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
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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.

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