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England’s road to the Euro 2020 final

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The following is England’s road to the European Championship final where they will face Italy at Wembley on Sunday.

EURO QUALIFYING

England topped qualifying Group A with seven wins out of eight, their only setback being a 2-1 defeat away to the Czech Republic after they beat the second-placed Czechs 5-0 in the reverse fixture at Wembley in the opening round of games.

England’s run in which they scored 37 goals and conceded six also included a 7-0 drubbing of Montenegro at Wembley, a 6-0 away rout of Bulgaria and a 5-3 home win over Kosovo in Southampton.

The Czechs qualified alongside England and were drawn in the same group at the finals also including Croatia and Scotland.

GROUP STAGE

ENGLAND 1-0 CROATIA

The Three Lions started their Group D campaign at Wembley by getting revenge on the Croatians for a 2-1 defeat in the 2018 World Cup semi-finals with an industrious performance.

Although they lacked creativity at times, England ground out the win after Raheem Sterling got on the end of a defence-splitting pass from Kalvin Phillips and powered his shot past Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic in the 57th minute.

A superb defensive display by England denied Croatia any clear-cut chances at the other end.

ENGLAND 0-0 SCOTLAND

England headed into the clash at Wembley as favourites but were unable to break Scotland down and their profligacy in front of goal was nearly punished at the other end when Reece James had to clear a Lyndon Dykes shot off the line.

Scotland’s 20-year old midfielder Billy Gilmour, man of the match after a superb individual performance, tested positive for COVID-19 after the game and as a result England’s Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell, Gilmour’s Chelsea team mates who embraced him at the final whistle, had to self-isolate for a week.

CZECH REPUBLIC 0-1 ENGLAND

Another workmanlike performance at Wembley saw England finish top of the group after an early goal from Sterling gave them their second win of the tournament and made sure they kept did not concede any goals before the knockout stage.

With striker Harry Kane stifled in the group stage, livewire Sterling stepped up again to nod home a teasing 12th-minute cross from Jack Grealish to book a last-16 clash with Germany.

LAST-16

ENGLAND 2-0 GERMANY

A mature-looking England celebrated their first knockout stage win over Germany in a major tournament since the 1966 World Cup final after late goals from Sterling and Kane sank the Germans in a raucous atmosphere at Wembley.

After an even first half, England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford kept out a Kai Havertz shot with an acrobatic save and the hosts were on the front foot after Sterling tapped in a Luke Shaw cross in the 75th minute.

Thomas Mueller spurned a golden chance to equalise soon after when he shot wide when through on goal and Kane sealed the win in the 86th with a stooping header from a Grealish cross.

QUARTER-FINALS

UKRAINE 0-4 ENGLAND

England stormed into the last four with their most impressive performance of the tournament as the rejuvenated Kane scored twice while Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson added one each at the Olympic stadium in Rome.

Captain Kane slid in from close range to fire England into a fourth-minute lead and Maguire doubled the advantage in the 46th with a thumping header into the far corner as he got on the end of a Shaw free kick.

Kane made it 3-0 four minutes later with a simple header after another excellent delivery by Shaw and Henderson completed the rout in the 63rd with his first international goal when he headed home a Mason Mount corner.

SEMI-FINALS

ENGLAND 2-1 DENMARK

Having conceded their first goal in the tournament as they returned to Wembley, England fought back to win in extra time after falling behind to a sublime Mikkel Damsgaard free kick in the 30th minute.

The forward hit the top corner with a rasping shot which flew over the wall but England were level nine minutes later when Denmark captain Simon Kjaer could only turn a low Bukayo Saka cross into his own net ahead of the onrushing Sterling.

Kane netted the winner in the 104th minute as he swept in a rebound after goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel parried the striker’s penalty straight into his path, with the spot kick awarded after Sterling went down under a challenge from Joakim Maehle.

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