Football

#Euro2020 : Italy Are Champions As They Edge Out England In A Penalty Shootout

Picture : Euro2020 / Twitter

It’s going to Rome! Italy ended hosts England’s dream to win the Euro 2020 here at the Wembley Stadium . Italy had earlier won the Euro 2020 way back in 1968 and now it is for the second time, that the nation has managed to win the top-flight European competition.

In the summit clash, Italy defeated hosts England 3-2 on penalties. This was the first-ever time England had made it to the finals of the European Championships. The normal 90-minute action had finished at 1-1 and even extra time was not able to break the deadlock, sending the match into a penalty shootout. Italy are now unbeaten for 34 games.

England got off to the perfect start as left-back Luke Shaw netted the ball into the goalpost in just the second minute of the match. The exact timing of the goal was 1 minute, 57 seconds, as per the official Twitter handle of UEFA Euro 2020.

Shaw started a counter down the left. The ball made its way from Harry Kane to Kieran Trippier, who went in to make a long cross. Shaw met it on the volley and he netted the ball into the goalpost, giving England a 1-0 lead.

No more goals were scored in the first half, and as a result, England entered half-time with a 1-0 lead and they were just 45 mins away from being crowned as the European champions.

In the second half, Leonardo Bonucci got the equaliser for Italy as he netted the ball into the goalpost in the 67th minute, bringing the scoreline level at 1-1. With this, Bonucci also became the oldest goal-scorer in the history of the Euro finals.

No more goals were scored in the match, and hence the game had to progress to extra time. The extra time was also not able to separate the two teams, and hence the game progressed to the much-dreaded penalty shootout.

In the penalty shootout, Italy edged out England 3-2 and as a result, Italy won their second Euro title. Giant Italian goal keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma saved two England penalties – Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka after Marcus Rashford hit a post. For Italy – Federico Bernardeschi, Leonardo Bonucci and Domenico Berardi hit the target .

The loss means England’s wait for soccer glory since 1966 World Cup  and jinx of 55 years continues . But they can take heart from  the spirited performance and will stand them in good stead for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022. So Harry Kane and team- mates  need not lose confidence in their abilities.

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