Schmeichel has laser pen shone at him before Kane steps up, while two balls were on the pitch before Sterling won the spot kick

England’s penalty was the subject of even greater controversy after it emerged that Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel had a laser pen shone in his face.

Raheem Sterling was accused of diving to win a penalty in the first half of extra time at Wembley on Wednesday night.

Harry Kane’s penalty was saved by Schmeichel but the Tottenham striker scored on the rebound to put England 2-1 in front.

However, television footage later revealed that someone in the crowd shone a green laser pen in Schmeichel’s face in the moments before Kane stepped up to take the penalty.

It is unclear at this stage if Schmeichel was aware or if the laser affected him in any way but it was an unsavoury scene that drew condemnation from England fans on social media.

Credit: ITV

There was also a second ball on the pitch when Sterling collected the ball at the start of the move. 

Referees usually stop play in accordance with the laws of the game if there are two balls on the field, although can use their discretion and ignore if the ball is not interfering with play. 

However, on this occasion the stray ball was in the vicinity of Sterling and the Denmark defenders and could conceivably be said to be causing a distraction. 

The ball loiters close to the corner

Credit: ITV

Should play have been stopped?

Credit: ITV Sport

What was peculiar about the incident is that no Denmark player appealed or tried to catch the attention of referee Danny Makkelie. 

Last season, Luton Town were aggrieved that a Chelsea goal was allowed to stand in an FA Cup tie at Stamford Bridge due to two balls being on the pitch. 

Liverpool famously conceded a goal at Sunderland in 2009 via a deflection off a beach ball thrown on to the pitch from 16-year-old supporter Callum Campbell. Referee Mike Jones should have disallowed the goal due to the influence of an "outside agent" on the pitch, bit it was allowed to stand.