England spokesman Raheem Sterling said he showed great team spirit coming from a goal back to beat Denmark 2-1 in the Euro 2020 semi-final on Wednesday and insisted the focus had shifted immediately to Sunday’s final against Italy.
Mikkel Damsgaard gave Denmark a first-half lead at Wembley, but Harry Kane’s rebounding after a penalty was completed completed England’s recovery to finish first in the European Championship.
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“It was a top show,” Sterling said. “We had to dig deep, it was the first time we gave in to the tournament, we teamed up well and we showed a great team spirit to win the game.
“We just had to be patient. We knew that with the aggression we had in the team, the pace, the strength, it was a matter of time before we knocked them down and we got the penalty in the end.
“It’s another step in the right direction. Once we get into the dressing room, that’s it, it’s over, and we’re focusing on the weekend. Step by step, that’s how we do it.”
There has been some controversy over the decision to award England a foul on Sterling, but Manchester City felt the referee made the right call.
“I went to the box, squeezed his right foot and touched my foot, so it was a punishment,” Sterling added.
“For once it fell today. Credit to the boys, what a show. After we went 1-0 down, we answered very well. We controlled the game. … Obviously it was not the penalty I wanted to execute, it went lower than I thought “But it bounced off me … It ‘s definitely one of the proudest moments of my life. But we’ve not won it yet, we have another game to go,” Kane said.
“I am so proud of the players. It was an incredible opportunity to become a member. We knew it would not be easy. We told the player that we would have to come back from failures at some point … the happiest thing is that we have given our fans and in our nation a fantastic night and the journey continues for another four days … There is another huge obstacle to try to conquer. [Italy] is a very good side. They have shown great form and have defensive warriors in the back who have gone through everything. It is something I look forward to. “The finals must win,” said Southgate.
Asked about the sentence, he said: “I honestly have never seen it before, but I thought Rehem was a real thorn in their side all night.”