Italy defeated England on penalties
Italy won the Euro 2020.
Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma saved two penalties and England’s Marcus Rashford hit another post as Italy won the penalty shootout 3-2. It is the country’s first European title since 1968.
The final on Sunday in London went after 120 minutes with a 1-1 draw on penalties. Andrea Belotti missed a penalty for Italy and Rashford kicked his penalty off the left post when it was his turn for England.
Donnarumma saved England’s fourth penalty from Jadon Sancho and put the tournament at Jorginho’s feet. But Italy’s fifth penalty taker – the man who sent Italy into the final with a cheeky tightrope act against Spain – was saved by Englishman Jordan Pickford.
That meant Donnarumma had to save again to exit the game. And he stopped England’s Bukayo Saka.
Saka, Sancho and Rashford are three of England’s young offensive stars. You have years to go as part of the country’s national team. But it was a cruel way for England to lose in their first major tournament final since winning the 1966 World Cup.
Sancho and Rashford had barely played the game. You were substituted on for penalty shoot-out in extra time, one minute behind. Saka didn’t start and was substituted on for Kieran Trippier in the second half.
Italy tied in the second half
Italy controlled the game in the second half after England took an early lead. Italy had the ball two-thirds of the game and always seemed to press on the subject in the second half as they chased the game.
Luke Shaw scored the earliest goal in the history of the European Championship final when he shot a goal off the post into the back of the net after a cross from the right. Shaw’s goal came in the second minute of the game and sent a frenzy at Wembley Stadium after fans were in a frenzy all day just to see their team play in a tournament final.
The game was equalized in the 67th minute by another defender. Starr Leonardo Bonucci crashed into the penalty area in front of goal to rebound after a save by Pickford on the post.
Each team had a few chances to end the game in a regulated manner, but didn’t come very close to ending it without another 30 minutes. Both Italy and England needed extra time on their semi-final wins to reach the final and Italy had the advantage of playing on Tuesday while England played on Wednesday.
Italy took penalties to beat Spain while England avoided a penalty shoot-out thanks to Harry Kane’s penalty rebound in extra time against Denmark on Wednesday. Kane converted his penalty on Sunday’s penalty shoot-out, as did defender Harry Maguire.
Maguire’s kick gave England a 2-1 lead on penalties after Belotti’s miss. But none of England’s last three kicks went in.
Both are early World Cup favorites
Could the Euro 2020 final be a game we could see again in the late rounds of the 2022 World Cup? It’s not an absurd question.
Both Italy and England are expected to give back a large part of their teams in about 18 months. Italy may have to replace Bonucci and Georgio Chiellini on defense, but midfield and forward line should be largely the same in 18 months.
Not much may change in the English squad either. Kyle Walker (31) and Kieran Trippier (30) were the only two starters who are not yet 20 years old. Sancho, Saka and Rashford are 63 years old together.
However, every team will face immense pressure. Especially England, which has reached a grand finale for the first time in generations. The English fans were – to put it nicely – overzealous before the game when fans without tickets stormed into the stadium before kick-off.
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