It’s coming home
My ears are still ringing from last night’s game. I was very lucky to watch history made at Wembley, and it was a night that will live long in the memory.
The crazy thing is that my last two games I’ve seen live have both been at Wembley. I hadn’t even been to the now not so new national stadium until Charlton took us there in May 2019.
My day started early up in Victoria getting another Covid test, a bit of lunch and then to my hotel on Wembley Way to check in and relax for a bit before I met my companions for a few pre-match drinks near Bond Street. Wise as every boozer within a couple of miles radius from the stadium already had queues outside at 1pm.
Back to Wembley Way and outside of the stadium was a sea of white, the expectation immeasurable as we made our way to the magnetic arch. Respectful and cordial, Danish flags mingled with St. Georges of every size. Each one with a story to tell.
We had incredible seats, up high on the halfway line to the right to where Addicks had gathered for my last visit. To make me feel at home there was a Charlton flag proudly hanging to our right.
The noise was immense throughout. The game played on a knife edge, the Danes wrong to be underestimated. We started well, but Damsgaard’s free-kick took the breath away and reinforced the insight that this was never going to be easy.
Sterling was everywhere. I haven’t seen a player that good in the flesh since Charlton’s Premier League days. His movement, pace and skill incredible. Like an hyperactive mole Sterling would pop up all over the pitch. He was superb, and the equalizer came at a good time lifting the crowd, if it was possible, to a crescendo for the start of the 2nd half.
The 2nd half flew by as they so often do. England would gang up on the Danes in and around their box, but were unable to get that break. Schmeichel a colossus, and yet still the Danes would venture forward occasionally causing heart’s in mouths.
Still the crowd bayed on the England team to bring it home. Extra time surprised no one. Let’s face it we told everyone that we’d left at home we would be home late.
Only one team was trying to win before penalties came calling, and then earlier than expected one came. Soft, but Sterling flies around like a feather and a single breath will take him down, let alone a stray leg.
No one in that great stadium or at home on sofa’s would have had the energy to even react to Kane’s miss from 12 yards, but what followed immediately brought absolute delirium as the skipper swept home the rebound to put us ahead.
Wembley was alight and the stats say that only once did Denmark have the ball in our penalty box in the last 15 minutes as the three lions passed the ball staunchly along the turf as the clock ticked down. Sterling even had the audacity to attempt to score in the final seconds before the whistle was blown for the final time.
What a night of memories. Football is at the front door ringing the bell.