Euro 2020: 55-Year Wait Ends As Harry Kane Sends Three Lions Into Final Against Italy

 

England have reached a first major final in 55 years after seeing off Denmark at Wembley.

 

The Three Lions came from behind to set up a historic clash with Italy, with Simon Kjaer’s own-goal cancelling out Mikkel Damsgaard’s brilliant free-kick in the first half before Harry Kane scored in extra-time.

 

The forward line of Kane, Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling combined to force Kjaer’s error, with the latter waiting to pounce as the Denmark captain turned the ball into his own net.

 

England had the momentum and a 67,500-strong crowd willing them on, but they were unable to find a winner in the second half as the game went to extra-time.

 

Denmark looked increasingly tired as the match wore on, and England were able to capitalise as Sterling weaved between two men in red to draw a penalty in the first half of the added 30 minutes.

 

Kane stepped up to take the spot kick and saw his initial effort saved by Schmeichel, but he was able to fire the rebound beyond the Leicester City shot-stopper to send Wembley into frenzy.

 

England had little trouble seeing out the closing stages after Gareth Southgate took of Jack Grealish – who was only introduced in the second half – in favour of another defender in Kieran Trippier.

 

Standing in England’s way as they search for a first European Championship triumph are Italy, who are unbeaten in 33 games.

 

The Azzurri reached the final in equally-dramatic fashion on Tuesday night by as Roberto Mancini’s men edged out Spain in a penalty shootout after 120 minutes of thrilling action.

 

But the prospect of Italy could wait for an hour or two after the full-time whistle, which was met with emphatic celebrations from players and fans at Wembley, with bellows of “It’s Coming Home” ringing around the ground.

 

An emotional Ian Wright admitted he was “overwhelmed” as England won their first semi-final since beating Portugal in 1966.

 

The former Three Lions striker singled out Sterling for praise, saying he was “the difference” on the night.

 

Fellow pundit Gary Neville told ITV Sport the crowd was “mesmerised” by the crowd and heaped praise on Southgate for his humility.

 

Neville and Wright then joined in as Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline – which has been adopted as England’s unofficial Euro 2020 anthem – came on the speaker system.

 

Paul Gascoigne was pictured celebrating the victory, while the penalty won by Sterling proved to be a point of controversy on the pundits’ desk.

 

Roy Keane insisted Sterling was not fouled and Neville acknowledged it was a “soft” decision, but Wright believed the Manchester City star was well within his right to go down after slight contact on his right leg.

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