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England through to first ever Euros final after beating Denmark 2-1 in extra time

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England have beaten Denmark 2-1 in extra time in the Euro 2020 semi-final at Wembley to reach their first major final in 55 years.

Raheem Sterling was fouled in the box late in the first period of extra time, with the referee pointing to the spot.

Captain Harry Kane stepped up only to see his penalty saved by Kasper Schmeichel, but the rebound fell kindly and he powered the ball home.

Manager Gareth Southgate celebrates taking his team to the brink of glory
Image: Manager Gareth Southgate celebrates taking his team to the brink of glory
Fans in Piccadilly Circus climbed on a bus in celebration after final whistle
Image: Fans in Piccadilly Circus climbed on a bus in celebration after the final whistle

England saw out the final period of extra time to send Wembley into ecstasy.

The Three Lions started the match brightly, a great Kane cross into the box a touch too far for Sterling.

The Manchester City star had another chance a few minutes later but scuffed it into Schmeichel’s arms.

England fans created an electric atmosphere inside the stadium. Pic: AP
Image: England fans created an electric atmosphere inside the stadium. Pic: AP
Danish fans were heavily outnumbered due to COVID travel restrictions
Image: Danish fans were heavily outnumbered due to COVID travel restrictions

The crowd quietened as Denmark got more of the ball and started to probe into England’s half.

More on Denmark

Then, in the 30th minute, the home fans were stunned when Mikkel Damsgaard’s free kick flew over the wall and beat Pickford.

Mikkel Damsgaard's stunning free kick gave Denmark the lead
Image: Mikkel Damsgaard’s stunning free kick gave Denmark the lead

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Agony and the ecstasy for fans

It was the first goal England conceded at the tournament and nervous moments followed as Denmark looked to be taking control.

But Wembley was rocking again in the 39th minute when a Saka cross came off Denmark’s Simon Kjaer and found the back of the net as he attempted to hold off Sterling.

 Denmark's Simon Kjaer scores and own goal to put England level
Image: England were level when Simon Kjaer turned the ball into his own net as Sterling charged in
Sterling and Saka celebrate the equaliser
Image: Sterling and Saka celebrate the equaliser

That equaliser came only a minute after Kasper Schmeichel had made a brilliant point-blank save from Sterling.

The second half started with Harry Maguire picking up what looked to be a very questionable yellow card.

But, minutes later, he rose to direct a fantastic header towards the corner of the net – only to be denied by another miraculous fingertip save from Schmeichel.

Kasper Schmeichel pulled off a fantastic save to deny Maguire
Image: Kasper Schmeichel pulled off a fantastic save to deny Maguire

It seemed to boost England and the crowd, with the Three Lions seizing the initiative and pushing forward.

Fans’ favourite Jack Grealish came on to cheers as he replaced Saka in the 68th minute, while the Danes made a triple substitution – bringing on Wass, Poulsen and Norgaard.

Mason Mount forced Schmeichel to tip over the bar mid-way through the half, and almost immediately after England had a penalty appeal denied by VAR when Kane went down in the box.

The prime minister and his wife were at Wembley, as was Prince William. Pic: AP
Image: The prime minister and his wife were at Wembley, as was Prince William. Pic: AP

Tension climbed as the clock ticked down, before six minutes of added time saw England firmly on the front foot. However, a dramatic last-gasp winner proved elusive.

The home side maintained the pressure as extra time began, with Phil Foden and Jordan Henderson coming on for Declan Rice and Mason Mount.

Kane scored the follow-up after his spot kick was saved in extra time
Image: Kane scored the follow-up after his spot kick was saved in extra time
The goal sent Wembley wild
Image: The extra-time goal sent Wembley wild

Grealish had a shot palmed away in the 98th minute by Schmeichel and Raheem Sterling blazed a follow-up over the bar.

The decisive moment came in the 102nd minute – Sterling skipped away from Maehle in the area and the Dane was judged to have tripped him.

VAR confirmed the penalty, but Kane was extremely lucky that his saved spot kick – easily read by the excellent Schmeichel – fell into his path for him to fire home.

A final on Sunday against Italy, back at Wembley, now awaits and the chance for England to taste international glory again after more than 50 years.