England will face Italy in the UEFA EURO 2020 final after Harry Kane’s extra-time finish eliminated dogged Denmark.
Harry Kane put away the rebound after Kasper Schmeichel saved his extra-time penalty to take England past Denmark and into the final of UEFA EURO 2020.
Mikkel Damsgaard had given Denmark the lead with a glorious free-kick after 30 minutes, but England got back on terms before half-time, Simon Kjær turning a Bukayo Saka cross into his own net under pressure from Raheem Sterling.
Match in brief
England started with purpose, but Denmark pressed relentlessly to cut supply lines and scrap for openings, and had created a couple of half-chances before a foul 25 metres out invited the menacing Damsgaard to score the first direct free-kick of the tournament. His brilliant effort flew past the diving Jordan Pickford on the half-hour mark: the first goal England had conceded in 480 minutes at EURO 2020.
Gareth Southgate’s men were momentarily crestfallen, but should have levelled when Kane squared for Sterling, Schmeichel blocking his close-range attempt. The equaliser came soon afterwards, though, Saka redirecting Kane’s ball across goal from the right for Kjær to nudge into his own net in a futile bid to deny Sterling. It was the first own goal that has ever gone England’s way at a EURO.
England had blown Ukraine away early in the second half in the quarter-final, but Denmark offered stiffer resistance. Schmeichel produced a terrific one-handed stop from a Harry Maguire header, but the arrival of Jack Grealish off the bench coincided with a more concerted English push, tiring Denmark digging deeper and deeper to hold the line. Pressure did not translate into clear-cut chances though, with extra time the inevitable outcome.
Schmeichel repelled a low Kane shot early on, then pounded away a Grealish drive. The goalkeeper made another fine save to push away Kane’s penalty after the Danes were penalised for a foul on Sterling, but could not prevent England’s captain from putting away the rebound: the No9’s fourth goal of EURO 2020. It was all about game management from there; Denmark scrapped to get back into contention, but the hosts ultimately did enough. Not necessarily pretty, but effective.