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Denmark v England: Classic matches including Harry Kane-inspired 2020 Wembley semi-final victory

We recall the three most memorable meetings between Denmark and England as the two illustrious footballing nations get set to collide in a hugely significant Group C Euro 2024 encounter on Thursday.

Denmark v England

Victory for Gareth Southgate’s men would guarantee the Three Lions a spot in the knockout rounds of this summer’s competition, whilst defeat for the Danes would leave them starring down the barrel of elimination.

The two sides famously met in the semi-finals of the Euro 2020 where England just about prevailed victorious.

But will it be a case of repeat or revenge in Frankfurt?

Well, England are 13/20 to notch the three points, with Denmark the big 5/1 underdogs. The draw can be backed at 13/5.

In the build-up to Thursday's showdown, we take a look back at three of the more iconic encounters between the two sides, starting with the Three Lions’ success in the summer of 2021…

England 2-1 Denmark (A.E.T)

Euro 2020 - Semi-Final
Wednesday 7th July, 2021


Where else to start but that historic Wembley Stadium encounter three years ago.

A tense and dramatic 2-1 success had England on the periphery of European glory for what would have been the first time in history.

Harry Kane proved to be the Three Lions’ hero, scoring an extra-time winner to book Gareth Southgate’s side a date with destiny (Italy) in the showpiece Euro 2020 final.

The Bayern Munich star, who was of course plying his trade with Tottenham Hotspur at the time, fired home the match-winner at the second time of asking after his extra-time penalty was initially saved by Kasper Schmeichel.

Mikkel Damsgaard’s sublime free-kick had threatened to ruin England’s big day in the capital, but thankfully Kane and co. managed to turn the tie on its head.

Simon Kjaer’s unfortunate own goal set the ball rolling for the hosts, before captain fantastic inflicted the killer blow upon the Scandinavian’s in the 104th minute.

Agonisingly, after coming through such a nerve-shredding encounter, England were unable to finish the job off against the Italians in the tournament finale a few days’ later, succumbing to a gut-wrenching penalty shootout defeat.

The less said about that, the better.

Denmark 0-3 England

2002 World Cup - Last 16
Saturday 15th June, 2002

Few would have expected Group A winners Denmark to be facing Group F runners-up England in the last 16 of the 2002 World Cup.

But, in a competition that was packed full of shocks and surprises, that’s exactly what transpired.

Denmark had breezed through what many had described as the group of death, beating both France and Uruguay, to secure themselves a spot in the knockout stages of the tournament.

England on the other hand, had struggled to live up to their pre-tournament hype, despite banishing the painful memories of 1998 with a David Beckham inspired success over Argentina.

That narrow 1-0 victory coupled with draws against Sweden - who went on to top the group - and Nigeria, had edged the well-backed Three Lions into the knockout rounds.

Would Denmark’s fairytale continue, or did Sven Goran Eriksson have a trick up his sleeve to end his fellow Scandinavians hopes?

It proved to be the latter, as a three-goal first-half salvo sent the Group A table-toppers packing at the Niigata Stadium, on the west coast of Japan.

Goals from Rio Ferdinand, Michael Owen and Emile Heskey did the damage during a pulsating opening 45 minutes, but, sadly, it proved to be England’s final triumph on their 2002 Asian expedition.

Brazil ultimately ran out 2-1 winners in the quarter-finals, in an encounter that is largely remembered for Ronaldinho’s long range free-kick that deceived David Seaman.

Denmark 3-4 England

Euro 1980 - Qualifier
Wednesday 20th September, 1978

England were looking to extend their five-match unbeaten record against Denmark in September, 1978, but despite an eventual victory for the Three Lions, it proved to be a far more testing evening than they had anticipated.

The clash, in Copenhagen, provided seven goals, abysmal mistakes, fierce tackles and sublime skills; it was a 90-minute spectacle that packed a real punch!

The meeting came before the great Danish boom in the 1980s, when the nation established themselves a real European heavyweight.

Make no mistake about it, before then, Denmark’s reputation was almost non-existent - they were regarded, by many, as one of the continent’s whipping boys.

But that didn’t deter them from threatening to claim the scalp of Ron Greenwood’s England side, an outfit that possessed talents such as Kevin Keegan, Ray Wilkins and Trevor Brooking.

England raced into a two-goal lead thanks to a couple of pin-point Keegan headers, but the Danes, backed by a vociferous 48,000 strong how crowd, were remarkably back on level-pegging at the break courtesy of goals from Allan Simonsen and Frank Arnesen.

The Three Lions' strength of character was being tested, but they responded well to re-establish the two-goal lead they had earlier surrendered, with Bob Latchford and Phil Neal getting themselves on the scoresheet to seemingly put the result to bed.

But, with just three minutes remaining Per Rontved crashed home a third for the hosts to ensure a tense and fitting finale to a hugely entertaining international.

England held firm to claim the spoils, before going on to top their qualifying group in routine fashion. Denmark, despite their near heroics, propped up the group, claiming just four points from their eight matches.

Denmark v England

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