A non-existent penalty on Sterling in extra time knocked out a dignified Denmark and brought down Schmeichel’s wall
With intrigue, extension and enormous controversy in this European Championship with everything in favor of England, the ‘Three Lions’ rewrote history at Wembley and 55 years after their World Cup they agreed to their second final in a great tournament. By game, dominance and chances, Gareth Southgate’s team deserved the prize of being able to fight next Sunday against Italy for their first European title after the disappointments in the semifinals of 1968 and 1996, but the arbitration punished a dignified Denmark.
Danny Makkelie, a braid from the Netherlands, fell into the trap of Sterling, who felt the slightest touch and dropped.
The VAR did not correct him. The English also throw themselves away, like the Latinos, and play deception. Where is the ‘fair play’? Too much literature. The locals benefited in that play and also in too many very doubtful fouls.
‘Football’s coming home’, a big party at Wembley to the rhythm of Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’, but he denied refereeing at a European Championship where he had stood out. Heavy punishment for Danish boars to fall this way. He had first held a goal from ‘Damsinho’ and then Kasper Schmeichel. In his father’s name, he even saved Harry Kane’s penalty, but did not prevent the goal on the second play.
Pickford, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw, Rice (Henderson, min. 95), Phillips, Sterling, Saka (Grealish, min. 68, Trippier, min. 106), Mount (Foden, min. 95), Sterling, and Kane.
Schmeichel, Stryger (Wass, min. 67), Christensen (Andersen, min. 79,), Kjaer, Vestergaard (Wind, min. 106), Maehle, Delaney (Jensen, min. 88), Hojbjerg, Braithwaite, Dolberg (Norgaard , min. 67) and Damsgaard (Poulsen, min. 67).
0-1: min. 30, Damsgaard. 1-1: min. 39, Kjaer, own goal. 2-1, min. 104, Kane.
Danny Makkelie (Netherlands): Yellowed Maguire, Wass
: Second semifinal of the European Championship played at Wembley before 60,000 spectators.
This dizzying, exciting European Championship, roundtrip and overtime, does not give respite, up to seven in 14 qualifying rounds. Boosted by its fans, its historical urgencies and its status as the undisputed favorite, England came out well, intense and with Sterling asking time and again for the ball to face. At the beginning, it overwhelmed a Nordic team that endured the siege without tremors. The British marked territory but suffered to generate in the center of the field. Rice and Phillips are two midfielders more to take than to give, they play in parallel and do not give the required fluidity.
There was more sense of danger than English occasions. The Danish team knew how to grow because they defended themselves with the ball. It reduced the decibels of Wembley and generated unease in its rivals. Mikkel Damsgaard appeared, nicknamed ‘Damsinho’ for that virtuosity and self-confidence that mixes wonderfully with the enthusiasm and determination that characterize the Vikings. Sampdoria, a starter since Eriksen’s heart failure, warned first, then surprised the disconcerting Jordan Pickford in a far free kick. It was a very violent shot that broke the barrier, but the Everton goalkeeper must have swallowed it because the ball went in quite centered. A lot of popcorn for the photo of Hugh Grant from the ‘Three Lions’, but little placement. He was close to messing her up before on a foot outing.
He had not conceded a goal in the championship, but a goalkeeper like that, brave and at the same time crazy, does not give security.
There was an hour ahead and England was in danger of accusing pressure, nerves, of mistaking speed for haste. But he reacted well and promptly. Harry Kane, clearly from less to more in the tournament, read the game wonderfully, went down to receive among the Danish media and centrals and became undetectable. He participated in a great play in which Schmeichel became a giant to Sterling and was key in the tie. An extraordinary pass to the young Saka, a personal bet from Southgate, and the sending of the Arsenal winger was introduced into his own goal by the former Sevilla player Kjaer. If she didn’t, Sterling pushed her.
More tension after the break. England accelerates, but Denmark does not wrinkle. Special mention to Martin Braithwaite. He’s not technical, but he’s smart. He does what is asked of him, moves well, opens gaps and does not stop working and pestering rivals. It is not a Barça profile but it deserves more respect from a certain criticism. Schmeichel made one of the stops of the championship, headed by Maguire, one of those centrals that does not take prisoners.
Mason Mount acquired more prominence, Hjulmand retired forwards and Southgate satisfied the crowd with the incorporation of Jack Grealish, a different, wayward player.
In the UK they compare with Gascoigne, but he did not have his inspired night and was replaced in extra time. Fight between Mount and Norgaard for a take away from me that arm and very high pressure from the British. Too many fouls in favor of England and six minutes of discount that went to seven, but extra time to the song. The English, with an extraordinary bench depth, had five changes left. Schmeichel, superb, saves Kane’s goal. Move tiles to the Southgate end. Good minutes for Henderson and electric Phil Foden. The Danes are already building a wall. They do not come out of their cave. They dream of penalties, but not the one that Sterling causes. Tremendous.