane tucked home the rebound following his own saved penalty to secure extra-time victory at a nerve-shredded Wembley Stadium, after Simon Kjaer’s first-half own goal had levelled the match.
Mikkel Damsgaard’s excellent free kick had put the Danes ahead after 30 minutes but the Three Lions recovered from conceding their first goal of the tournament to keep the ever-growing dream alive.
But before further celebrations, there’s the small matter of a first men’s European Championship final in England’s history to contend with – with Roberto Mancini’s Italy lying in wait back at Wembley on Sunday night.
Southgate made one change to the starting line-up from the quarter-final victory over Ukraine in Rome with Bukayo Saka recalled in place of Jadon Sancho.
And Raheem Sterling helped England produce an energetic start and he almost opened the scoring as he lunged towards Kane’s teasing cross.
Denmark came into the game thereon, enjoying a spell of possession midway through the half which ended with a moment of Damsgaard brilliance.
Shortly after Jordan Pickford had broken Gordon Banks’ record of 720 minutes without conceding a goal for his country, England were breached for the first time in the tournament as the 21-year-old rifled home a stunning free kick from 25 yards out.
But these Three Lions are a resilient bunch – and were level within a minute of Schmeichel remarkably thwarting Sterling from close range.
Kane slipped in Saka with a brilliant reverse pass, with the Arsenal man keeping his cool and drilling a cross towards Sterling, whose presence forced Denmark skipper Kjaer to score the eleventh own goal of the tournament.
Both teams started the second half in positive fashion with Pickford saving smartly from Kasper Dolberg before the offside flag was raised.
Ten minutes into the half and England were agonisingly close to taking the lead, with Maguire denied superbly by former Leicester City teammate Schmeichel after meeting an excellent Mason Mount cross.
By now Southgate’s side had the impetus, and Jack Grealish’s introduction in place of Saka certainly didn’t halt the momentum.
Captain Kane had appeals for a penalty turned down with 15 minutes remaining as England kept knocking on the door with extra-time looming on a tense night under the arch.
The hosts weren’t letting up as extra time began, with Kane forcing another great save from Schmeichel only to see no-one following up to convert the loose ball.
The introductions of Jordan Henderson and Phil Foden kept momentum high, with Grealish testing the Danish goalkeeper before Sterling fired over.
The night didn’t need to get any more dramatic – but the tension became insurmountable 12 minutes into extra time as Sterling was felled in the box after darting between two Danish defenders, with the decision upheld by VAR.
Kane’s spot-kick was saved by Schmeichel but the England skipper was the quickest to the rebound, tapping into an empty net to put the hosts ahead for the first time.
England were ahead but the game wasn’t over yet, as Martin Braithwaite forced Pickford into a low save as the minutes ticked away.
Still Denmark, European champions in 1992, kept pushing with numerous crosses testing the defence.
But Southgate’s side kept their composure when it mattered most, with Sterling even finding the energy to fashion one last chance in front of 60,000 fans who made their euphoric feelings known at the full-time whistle.
Now all roads lead back to Wembley and a first final for an England senior men’s team since 1966.
We know that was then, but it could be again…
Substitutes: 7 Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) for Saka 69’, 8 Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) for Rice 95’, 20 Phil Foden (Manchester City) for Foden 95’, 12 Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid) for Grealish 106’
Substitutes not used: 11 Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), 13 Aaron Ramsdale (Sheffield United), 15 Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), 16 Conor Coady (Wolverhampton Wanderers), 17 Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), 23 Sam Johnstone (West Bromwich Albion), 24 Reece James (Chelsea), 26 Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund)
Goals: Kjaer (OG) 39’, Kane 104’
Denmark (3-4-3): 1 Kasper Schmeichel; 6 Andreas Christensen, 4 Simon Kjaer (c), 3 Jannik Vestergaard; 17 Jens Stryger, 23 Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, 8 Thomas Delaney, 5 Joakim Maehle; 9 Martin Braithwaite, 12 Kasper Dolberg, 14 Mikkel Damsgaard
Substitutes: 18 Daniel Wass for Stryger 67’, 20 Yussuf Poulsen for Damsgaard 67’, 15 Christian Nørgaard for Dolberg 67’, 2 Joachim Andersen for Christensen 79’, 24 Mathias Jensen for Delaney 88’, 19 Jonas Wind for Vestergaard 105’
Substitutes not used: 7 Robert Skov, 11 Andreas Skov Olsen, 13 Mathias Jorgensen, 16 Jonas Lössl, 21 Andreas Cornelius, 22 Frederik Rönnow
Goal: Damsgaard 30’
Referee: Danny Makkelie