England overtake Ukraine to reach Euro semi-finals for first time in 25 years
Posted On July 4, 2021
It was the only third time England have won a knockout match at Euro, but goals scored early in each helped calm any potential nervousness.
Harry Kane pushed Raheem Sterling’s pass in the fourth minute to put England on the right track.
Sterling was arguably England’s best player at Euro 2020 and with Jadon Sancho starting his first game of the tournament, Ukraine struggled to keep up with the team’s speed and invention. by Gareth Southgate.
England haven’t conceded a goal in five matches at Euro 2020, with Ukraine’s best chance going to Roman Yaremchuk, whose first-half shot was blocked by Jordan Pickford.
At the start of the second half, Harry Maguire sent Luke Shaw’s free kick past Ukrainian goalkeeper Heorhiy Bushchan to make it 2-0.
Soon after, Kane headed an England third goal, with Shaw again providing the assist.
The two-goal blitz in the opening five minutes of the second half put England in full control of the game.
Bushchan brilliantly saved Kane’s volley to prevent the England captain from a hat-trick, but from the resulting corner, Jordan Henderson scored with another header. It was Henderson’s first goal for England.
As time passed, English fans shouted that football is “coming home”, the “Three Lions” choir, the anthem adopted by the supporters of the team.
Three years ago England qualified for the World Cup semi-finals but were beaten 2-1 by Croatia – despite taking the lead – and in 2019 lost 3- 1 against the Netherlands in the UEFA Nations League tournament. England last reached the final of a major international tournament in 1966.
“I guess it’s still sinking into the fact that it’s another semi-final – three in three years,” Southgate told the BBC.
“We want to go further. I know what’s going to happen at the house. It’s nice to see everyone on a Saturday night, beer in hand. They should enjoy it. It’s been a long year for everyone. two performances brought people so much happiness.
“The players have been fantastic,” added Southgate. “Playing as well as they did in a game with so much rest was impressive. The spirit of the squad is phenomenal.”
England now face Denmark, who beat the Czech Republic earlier on Saturday, and Southgate’s side will have the home advantage with Wednesday’s semi-final set at Wembley Stadium in London.
Wembley hosts semi-finals and final
Seemingly depressed after losing their first two matches at Euro 2020, Denmark won a third straight game to reach the semi-finals after beating the Czechs in the Azerbaijani capital Baku.
Thomas Delaney’s header and Kasper Dolberg’s volley in the first half put Denmark in control of Saturday’s quarter-final.
The Czechs were a different side after the break and Patrik Schick’s clever finish – his fifth Euro 2020 goal – kept Denmark working for their 2-1 win.
After Christian Eriksen’s shocking collapse and the emotional reaction of his teammates, Denmark provided the right story for Euro 2020 as they advanced to the round of 16.
It seemed unlikely after losses to Finland and Belgium in their first two group stage matches, but Russia’s 4-1 hammering and Finland’s 2-0 loss to Belgium secured their place in the round of 16.
The Danes went on to claim an extremely impressive 4-0 victory over Wales to herald their arrival in the final stages of Euro 2020.
The Danish players spoke of the emotional toll of returning to end the Eriksen collapse game on the same afternoon, with several team members criticizing UEFA, the governing body of European football, for not stopping them. be allowed to play the match the next day.
Given the remarkable mental toughness of this group, Danish fans may have already allowed themselves to dream of a repeat of Euro ’92, when the national team won their only major international trophy to date.
Italy and Spain will face off in the other semi-final on Tuesday, which will also be played at Wembley.
The Euro 2020 final will also be played on July 11 at Wembley.