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England Advance to Face Italy in Euro 2020 Final After Beating Denmark

cnn– England are one win away from bringing it “home.” And yet again, they have Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane to thank.

The mazy winger earned his country a penalty in the first period of extra time and Harry Kane scored the game-winning goal, giving the Three Lions a 2-1 win in front of a raucous and lively Wembley Stadium crowd on Thursday in the Euro 2020 semifinals.

Kasper Schmeichel actually saved Kane’s relatively poor penalty attempt, only to watch the rebound bounce directly back to the Tottenham striker. He didn’t miss his second chance, shooting England into the final against Italy on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.

The Three Lions were excellent on Thursday, though they weren’t without their lucky bounces. It was an own goal from Denmark’s Simon Kjaer that accounted for England’s lone tally in regulation.

Despite England’s dominance as the game wore on, it was actually Denmark that opened the scoring, as Mikkel Damsgaard’s stunning free kick in the 30th minute shocked Wembley into a stunned silence:

But nine minutes later, Kane played a tantalizing pass through Denmark’s back line to Bukayo Saka down the right flank. He picked out Sterling flashing to the the face of goal, though Kjaer got the touch that ultimately careened the ball into the net.

What was an exciting, tit-for-tat first half between the sides slowly and methodically turned toward England, as the superior talent of the Three Lions put a vice grip on the game in the second half.

They pestered Schmeichel’s goal with attempts, gradually pushing Denmark further back the pitch. Were it not for a few excellent Schmeichel saves—and a non-call on what appeared to be a foul on Kane in the box late on—England wouldn’t have needed extra time to send Wembley into a frenzy.

England were the deserving winner, though it was nonetheless a tough ending to an inspiring run from Denmark, which reached the semifinals in the wake of star midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsing on the pitch against Finland during the group stages after suffering cardiac arrest.

That Eriksen has recovered—and that Denmark went on this run without him, and in honor of him—has been of the brightest storylines in what has been a memorable Euros.

The other prominent storyline, of course, has been England trying to win its first European Championship. It might just be “coming home,” after all.

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