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

England beat Ukraine in the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 to reach the last four of a major tournament for the 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 was England’s 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 England’s three major semi-finals:

England 2-1 Portugal, 26 July 1966


A crowd of more than 90,000 saw Bobby Charlton scored 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

England 1-1 Germany, 27 June 1996

Nearly 30 years later, England met Germany at Wembley again 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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