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England’s previous semi-final appearances at major tournaments

By July 6, 2021No Comments

England will face Denmark on Wednesday looking to reach their first major tournament final since 1966.

It will be the fifth time the Three Lions have played in the semi-finals of a major tournament, not including the 1968 European Championship when only four teams qualified for the finals.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at how England got on in their previous last-four encounters.

England 2 Portugal 1 – 1966 World Cup semi-final (Wembley, London)

England’s previous semi-final appearances at major tournaments PLZ Soccer
England came through against a Portugal side including Eusebio in 1966 (PA)

Portugal went into the clash boasting a 100 per cent record and with talismanic forward Eusebio having scored seven goals. However, it was hosts England who would emerge victorious at Wembley thanks to a brace from Bobby Charlton, who struck in the 30th and 80th minutes. Portugal pulled a goal back from the penalty spot, Eusebio inevitably getting on the scoresheet again as he sent Gordon Banks the wrong way, but the Iberian nation could not find an equaliser. The rest, as they say, is history.

West Germany 1 England 1 (West Germany won 4-3 on pens) – 1990 World Cup semi-final (Stadio delle Alpi, Turin)

In what was England’s biggest game since winning the trophy against the same opponents 24 years previously, Bobby Robson’s men suffered the agony of a penalty shootout exit. The match finished 1-1 after extra-time, with Gary Lineker firing home a late leveller after Andreas Brehme’s deflected 60th-minute shot had looped over a back-peddling Peter Shilton. In the shootout, all of the first six takers scored with their efforts. However, Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle then missed either side of Olaf Thon’s successful effort as England, for the first time at a major tournament but not the last, tumbled out on spot-kicks.

Germany 1 England 1 (Germany won 6-5 penalties) – 1996 European Championship semi-final (Wembley, London)

England’s previous semi-final appearances at major tournaments PLZ Soccer
Gareth Southgate missed a penalty as England crashed out of Euro 1996 (Neil Munns/PA)

A familiar opponent and a familiar outcome as England fell short once again. Alan Shearer got the tournament hosts off to a flying start when he headed in the opener after just three minutes, but Stefan Kuntz slid home an equaliser soon after. Neither side could find a winner during regulation or extra-time, meaning a penalty shootout was required. After all 10 players scored, it went to sudden death where Gareth Southgate saw his effort saved before Germany captain Andreas Moller smashed the decisive spot-kick into the roof of the net to send his side through to the final.

Croatia 2-1 England – 2018 World Cup semi-final (Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow)

England’s previous semi-final appearances at major tournaments PLZ Soccer
England were left disappointed after going out to Croatia after extra time in 2018 (Adam Davy/PA)

It was England’s first major semi-final for 22 years when their journey came to another agonising conclusion with an extra-time defeat to Croatia. Southgate’s side had been given an ideal start through Kieran Trippier’s 20-yard free-kick after just five minutes, but Ivan Perisic scored a 68th-minute equaliser to send the game into extra-time. England had defied expectations going into the tournament, but Croatia’s experience shone through as Mario Mandzukic’s winner saw them progress to face France in the final.

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