The English nation collectively breathed a sigh of relief as a penalty shootout was avoided, with Harry Kane‘s perhaps dubious extra-time winner against Denmark sending the Three Lions to the Euro 2020 finals.
With the historic victory, Gareth Southgate‘s side have reached their first major tournament final since the World Cup in 1966, where they will play Italy on Sunday, after the Azzurri claimed a brilliant victory of their own via a penalty shootout against Spain on Tuesday.
England hadn’t conceded a single goal en route to the semi-final, but they found themselves behind on the 30-minute mark as 21-year-old Denmark star Mikkel Damsgaard sent a stunning free-kick past Jordan Pickford.
The Three Lions put the pressure on as they searched for an equaliser, however, and they got their rewards nine minutes later as Simon Kjaer diverted Bukayo Saka‘s cross into his own net.
With the score settled at one apiece and the match into extra-time, England’s moment came. After Kane was denied a penalty in normal time, Raheem Sterling went down in extra-time – and this time there referee pointed to the spot.
However, the majority of fans believe England were fortunate to say the least to win the penalty, with very little contact seen on Sterling in the replay.
Kane stood up to take the penalty, and remarkably missed. However, he was sharp enough to smash it home from the rebound to send England into the final.
Raheem Sterling won the penalty, converted by Harry Kane, that took England to the final
The fans are clearly in agreement that England should not have been awarded a penalty
One fan said: ‘Never a penalty but England has to be lucky for once. I’ve always seen them getting robbed by refs.’
Another said: ‘When even the English pundits are laughing at how bad the penalty decision was you know it’s bad.’
And it wasn’t just the fans who didn’t believe England should have been given a penalty, with Roy Keane, Gary Neville and Ian Wright providing their thoughts on ITV after the game.
Keane said: ‘I don’t think it’s a penalty. We’ve looked back but Sterling got stronger as the game went on and got past people. But I think very soft.’
Likewise, Neville also admitted that any team would feel aggrieved to concede a goal in that matter.
‘If we’re being fair, you’d be devastated to lose to a penalty like that it’s so soft but they have been consistent in this tournament in being very in some ways reluctant to overrule these types of decisions,’ he said.
Sterling has insisted hat there was in fact contact, believing the right decision was made
England celebrated their victory after the game, with the final against Italy coming on Sunday
After the game, Sterling insisted there was in fact contact, which Wright believes is telling, while also saying that the fact England scored was all that matters.
He said: ‘Those have been given all season, the little touch, the little clip. Raheem says he got touched. It’s not a case of defending but the fact is if we weren’t seeing these all seasons, you’d be saying it’s soft but it’s been given all season.
He added: ‘The fact is he took a poor penalty but was then alive enough to get the rebound relax that’s all that matters.’
Nonetheless, England are in the final of a major international tournament, which has left the fans jubilant.
There was even a celebration from a certain Anthony Joshua as England won in the end