Only one game remains after these semi-finals as this edition of the EUROs begins its final stage concluding an incredible tournament.
This tournament has had incredible stories from underdogs like Denmark making a great run to players such as Manuel Locatelli announcing themselves to the world.
All semi-final matches were played at Wembley stadium in London where the final will also be played on Sunday. The two semi-finals matches included one match between two contenders in Spain and Italy and the other match being between a favorite and an underdog.
Italy VS Spain
The semi-finals would open up with a much hyped match between two of favorites as Italy would take on Spain for the right to go to the final. Italy has often looked as the best team in the tournament as their manager Roberto Mancini has perfectly handled the tournament. Despite a slow start, Spain has grown into the tournament with their only area of concern being their forwards’ lack of scoring.
Both teams started the half well with quality chances falling to Nicolò Barella of Italy and Spain’s Mikel Oyarzabal, with both failing to put the chances away. After those early exchanges, Spain would grab hold of the game and get some good shots. The half would ultimately end 0-0 with Spain liking their chances of qualifying.
Spain started the half much stronger and were able to get closer and closer to that goal while Italy was struggling to get back into the match. Against the run of play, Italy would get their goal through Federico Chiesa around the 60th minute as he fired a shot past the Spanish keeper. Towards the dying minutes of the half, Spain would get their equalizer as Álvaro Morata would finish off a great give and go with Dani Olmo to send the game to extra time.
Spain would grow in confidence in extra time with their late goal giving them the platform to continue their push. Neither side could find that final goal needed for the win so that meant penalties awaited the teams and viewers.
To open the penalty shootout, both teams would miss their first penalties with Manuel Locatelli having his penalty saved for Italy and Dani Olmo missing for Spain. After two successful penalties, Morata would miss his for Spain allowing Italy to win with their next penalty. Jorginho would step up and put it away to send Italy to the final.
England VS Denmark
After Italy confirmed their place the day before, England and Denmark were to play for the chance to face Italy in London for the trophy. England has looked great for most of the tournament with their attack really clicking, especially Raheem Sterling. After a horrifying event to start the tournament, Denmark has continued their underdog run as their young players have made their case for large transfers in the summer.
England started out with the urgency that seemed to show why they should be considered as the favorite for the trophy. However, Denmark seemed undeterred as they would get the surprise lead after Mikkel Damsgaard would score the first direct free kick of the tournament. England would get their equalizer after Bukayo Saka would force an own goal from Simon Kjær to end the half tied 1-1.
Both teams started the half with them chasing the lead as they threw caution to the wind looking for that goal to put them through. As the half went on though, England would assume control as Denmark seemed more willing to sit back and absorb pressure. Neither team would find that winning goal forcing extra time as England surely liked their chances of making it through.
Going into extra time, Denmark was clearly tired but were resolute in their defending as England had chance after chance. England would finally get the lead after Harry Kane would score his rebound off his saved penalty after Sterling was taken down in the box. Denmark was unable to come back meaning that England would go through to face Italy in the final.
Featured Image: Carl Recine/Reuters