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Controversial penalty decision helps England reach Euro 2020 final

Jamie Carragher

England 2 Denmark 1

England have beaten Denmark 2-1 after extra time and qualified for a Euro 2020 final against Italy on Sunday.

While England were dominant for the most part, their victory arrived in controversial circumstances after they were given a very soft extra time penalty for an apparent foul on Raheem Sterling, which Harry Kane bundled home at the second attempt.


England started the Euro 2020 semi-final the better team, with Sterling squandering a couple of good opportunities in the opening 15 minutes.

Ahead of the game, the RTE panel were critical of Jordan Pickford once again and they were almost vindicated when the England goalkeeper presented Thomas Delaney with a wayward pass on 16 minutes. Thankfully for England, Delaney played the ball to Kasper Dolberg, whose shot was deflected wide.

Denmark begun to enjoy the better of the game, pinning England back with Gareth Southgate’s men beginning to look more nervous as the half wore on.

On the half hour mark, Denmark were presented with the perfect opportunity to break the deadlock when they were awarded a free kick just outside the England box.

Mikkel Damsgaard had no intention of turning it down, firing a brilliant free kick over the head of Pickford and into the England net.

It was the first goal England conceded at Euro 2020 in what was their sixth game.

England equalise eight minutes after Denmark goal.

At the other end, Kasper Schmeichel produced a world class save on 38 minutes, spreading himself enough to deny Sterling at close range.

Denmark barely had time to appreciate it though as just a minute later, a Bukayo Saka cross from the right bounced in off the leg of Denmark captain Simon Kjaer and into the net.

England reach Euro 2020 final.

The second half began with Harry Maguire getting booked for an aerial challenge which left Kjaer needing treatment, but the Denmark captain was deemed okay to continue.

Pickford seemed to redeem himself with a good save from Dolberg but the offside flag somewhat ruined his moment.

The end to end action continued with Schmeichel pulling off another wonderful save, this time from the head of his former Leicester City teammate Maguire.

Controversial penalty decision.

Denmark seemed happy to take the game to extra time, soaking up the England pressure towards the end of the 90.

They got their wish and it only took five minutes of extra time for Schmeichel to pull off another wonderful save, getting down low to stop a Harry Kane effort.

Substitute Jack Grealish tried his best to beat the Danish goalkeeper just minutes later but all Schmeichel had to do was stand his ground as the ball bounced off his gloves and away.

Just before half time in extra time, England were awarded a penalty when Raheem Sterling appeared to have been brought down by Joakim Mæhle. The decision went to VAR and it became evident that any penalty decision would be soft. Nevertheless, Makkelie didn’t change his mind.

Schmeichel initially saved Kane’s spot kick but the England captain was quick enough to get to the ball and fire home the rebound.

Denmark had time to threaten in the second period of extra time, when Jordan Pickford got down to turn Martin Braithwaite’s effort wide.

That was about the last of the chances and the Wembley crowd erupted when the final whistle confirmed England’s first ever appearance at a European Championship final.

England will back at the London venue to play Italy on Sunday, with an 8pm kick-off.

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