Gareth Southgate salutes 'special night' for England but hero Kane warns: We've won nothing yet

Gareth Southgate was delighted for his players and the entire nation after England held their nerve to seal a historic win against Denmark and reach their first European Championship final.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 8:04 am
Updated Thursday, 8th July 2021, 8:06 am

Three years on from the heartbreaking World Cup semi-final defeat to Croatia, the Three Lions roared to a 2-1 extra-time victory in front of 64,950 fans at a rocking Wembley.

England had to come from behind to beat a dangerous, well-drilled Denmark side as Mikkel Damsgaard's impressive free-kick saw Jordan Pickford beaten for the first time at Euro 2020.

But Southgate's side rallied impressively and Simon Kjaer's own goal saw them level before Harry Kane fired the hosts to victory after Kasper Schmeichel saved his initial penalty, sparking pandemonium across the land.

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Gareth Southgate shares his joy as England reach their first major final since 1966
Gareth Southgate shares his joy as England reach their first major final since 1966

Now the attention turns to Sunday and England's date with destiny against Italy in the Euro 2020 final.

"They've responded to what was always going to be a really challenging night," Southgate said of his players.

"We were so smooth through the quarter-final and relatively unscathed through the second round. We knew that at some point we were going to concede and we would have to respond.

"Denmark have had an incredible tournament. I have got to give them huge credit. I thought they made it really difficult for us tonight. They pressed us so well, scored a fabulous goal - the boy is a super player.

"But I think on the balance of play when you look at the number of saves we forced the goalkeeper to make and long periods of the game where I felt we were the biggest threat, I think we deserved it.

"For our country, I've not heard this new Wembley like that ever and to be able to share that with everybody and share it with everybody at home is very special."

Matchwinner Harry Kane insists England must be on the right side of history after reaching the Euro 2020 final.

The skipper scored an extra-time winner - following up after Kasper Schmeichel saved his penalty - to beat Denmark 2-1 and set up a showdown with Italy at Wembley on Sunday.

The Three Lions had to come from behind after Mikkel Damsgaard's free-kick opener was cancelled out by Simon Kjaer's own goal.

Kane will be just the second man to lead England into a major tournament final after Bobby Moore lifted the World Cup in 1966 and the striker knows the job is not yet done.

He said: "It's going to be an amazing occasion and I'm extremely proud leading the boys out in any game, no matter making history and getting to our first final.

"As the game gets closer I'm sure the excitement and nerves will kick in. It will be a special day but there will be a winner and a loser and we have to make sure we are on that winning side.

"We want it to be a special day for everyone. It's hard to take it all in at the moment but I'm sure we will all enjoy it.

"It's hard to sum up into words if I'm totally honest. I've said as a footballer, as a professional, it's just about the next one, on to the next one, on to the next one.

"It's really sometimes hard to take it all in. Sometimes, like nights like tonight, you've just got to be there with the fans and sing with the fans. We know we haven't won nothing yet but we have to enjoy nights like these.

"Of course there's always that feeling in the back of your mind that you've got one more to go, so we don't want to get too carried away. But I'm obviously extremely proud to be the captain of this side."