England beat Ukraine 4-0 to meet Denmark in European Championship semi-final

Harry Kane scored twice as exuberant England advanced to the Euro 2020 semi-finals with a one-sided 4-0 win over Ukraine in Rome on Saturday.

Kane ended a worrying international goal-scoring drought by scoring midweek in Germany’s 2-0 last-16 defeat to put England ahead within four minutes on a sweaty evening in the Italian capital.

Gareth Southgate’s side then put this quarter-final out of sight with two more goals early in the second half, one from Harry Maguire before Kane scored again.

Substitute Jordan Henderson took fourth place, and with Denmark lurking in Tuesday’s Wembley semi-final, England will be sure to reach the first-ever European Championship final and even already claim its first major international title since 1966.

โฐ RESULT โฐ

What. A performance.

๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ Kane (2), Maguire & Henderson score in Rome as England reach EURO 2020 semi-finals ๐Ÿ‘

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Ukraine suffers defeat in the first European Championship quarter-final.

Summarize this knockout tie in one word ๐Ÿ‘‡#EURO2020

โ€” UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) July 3, 2021

The draw here favored them, with Ukraine certainly as weak an opponent as they could hope to meet in a quarter-final, a stage where they have lost to Italy and Portugal in the recent European Championships.

The stats are impressive though, as England have played five games in this tournament, all without conceding a goal.

Some of their wide area play has been excellent, with Raheem Sterling and Jadon Sancho – who made his first European start – too hot for Ukraine to handle.

Kane, their captain, had run for nearly eight hours without finding the net for his country, but his opener here was his second in just eight minutes after the late attack that secured the victory over Germany.

Regardless of the opponent, their showing at the Stadio Olimpico was an improvement in their class in the last third of previous matches at the European Championship and they will be home favorites against a Danish side who played their own quarter-final against the Czech Republic on Saturday in faraway Baku.

Hat-trick of headers

This will be England’s only game away from home in the competition and it marked a big difference from their defeat to the Germans, which was watched by more than 40,000 supporters at Wembley, where coronavirus restrictions were relaxed.

With Italy currently imposing a five-day quarantine on all arrivals from the UK, the number of English fans in Rome was limited to those already based in the European Union, although they still made themselves heard in the crowd of fewer than 12,000.

They had plenty to celebrate, unlike their Ukrainian counterparts, as Andriy Shevchenko’s team fell short in their bid to advance the country to the first-ever semi-final of a major tournament.

They scraped from their group and then won 10-man Sweden in the last 16 in extra time, and their chances of shocking England looked dead and buried as they fell behind early on.

Sterling, who terrorized the Ukraine defense on the left, starred in Kane who poked the ball past Georgiy Bushchan.

๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ First time England have scored 4 goals in a knockout stage match of a major tournament since the 1966 World Cup finalโ€ฆ #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/GvKzvqG5pC

โ€” UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) July 3, 2021

Ukraine’s giant striker Roman Yaremchuk forced Jordan Pickford to a save and a Declan Rice pile driver was kept out by Bushchan, while England looked comfortable.

However, Ukraine was a different proposition after injured defender Serhiy Kryvtsov was replaced in the 36th minute by Dynamo Kiev winger Viktor Tsygankov.

They finished the first half strongly and England’s more pessimistic fans may have spent the break reliving their exit from Euro 2016 when they lost to Iceland in the last 16 despite also having the score in the fourth minute opened.

They didn’t have to worry.

England scored again less than a minute after the restart when a foul on Kane enabled Luke Shaw to deliver a free kick from the left for Maguire to head in.

Four minutes later, Sterling delivered the overlapping Shaw and crossed over to a rejuvenated Kane to head home.

The Tottenham star almost had his hat-trick, a stabbing volley that yielded a fine save from Bushchan.

From Mason Mount’s resulting corner came the fourth goal, another header, this time from Henderson, the first of five substitutes sent off by Southgate, who would have thought about the semi-final long before this quarter-final was officially over.

(AFP)

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