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How England reached the Euro 2020 final: From Scottish stalemate to delirium against Denmark

Billy Gilmour file photo
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

England will face Italy in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley on Sunday.

Here, we take a look at the journey of Gareth Southgate’s squad through the tournament.

Group D

England 1-0 Croatia – Wembley, June 13

Raheem Sterling (right) scored the crucial goal against Croatia

Raheem Sterling tucked away the crucial goal against Croatia (Martin Rickett/PA)

Raheem Sterling scored the only goal as England, playing the first of three group games at Wembley, made a winning start to their Euro 2020 campaign against Croatia, who had beaten them in the 2018 World Cup semi-finals. The Manchester City forward latched onto a pass from the impressive Kalvin Phillips to break the deadlock after 57 minutes. Phil Foden had earlier hit a post in a what was a solid start from Southgate’s men, who were never stretched by lacklustre Croatia.

HOW FFT COVERED IT Sterling deserved to start before Grealish – he's always seen Euro 2020 as his destiny

England 0-0 Scotland – Wembley, June 18

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Scotland, looking for a response after losing their opening match against the Czech Republic at Hampden, took most of the credit from a tame stalemate which failed to live up to the pre-match hype at a rain-soaked Wembley. John Stones sent an early header against the frame of the goal, but it was Scotland who went on to create the better chances. Jordan Pickford denied Stephen O’Donnell with a fine save and Reece James also made a goal-line clearance.

England were booed off at full-time, but results elsewhere in the tournament meant they had done enough to book their place in the last 16 with one group match left to play.

HOW FFT COVERED IT England vs Scotland Euro 2020 reaction: Three Lions lack high tempo in stalemate

England 1-0 Czech Republic – Wembley, June 22

Jack Grealish set up Sterling's winner against the Czech Republic

Jack Grealish set up Sterling’s winner against the Czech Republic (Mike Egerton/PA)

England’s preparations were hampered after Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell had to self-isolate and miss the game. The pair were identified as close contacts of Scotland’s Billy Gilmour, who had tested positive for Covid-19, after chatting to their Chelsea team-mate in the tunnel following the match. The Three Lions, however, overcame the disruption to secure top spot in Group D with Jack Grealish and Bukayo Saka making the most of being handed starts.

Sterling again grabbed what proved to be the winner, the City forward heading in a cross from Grealish in the 12th minute.

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Last 16

England 2-0 Germany – Wembley, June 29

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Captain Harry Kane opened his account as England won a knockout game at a European Championship for the first time – and defeated Germany at a major tournament for the first time since the 1966 World Cup final. Sterling was again on target, breaking the deadlock in the 75th minute, before England survived a scare as Thomas Muller missed a glorious chance to equalise when he raced through on goal only to stab wide. With four minutes left, Kane headed home Grealish’s cross to settle the nerves – and unleash bedlam among the majority of the 41,973 inside Wembley.

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Quarter-final

Ukraine 0-4 England – Rome, July 3

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England reached the semi-finals of the European Championship for the first time in 25 years as Kane struck twice in a comfortable victory over Ukraine in Rome.

Tottenham forward Kane gave England a flying start at the Stadio Olimpico with an early goal from close range, before Harry Maguire powered home a header at the start of the second half. Kane then swiftly nodded in his second, with a fourth goal from substitute Jordan Henderson, who broke his England goalscoring duck, capping a fine team performance.

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Semi-final

England 2-1 Denmark 1 (AET) – Wembley, July 7

England’s Harry Kane celebrates scoring against Denmark in the Euro 2020 semi-final at Wembley

Harry Kane’s goal in extra-time sparked pandemonium in the ground – and across the nation (Mike Egerton/PA)

Kane propelled England to just their second major tournament final as Southgate’s men secured a nerve-shredding extra-time win against Denmark back at Wembley. Mikkel Damsgaard had silenced the raucous home support with a stunning 25-yard free-kick to put the Danes ahead after half-an-hour. England were level when Simon Kjaer bundled the ball into his own net under pressure from Sterling. Neither side could go on to find a winner, with Kane eventually slotting in the rebound after his penalty had been saved by Kasper Schmeichel during the first period of extra-time.

The final whistle sparked pandemonium in the ground – and across the nation – as dreams of football coming home edged closer.

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