Euro 2020: Harry Kane's extra-time goal helps England reach their first-ever final

England rallied from a goal down to defeat a resolute Denmark 2-1 in the second semifinal, setting up a tense final against Italy.

England players celebrate their victory against Denmark; Credit: [email protected]

England’s captain, Harry Kane, scored a crucial goal in the first half of extra time to help England beat Denmark 2-1. With this, England advanced to their first-ever European Championship final on Wednesday. Kane’s late penalty was saved by Kasper Schmeichel. But the English skipper turned in the rebound to set up a Euro 2020 final date against Italy. Just like the Italy vs Spain semi-final, there was not much to separate between the two sides in the regulation 90 minutes. Italy had to go all the way to the penalty shootout to make the final on Tuesday. England, on the other hand, finished the job in the extra 30-minute period. The Three Lions reached their first major final since the 1966 World Cup. They defeated West Germany 4-2 in that match.

It all began with Mikkel Damsgaard’s stunning free-kick at the half-hour mark, which put the Danes in front. However, Bukayo Saka got on the end of a beautiful through ball from Kane and drilled it across the goal in an attempt to find Raheem Sterling. But Denmark’s skipper Simon Kjaer, unfortunately, turned it into his own net. Harry Maguire’s header was once again saved by Schmeichel. The home side struggled to make the most of their domination as the match went into extra-time. It had to be Sterling – England’s best player at Euro 2020 – who won the penalty in the additional 30-minute period. Kane buried his rebound from a saved penalty to send their fans to wild celebrations.

Denmark started brightly vs England

The Danes matched England toe-to-toe in an evenly fought first half. On the 30th minute mark, Damsgaard stunned the crowd at Wembley with a fiercely-hit free-kick to put the visitors in front. It was the first goal Gareth Southgate’s side conceded in this tournament. But the home side’s response was swift. Schmeichel pulled off a fabulous save to prevent Sterling from turning in Kane’s cross.

A minute later, Kane dropped deep, found Saka with a fine through ball. The young Arsenal winger drilled in a beautiful cutback for Sterling, which was turned in by Kjaer. It was unfortunate for their skipper, who enjoyed a fine tournament till then. Both teams went into half time at 1-1.

Harry Kane sends England through

Denmark sat back and took a more cautious approach in the second half. The onus was on England to break the deadlock. Maguire got his head at the end of a few crosses from free-kicks, but the only time when he made a clean contact, Schmeichel was up to the task. With England pushing hard in the dying minutes, Denmark held their fort to force the match into extra time.

Sterling came to life in the additional 30-minute period. He took advantage of the tired legs of the opposing defenders, and it was fitting that the Manchester City winger won the penalty after being brought down in the box. From the resulting spot-kick, Schmeichel jumped the correct side and saved Kane’s penalty, but the Tottenham Hotspur forward turned the rebound in to complete England’s comeback.

The Danes pushed hard in the second half of extra-time, but England’s backline held firm as they booked a final date against the in-form Italian side. Meanwhile, the Danish players can be proud of their valiant effort. Denmark overcame the shock of Christian Eriksen’s collapse in the opening match to reach the Euro 2020 semifinals and now they exit the tournament with their heads held high.

Sportslumo Desk

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