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Euro 2020: Denmark’s Fury Grows as England Charged With Laser Incident Ahead of Italy Final : SOCCER : Sports World News




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Euro 2020: Denmark's Fury Grows as England Charged With Laser Incident Ahead of Italy Final

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 07: Harry Kane of England celebrates after victory after the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Semi-final match between England and Denmark at Wembley Stadium on July 07, 2021 in London, England. (Photo : Shaun Botterill – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

England’s 2-1 win over Denmark continued to grab the headlines on Thursday as talk surrounding the controversial extra-time penalty raged on. Apparently, Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel was targeted with a laser by an English supporter as Harry Kane stepped up to take the all-important penalty on Wednesday.

Despite the green light on his face, Schmeichel managed to save Kane’s spot-kick, but the rebound fell kindly to the England captain who tapped in to send the Three Lions into Sunday’s final against European powerhouse Italy.

England to face charges from UEFA

UEFA was not pleased with the English fans’ behavior in Wednesday’s semifinal as they opened disciplinary proceedings against the host nation. UEFA not only charged England with the laser pointer incident but also for “disturbance caused by its supporters during the national anthem” and “lighting of fireworks by its supporters.”

Schmeichel’s laser incident continues the controversy surrounding the penalty that referee Danny Makkelie gave after England winger Raheem Sterling fell under the challenge of Denmark midfielder Mathias Jensen. The contact appeared to be minimal, and a video review was needed regarding the incident. Makkelie’s penalty decision stood, however, paving the way for Kane’s late match-winner.

Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand was livid in his post-match interview, saying, “We’re disappointed it was decided that way. It was a penalty that shouldn’t have been a penalty, and that annoys me right now. We’re disappointed, we’re very disappointed.”

“It’s one thing to lose a game, that happens, but losing this way is just a disappointment, because these guys have fought a lot. It’s bitter; I think we have to digest this before we can describe these feelings, but it’s a bitter way to leave a tournament,” Hjulmand later added.

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England and Italy looking to make history on Sunday’s final

The focus now shifts to Sunday’s final at the Wembley Stadium, with England and Italy both looking to end their major title droughts. England’s last major triumph came at the 1966 World Cup, which coincidentally was also its last major finals appearance. Wembley was also the host of that finals 55 years ago, with England defeating arch-rivals West Germany, 4-2, in extra time.

Only three teams have ever won the European title on home soil, Spain in 1964, Italy in 1968, and France in 1984. Portugal and France reached the final in their home countries in 2004 and 2016, respectively, but unfortunately lost in both matches.

On the other hand, Italy will be looking to capture its first European title since 1968 and add another major crown to its illustrious trophy cabinet. They have come close to winning this trophy before, losing in the finals against France in 2000 and Spain in 2012.

The Azzurri will be licking their chops at the prospect of facing England in the final as they have never lost to the Three Lions at a major tournament before. The Italians have won each of their last four meetings against England in the World Cup or European Championship. Their last encounter happened in the 2014 World Cup, with Italy emerging as the 2-1 winner sending England packing in the group stage.

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