At 10.11pm on a cool Wednesday night at a febrile, fevered Wembley Stadium, Harry Kane ventured forward. It’s anything but a firmly hitched, unimaginably close semi-last: the sort where the pressure twists itself around your guts like an ailment, where the image appears to obscure a little at the edges, where everything feels genuine and not genuine on the double. Britain and Denmark were bolted at one-all. Thirteen minutes into additional time, Kane had the key.
Kane ventured up to take his punishment: sturdily, not unquestionably, as though the stuff of 55 years was fastened to him as he ran. The punishment was saved by Kasper Schmeichel however ran free; Kane covered the bounce back, and at that time England were returning home. Without precedent for men’s football, they are European Championship finalists; their game against Italy at Wembley on Sunday evening sure to be one of this current country’s greatest truly donning occasions.Mikkel Damsgaard’s shining first-half free-kick was quickly offset by Simon Kjaer’s own objective for England not long before half-time. But the exposed realities of the evening scarcely scratch at the outside of this huge common social experience, watched face to face by 66,000 fans and on TV by a crowd of people that will presumably contact 30 million. Everybody will have their very own memory of this game: the bar or front room they watched it in, the guardians or kin or companions or outsiders they watched it with, what they were doing and thinking right now Kane’s shot hit the net.
For Gareth Southgate, England’s mentor, this will have felt like something else altogether. Sunday’s down will be the zenith of an errand that from multiple points of view was set out for him from the second he ventured off the Wembley pitch in the wake of missing a punishment against Germany in 1996, and which – regardless of everything – still remaining parts tantalizingly inadequate. Britain had lost their last four competition semi-finals. They have not won a significant prize since 1966. That hoodoo has never felt nearer to being broken.
A word for the valiant, depleted Danes, who battled to the last possible moment, their brains connected even as their bodies hailed. For Kasper Hjulmand’s group this was a journey, the finish of a long and frightening excursion that has transformed them all: significantly, for eternity. The vision of their charm Christian Eriksen lying inert on the pitch keeps on frequenting them; his mixing recuperation keeps on elevating them. Astoundingly, they qualified subsequent to losing their initial two games. Regardless of everything, Denmark leave Wembley with their confidence in wonders intact.Wembley was a loud 3/4 full: 66,000 wedged in shoulder to sweat-soaked shoulder for a definitive super-spreader occasion. Besides here it was euphoria and expectation and aching being spread from one individual to another on a modern scale. Also, how about we be blunt, presumably Covid as well. A short time before start off Raheem Sterling asked. Kyle Walker tossed some grass into the air for best of luck. Together they stooped; no one booed. At exactly 8pm, the Dutch ref Danny Makkelie started procedures.
Britain started in a rocket-fueled furor. Denmark, in the mean time, were glad to remember the big picture. They had started the more wary side, however as they settled it was England whose breeze started to victory. After 30 minutes an inquisitively shut down England surrendered two free-kicks on the edge of their punishment region. From the second, Damsgaard twisted and turned and plunged a splendid shot through the tight Wembley air, over the divider and into the top corner.