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England Beat Denmark To Reach Euro Cup Final For The First Time In History

by : Hannah Smith on : 07 Jul 2021 22:36
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England have beaten Denmark 2-1 to reach the final of the European Championships for the first time in their history, their first major tournament final since the 1966 World Cup.

Denmark got the scoring started in the first half with Mikkel Damsgaard netting a free kick from outside the box that just flew past English goalkeeper Jordan Pickford’s fingertips. Then nine minutes later England evened the score when Saka’s cross tipped off the knee of Denmark’s Simon Kjaer for an own goal. With the score tied at 1-1, the second half went back and forth as both sides got plenty of chances, but no goals were registered.

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In extra time England continued to put on pressure and Denmark seemed to have an answer for everything. Harry Kane, Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling all had quality chances to score. Then in a stunning moment of dazzling play, Raheem Sterling on a run up the field was awarded a penalty. Harry Kane stepped up. His initial shot was saved by Denmark’s goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, but the rebound came right back to Kane and he would not miss a second time. That proved to be the winning goal and England was through to the Euros final. They will take on Italy at Wembley on Sunday, June 11 in front of 60,000 supporters.

This was England’s third appearance at a Euros semi-final, the first also coming at Wembley, in 1996, when they lost to Germany in a penalty shoot-out, with now-manager Gareth Southgate missing the decisive kick.

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After more than 20 years without making a semi-final appearance in a major tournament, today’s match came three years after England lost out to Croatia in extra time in the semi-final of the 2018 World Cup, after having been ahead less than 5 minutes in through a Kieran Trippier free-kick.

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Denmark famously won the tournament in 1992 after being a last-minute replacement for Yugoslavia, who were disqualified due to the break-up of the country.

The Danish side have won support from fans across the world for their bravery and team spirit in the wake of the sudden cardiac arrest of Christian Eriksen during their first match against Finland almost one month ago.

Ahead of tonight’s match England captain Harry Kane, who played alongside Eriksen at Tottenham for several years, presented Denmark’s Simon Kjær with a commemorative Eriksen England shirt as a show of support.

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After losing their first two group stage matches, Denmark went on to qualify from Group B in 3rd place, beating Wales and the Czech Republic 4-0 and 2-1 respectively to set up a semi-final encounter with England.

Meanwhile, England topped Group D with 1-0 wins over Croatia and the Czech Republic, as well as a 0-0 draw with Scotland. They reached the semi-final stage after dismantling Ukraine 4-0 in the quarter-finals, following a historic 2-0 victory over Germany in the round of 16 – their first major tournament win over their old rivals in more than 20 years.

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Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith is a London-based journalist at UNILAD. After studying History at UCL she worked for print publications on both sides of the pond, including spells at Harper's Magazine and The Times, before graduating with an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City, University of London.

Topics: Sport, Denmark, england, Euro 2020, no-article-matching