Perhaps the first contentious refereeing decision of the European Championship went England's way.
Raheem Sterling burst into the penalty area in extra time of the semifinal match against Denmark and appeared to lose his balance following a challenge by Joakim Maehle. The England winger eventually fell to the ground after a nudge from another Denmark player, Mathias Jensen.
Very Superb Dive pic.twitter.com/FcVyVlBgbW— ProudlyAnioma_Ezechime (@ProudlyAnioma) July 7, 2021
Let's be clear...this is NOT a dive! The freekick denmark scored shouldn't be awarded then either cos that was soft too. Contact was made in the box, VAR checked and it was awarded. Great run by @sterling7 #ItsComingHome @England #bbceuro2020 #England #englandvdenmark #Sterling pic.twitter.com/6ge6FBaU6J— SJ afc (@SJ_arsenal) July 8, 2021
The referee pointed to the penalty spot, the decision stood after a review by the video assistant referee and Harry Kane scored — off the rebound after the penalty was saved — to give England a 2-1 win and a spot in the Euro 2020 final.
Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand said he cannot understand how such a big call was made at such a crucial moment.
“You can't pass by a decision that has so much influence on the game,” Hjulmand said. "I couldn't see that as a penalty.
“One thing is to lose a game ... but this is a disappointment. It's bitter.”
Denmark's players were also unhappy, surrounding referee Danny Makkelie after he blew for a penalty.
England coach Gareth Southgate said he hadn't seen a replay of the incident.
“There is VAR,” Southgate said, "so I assume they checked it and stuck with the referee's decision.”
The standard of refereeing has been widely praised during Euro 2020.