England reaches Euro 2020 Final

Euro 2020 semi final: England 2-1 Denmark (extra-time)

England reach Euro final for the first time in the nation’s history. Playing at home for the majority of the tournament and facing no team in the top 10 FIFA’s world ranking (Denmark 10, Germany 12), the English national team had to reach the final. Well, they did.

Sterling has been the best player for England seconded by Harry Kane who converted the winning penalty in extra-time against Denmark. Who provoked the foul? It had to be Raheem Sterling. The Manchester City will be named the man of the tournament should England lift the trophy. This is the first major tournament final at the Euro ending a wait of 55 years. Such a long drought for a country that invented the game of football. Last time England won anything it was 1966, at home, and the world was very very different… 

Italy the biggest test

Now comes Italy, the most pleasant and best team in the tournament thus far.  The Italians eliminated the favorites Belgium and then overcame Spain in the penalty shootouts to reach the Final. Their sense of camaraderie and relentless efforts on the pitch is a good sign for a nation that did not make it to the 2018 World Cup. Now the Italians have a chance to win another Euro, playing their 4th final, the last one being in 2012 lost to Spain 4-0

Reactions post-game

Southgate, England coach:

“We’ve got to enjoy the fact we’re in the final but there’s one more massive hurdle to conquer. Italy are a very good side, I’ve thought that the last couple of years. They are in outstanding form and have defensive warriors who have been through everything. It’s a great game to look forward to. We’ve had three memorable games on the bounce. We said we want to create memories for our nation. The young ones think it’s always like this. I’ve just had to tell Saka and Bellingham it doesn’t really work like this!”

Hjulmand, Denmark coach: 

“Obviously, it’s a big disappointment that we’re so close to the final, and different circumstances during the match mean that we’re not taking the last step. We’ve been standing together, and we’ve been fighting to the very, very last. Right now, we’re incredibly disappointed.”