England’s semi-final appearances: Remembering the Three Lions’ best major tournaments

We take a look at England’s major semi-finals

Sports Staff
Monday 05 July 2021 08:48 BST
England fans gather in Rome ahead of Euro 2020 quarter-final clash

England beat Ukraine in the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 to reach the last four of a major tournament for a second campaign in a row.

Gareth Southgate steered the Three Lions to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup, where they came up short in extra time against Croatia, eventually losing 2-1. It matched England’s run to the last four in Italia 90 and was their best performance in a World Cup since lifting the trophy at Wembley in 1966.

England have only reached the European Championship semi-finals once, in 1996, and that too was at Wembley. Gareth Southgate famously missed the final penalty as Germany progressed and ultimately went on to win the tournament.

We take a look at four of England’s major semi-finals:

England 2-1 Portugal, 26 July 1966

A crowd of more than 90,000 saw Bobby Charlton score twice as Alf Ramsey’s side beat Portugal, despite the brilliant Eusebio’s late penalty, to book a place in the final back at Wembley a few days later. England famously beat Germany in the final 4-2 after extra time thanks to Geoff Hurst’s hat-trick.

England 1-1 West Germany, 4 July 1990

Gary Lineker’s late equaliser took England into extra time in Turin, but in the penalty shootout Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle missed their spot-kicks to send England out. West Germany would go on to win the trophy in Rome.

England 1-1 Germany, 27 June 1996

England met Germany again, this time at Wembley in the Euro 96 semi-finals. Alan Shearer scored an early header from a corner but Stefan Kuntz soon equalised. The match went to extra time and then penalties, where both teams scored all five of their spot-kicks. In sudden death, Southgate’s strike was saved to see England exit the tournament.

England 1-2 Croatia, 11 July 2018

Kieran Trippier’s early free-kick once again gave England hope of reaching a major final, but Ivan Perisic equalised in the second half before Mario Mandzukic struck in extra time to end a magical World Cup run.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in