England captain Harry Kane fired his side into their first European Championship final by slamming within the rebound to his saved penalty in extra time, as Gareth Southgate’s team eclipsed the manager’s icons of 25 years ago with a hard-fought 2-1 convert brave Denmark.
Southgate has carried the pain of his shoot-out penalty miss at Wembley since Euro 96 but his Three Lions wrote their own history on Wednesday night, fixing a Sunday showdown with Italy back at Wembley.
It was far away from straightforward, with Mikkel Damsgaard breaching England’s previously watertight defense with the primary direct free-kick goal of the tournament on the half-hour after the hosts had made a quick start.
But England forced an equalizer home through a Simon Kjaer goal and while they might not get the work wiped out 90 minutes against an increasingly-tired Danish side, who had flown in from their quarter-final in Baku, the bulk of the 60,000 fans back at Wembley roared with delight when Kane eventually beat the otherwise brilliant Kasper Schmeichel.
For Denmark, it’s a valiant end to a fantastic story at this tournament, and that they deserve huge praise for what they need to be achieved after the shock of Christian Eriksen’s asystole in their first match.
But England and therefore their supporters can now anticipate at least one more match and the country’s first major tournament final since 1966.
England: Pickford (7), Walker (6), Stones (6), Maguire (8), Shaw (6), Rice (7), Phillips (8), Saka (8), Mount (6), Sterling (8), Kane (8).
Subs used: Grealish (7), Foden (6), Henderson (7), Trippier (7).
Denmark: Schmeichel (8), Christensen (7), Kjaer (7), Vestergaard (8), Larsen (6),Hojbjerg (8), Delaney (6), Maehle (5), Braithwaite (7), Damsgaad (8), Dolberg (6).
Subs used: Poulsen (6), Wass (5), Norgaard (5), Andersen (6), Jensen (5), Wind (N/A).
Man of the match: Harry Kane (England)