Gareth Southgate enjoyed an “incredible night” at Wembley – and then promised to create even more “memories for the nation.”
Harry Kane scored the extra time winner after a controversial penalty as England reached their first major final in 55 years to clinch a showdown with Italy on Sunday.
It was a magnificent occasion in a near capacity Wembley as England came through a tense and nervous night and Southgate paid tribute to his players after they ended their semi final curse.
England boss Southgate said: “I’m so proud of the players. An incredible occasion to be a part of.
“The fans were incredible all night, we knew it wouldn’t be straight forward.
“I think we’ve had three memorable games on the bounce now. We’ve said we want to create memories for the nation.
“The most pleasing thing is that we’ve given our fans and our nation another amazing night, and the journey carries on for another four days.
“In terms of the team, to come through that sort of night, we’ve suffered in Moscow on a night like this, and we’ve managed to put that right.
“It looked like mayhem on the pitch to me and I was part of it. Look, we’re in the final and we have to enjoy that fact. But there’s one final hurdle we have to conquer.
“Finals are to be won, we’ve got to regroup, prepare properly, tonight has taken a lot physically and emotionally.”
Southgate warned that England will face another major test against Italy on Sunday especially as they had to play extra time.
“They’re a very good side, I’ve thought that for the last couple of years,” said Southgate.
“They’ve shown fantastic form, they’ve got defensive warriors at the back who have been through everything, it’s a great game to look forward to.”
England captain Kane added: “”We’ve got one more game to go, it’s been a fantastic tournament so far.
“We got the job done, what an opportunity to play at Wembley and be in our first major final in the Euros.”