England expect Southgate stars to consider Euro final against Italy

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London (AFP) – England can finally end 55 years of major tournament misery with a Euro 2020 semi-final victory over Denmark on Wednesday, after Italy beat Spain in the ‘a dramatic penalty shootout to reserve his place in the final.

Gareth Southgate’s side are trying to reach the European Championship final for the first time as they try to banish ghosts from England’s unhappy past.

Since winning the 1966 World Cup, England have reached only four major semi-finals, losing at the 1990 and 2018 World Cups, as well as at Euro 1968 and 1996, when Southgate sadly lost. missed a crucial penalty in the shootout against Germany.

These agonizing defeats have since been etched in the psyche of English football.

But Southgate has overseen the emergence of a dynamic young team indifferent to the trials and tribulations of their failed predecessors in the English jersey.

Still, to concede a goal in their five unbeaten matches in the tournament, England highlighted their potential with a 2-0 round of 16 victory over former rivals Germany.

In the quarterfinals, Ukraine’s 4-0 defeat to Rome fueled dreams of Euro glory.

Now England are back at Wembley for the Denmark showdown and, with the final also set to be held in London, Southgate knows the Three Lions have a golden opportunity to make history.

“We don’t have as good a football history as we sometimes like to think,” he said.

“These players are making tremendous progress and breaking barriers all the time, we have broken barriers in this tournament and we have another opportunity to do that tomorrow.

“We’ve never been to a European Championship final so we can be the first, which is really exciting for everyone.”

England has been in the throes of euro fever since the cathartic victory over Germany and, with 60,000 lucky fans at Wembley, millions more in homes and pubs across the country will be watching the half. final on television.

British Prime Minister Johnson summed up the state of mind of a waiting nation by saying: “Gareth Southgate and the England squad have made the nation proud of the Euro, and tonight we wish them all the best of luck to reach the final. Take him home! “

– ‘Has football come home yet?’ –

However, the English anthem “Football’s coming home” – shouted by Wembley fans after the game against Germany – does not appeal to everyone.

Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel took a cheeky hit at the supposedly triumphalist song, saying: “Has it ever been home? I don’t know, have you already won it?

Surprise semi-finalists, Denmark, winner of the Euro in 1992, can count on the support of many people outside England after their moving campaign.

Cradled by the cardiac arrest suffered by star midfielder Christian Eriksen in their first game against Finland, Denmark started their last group game scoreless.

But, with Eriksen on the mend after the shocking incident, Kasper Hjulmand’s side embarked on a three-game winning streak that led them to their first semi-final in 29 years.

Eriksen has been invited to the Wembley final by UEFA and Hjulmand has urged his underdogs to make an appointment with their teammate.

“We always play for and with him. there is no doubt. It’s the only thing I can say about Christian, ”he said.

“It’s really something that makes us do whatever we can. I hope if he gets to the final, we will play him. It would be great.”

– Italy awaits in the final –

Italy will await England or Denmark on Sunday after beating Spain 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Wembley.

Roberto Mancini’s men took the lead when Federico Chiesa completed a fine finish in the far corner in the 60th minute.

Spain’s substitute Alvaro Morata equalized 10 minutes from full time with a clinical strike from Dani Olmo’s pass.

Manuel Locatelli and Olmo traded duds to start the shootout before Morata’s much-maligned effort was saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Jorginho stepped in to convert the Italian winner with his trademark.

“I cannot describe my emotion in words. It was a tough game. Spain was great but we’re coming back here on July 11 for the final. We fought until the end and we did it, ”said Chiesa.

Italy last reached the final in 2012, when they were beaten by Spain, and they also lost to France in the title match in 2000.

The Azzurri, quadruple world champions, are unbeaten in 33 matches as they aim to win a first Euro title since 1968.


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