It was the moment that pushed England over the top, turning its domination into a lead that would see them go to the Euro 2020 final.
Nevertheless, it was also rife with controversy, and many saw it as a poor move that cost a spirited Denmark team dearly.
After a swerving run close to the touchline. Raheem Sterling was deemed to have been fouled, and a VAR check did not change the call.
Sterling went down in front of Joakim Mhle and Matthias Jensen. And it appears that the former’s right leg made enough contact to warrant the spot kick.
Many ex-players and experts believed Denmark had been wronged. And supporters also argued the decision online, it appeared to be a line-ball call at best.
❌ “I couldn’t give two hoots. Is it a dive? Yes. Do I think it’s a penalty? No. Do I care? Not one bit.”
👏 “I don’t want anyone criticising Raheem Sterling tonight. I’ll pat him on the back, it was brilliant.”
Jason Cundy has a message for any Raheem Sterling critics… pic.twitter.com/sXhwiV7aTC
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) July 7, 2021
Former England striker Darren Bent claimed on the Optus Sport panel that he believes the 60,000-strong Wembley crowd influenced the referee’s judgment.
“It’s not a penalty, there’s no contact in there whatsoever. I think there’s a little hip-brush. but that’s about it,” Bent said.
“I don’t think it was a penalty, but Raheem Sterling earned the right to get that penalty because every time he got the ball, he was getting into the box and trying to make things happen.”
Why VAR didn’t overturn England’s controversial Penalty
Arsene Wenger, the former Arsenal manager, also questioned the penalty judgment.
“No penalty,” Wenger said.
“I don’t know why they didn’t ask the ref to take a look. In a moment like that, it’s important that the referee is absolutely convinced, it was not clear enough. VAR has let the referee down.”
Despite the backlash, at least one individual believed Raheem Sterling was fouled – Raheem Sterling himself.
“I went into the box and he stuck his leg out and touched my leg, so it was a clear penalty,” Sterling said.
Another controversy around the Match Balls
There looked to be another ball on the pitch as Sterling approached the box. And twisted his way into the area, and it was only a metre or two away from Sterling and the match ball in use.
In the immediate aftermath, social media erupted with discussion of how Gareth Southgate’s team had cheated their way into the final.
Finally, the final score was all that mattered. The score was 2-1. England will face Italy in the Euro 2020 final thanks to Harry Kane’s excellent follow-up to a missed penalty attempt.