What the papers say: England make history – worth the wait! | Football News

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England won their first semi-final since the 1966 World Cup when Harry Kane’s extra-time goal, following up after his penalty had been saved, earned a 2-1 victory over Denmark on Wednesday that sent them into Sunday’s Euro 2020 final against Italy.

On a night to remember in front of almost 60,000 fans, most of them delirious with joy, England reached the European Championship final for the first time, though they had to come from behind as a Simon Kjaer own goal cancelled out Mikkel Damsgaard’s superb free-kick for the Danes in the first half.

England�s Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane and Jordan Henderson celebrate winning the UEFA Euro 2020 semi final match at Wembley Stadium, London. Picture date: Wednesday July 7, 2021.


A proud England captain Harry Kane tries to reflect on leading the side to their first major final since 1966 by beating Denmark 2-1 after extra-time

The home side were on top throughout but struggled to break down the battling Denmark defence, until they were awarded a penalty in the 103rd minute after Raheem Sterling went down with minimum contact to allow captain Kane to decide it.

Sky Sports takes a look at the morning newspapers after the night before…

Harry Kane was England's back-page hero
Harry Kane was England’s back and front-page hero

Under the headline ‘England make history’, The TimesHenry Winter writes: “England are in a final – a final! – and these are the strangest, rarest and most beautiful of words to write. Can 55 years of hurt really be about to end? Can England overcome the redoubtable Italians, the team with so much defensive resilience embodied by Giorgio Chiellini, and so much nous encapsulated by Jorginho?

“England know they are in for the toughest of tests at Wembley on Sunday yet they knew that against Germany and passed. Gareth Southgate’s men knew that against the magnificent Kasper Schmeichel and Denmark here, were the better side and eventually reached the final through Harry Kane’s finish.

“Lady Luck certainly smiled on England in extra-time.”

Gareth Southgate has taken England to a major final
Gareth Southgate has taken England to a major final

In The Independent, Miguel Delaney writes: “England, at last, go the distance. They finally have plans for final day, stay at Wembley, dream away. Their most enthralling and difficult game of the tournament fittingly sets up the country’s biggest day in 55 years. England are at last back in a final, for the first time since 1966, and a day where the echoes of that date will be all around.

“Solutions for these can wait until Thursday. This is a moment of celebration for now, and revelling in the team’s mental resolve. Even Pickford produced a fine save in those tense last few minutes. He’d recovered. It was all part of the story of one of England’s greatest days, if not necessarily their greatest games.”

The i paper call it 'Fairytale football' while Metro Sport lead with 'Worth the wait'
The i paper call it ‘Fairytale football’ while Metro Sport lead with ‘Worth the wait’

The Daily Mail lead with the headline ‘King Kane’ after his fourth goal in the competition steered England into the final. Martin Samuel‘s match report focuses on how England have grown under Gareth Southgate and begins: “Touching me, touching you. England are in their first final since 1966. At Wembley, against Italy. Drink it in. Who knows when we will pass this way again.

“Gareth Southgate’s hoodoo breakers did it once more. Four consecutive semi-finals lost in extra-time. The fifth, won. When it was over the players and staff linked arms and sang Sweet Caroline as they stood in front of the small section of Wembley that houses family and friends. Their loved ones.

“They are the loved ones now, too, of course. The nation will love this. Love this team. Love what they stand for, what they represent. The resilience they showed, fighting back having gone a goal down. The bravery to win in a period of the match in which England teams have traditionally stumbled. Southgate let his emotion out, too.

“Walked to the noisiest section of the crowd, punching the air, clenching his fists, screaming at the top of his lungs. What a manager he is proving to be.”

The Sun and The Mirror reflect the national euphoria
The Sun and The Mirror reflect the national euphoria

After 55 years of hurt, both The Mirror and The Metro reflect on ‘finally’ being in the final of a major tournament, while The Sun‘s Dave Kidd writes: “When the moment arrived, it felt as if 55 years of footballing pain and 16 months of pandemic frustrations had vanished in one explosion of joy.

“And, as they like to sing round Wembley way, good times never seemed so good. The last time England reached a final, it was rolled out on Pathe newsreel, this time it was all over TikTok and Instagram.

“It has been one hell of a wait, so who cared that we’d had to wait a little longer for Harry Kane to score the extra-time winner from a rebound after his spot-kick was saved.

“We were used to Englishmen missing penalties at the sharp end of semi-finals but this time it didn’t matter a jot.”

Was it a penalty for foul on Sterling?

PA - Raheem Sterling


Danny Mills believes that the second contact on Raheem Sterling was sufficient for a penalty to be awarded to England in their Euro 2020 semi-final win over Denmark

Sky Sports’ Roy Keane on ITV:

“I don’t think it’s a penalty. It’s unlikely when it went to VAR that they would say it was a clear and obvious mistake. But Sterling got stronger and stronger as the game went on, and when you’ve got people who can go past players it just opens the game. But the penalty was very soft.”

England captain Harry Kane speaking to ITV:

“The best one-two I’ve ever played? Damn right it is! Obviously, it wasn’t the penalty I wanted to execute, it went lower than I thought, but it was a bonus that it popped back, and I could put it home.”

England manager Gareth Southgate speaking to ITV:

“I haven’t seen the penalty again, but I thought Raheem Sterling was a thorn in their side all night. Frankly, there is nobody you would rather have on a penalty than Harry Kane, but he was up against a great goalkeeper. Thankfully that is now immaterial.”

Harry Kane celebrates scoring with Phil Foden


England captain Harry Kane said their Euro 2020 semi-final win over Denmark showcased their grit, determination and character

How the fans reacted…

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England fans shared their delight after the Three Lions beat Denmark 2-1 in extra-time to seal their place in the final of Euro 2020


Fans at Croydon Boxpark celebrate at full-time following England’s win over Denmark in the European Championship semi-final

PA - England celebrate at full-time versus Denmark


John Beresford and Steve Howey react to England’s win over Denmark and expressed pride at the way Gareth Southgate’s side battled back from a goal down to progress to the Euro 2020 final

… and how social media reacted

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