England will regroup and be ready to face Italy in the final of Euro 2020 after an emotional semi-final win over Denmark, forward Raheem Sterling said.
Emotions ran high on the Wembley pitch as Gareth Southgate’s men reached a first major final since 1966 with a 2-1 extra-time win.
Sterling, brilliant throughout the tournament, won the penalty from which Harry Kane ultimately scored the winner.
He said after the celebrations, which included the fans and players serenading each other with ‘Three Lions’ and ‘Sweet Caroline’, focus would soon return.
“It’s another step in the right direction,” he added. “But once we’re back in the dressing room it’s over and we’ve got to focus on the weekend now. It’s step-by-step and that’s all we can do,” he told ITV.
England fell behind to Mikkel Damsgaard’s free-kick, but quickly equalised as Simon Kjaer put through his own goal under pressure from Sterling.
Sterling then won a penalty – approved by VAR – after a tackle from Joakim Maehle, which Kane missed but then finished on the rebound.
“It was a top performance – we had to dig in deep after the first goal we conceded in the tournament, and we regrouped well and showed a good team spirit to come back and win the game, Sterling added.
“It was difficult going behind but we knew we had to stay patient – we knew with the legs we’ve got, the aggressiveness and the power we have in the team, it would be a matter of time before we broke them down.”
Unsurprisingly Sterling defended the penalty decision in his favour, adding: “I went into the box and he stuck his right leg out, and it touched my leg so it was a clear penalty.”