Soccer-Pickford breaks England goalkeeper record stretching back to 1966


Soccer Football - Euro 2020 - Semi Final - England v Denmark - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - July 7, 2021 England's Jordan Pickford after Denmark's Mikkel Damsgaard scores their first goal Pool via REUTERS/Justin Tallis

LONDON (Reuters) - Jordan Pickford became the England goalkeeper with the longest spell without conceding a goal on Wednesday, narrowly breaking a record stretching back to the Three Lions' triumphant 1966 World Cup campaign.

The goalkeeper surpassed Gordon Banks’s milestone of 720 minutes during England’s Euro 2020 semi-final victory over Denmark, as they reached their first major tournament final since 1966 with a 2-1 win after extra time.

Six minutes later, Mikkel Damsgaard’s ferocious free kick flew past Pickford to end his run, but England turned the game around to set up a final against Italy on Sunday.

It was the first goal England had conceded at the Euros, much like in 1966, when they kept clean sheets in every game until the semi-final stage.

Damsgaard’s superb strike was also the first goal England have conceded in all competitions since March, a run of 691 minutes.

Pickford’s landmark moment came in his most uncertain performance of the tournament, the Everton player looking nervy at times with poor distribution and decision making.

However, he is already guaranteed to pick up the Euro 2020 "Golden Glove" award, as he has five clean sheets to his name.

That record cannot be matched or beaten by any other goalkeeper -- his closest rival, Gianluigi Donnarumma of Italy, has three clean sheets.

(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie, editing by Ed Osmond)

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