By Mukwuzi Joseph
Gareth Southgate took his team on the road for the first time in Euro 2020, having played their opening four games at Wembley, as they faced Ukraine in Rome.
Harry Kane, fresh from ending his goalscoring dry spell on Tuesday, opened the scoring after just four minutes of the game, prodding home after Raheem Sterling’s brilliant pass.
England dominated the ball for much of the first half, as they have for many of their games to date, but Ukraine did start to come back into it just before the break.
Having started the first half in great fashion, Southgate’s side came out of the blocks at the start of the second 45 minutes as well, and took just a minute to double the lead.
This time it was Luke Shaw crossing in from a free kick, finding his Manchester United teammate Harry Maguire in the box, with ‘Slabhead’ heading home.
Shaw was instrumental again for the third, just four minutes later, as he overlapped Sterling and the Manchester City forward played a backheel pass to him.
The left back played in a perfect cross and Kane scored his third goal in two games by heading home, through the legs of Ukraine goalkeeper Heorhiy Buschan.
In the 63rd minute Jordan Henderson really added the cherry to the top of the sundae when he scored his first goal for the national team in his 62nd cap.
The Liverpool central midfielder, whose inclusion in the squad was questioned ahead of the tournament, headed home from Mason Mount’s corner.
The players then controlled much of the rest of the match, and Southgate took of Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice, who both were a yellow card away from suspension, as well as Sterling, Kane and Shaw.
It was a surprisingly serene end to the game as England made it to their second semi-final at a major tournament in-a-row, the first time they’ve ever done that.
They now face Denmark back at Wembley on Tuesday night, it might, just might, actually be coming home…