Heartbreak for England after Euro 2020 final penalty shootout loss
England have fallen at the final hurdle at Euro 2020 after an agonising penalty shootout loss to Italy at Wembley.
Luke Shaw opened the scoring with the fastest ever goal in a European Championship final but Leonardo Bonucci equalised in the second half after a sustained period of Italian pressure.
England were dominant in the opening 30 minutes but needed to sustain large periods of Italian pressure to force extra time.
The penalty shootout was initially going in England’s favour but misses from Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka saw Italy take home the trophy for a second time.
Shaw could not have chosen a better time to score his first England goal than within three minutes of the Euro 2020 final and it was some finish. England broke from a corner and Kieran Trippier played a perfect cross into the path of Shaw to volley in from eight yards.
Italy did not know what had hit them and the Three Lions continued to attack over the course of the first half. Harry Kane was causing huge problems for Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini and nearly got on the end of a Shaw cross.
Federico Chiesa came close before halftime though when he got the better of Declan Rice before firing low past the right post.
Ciro Immobile had another great chance as Italy grew into the game but John Stones made the block before Marco Verratti’s shot from the rebound was held by Jordan Pickford.
Raheem Sterling had an appeal for a penalty turned down five minutes after the restart. It looked like the Manchester City winger was brought down by Bonucci but the referee waved play on.
Italy were the better side in the second half though and Insigne went close when he curled a free kick over the bar.
The Napoli man forced Pickford into a good save at the near post before Harry Maguire headed over from a corner at the other end.
Pickford was called into action once again to keep out Chiesa’s low drive as Italy continued to push for an equaliser.
That equaliser did come 23 minutes from time when the England defence failed to clear a corner. Pickford made a superb save to keep out the initial header but Bonucci was first to the rebound to bundle the ball in from close range.
Domenico Berardi volleyed over as Italy looked for a winner as England held on to take the game into extra time.
Kalvin Phillips had a go at the start of extra time from long range but sent his shot wide but neither side took charge of extra time.
Phillips again led the England attack and was fouled on the edge of the penalty area, but the referee played an advantage that came to nothing.
Pickford did need to pull off another superb save just before the end of the opening period of extra time to stop Federico Bernardeschi from scoring.
It was an eventful start to the second half of extra time. Pickford kept out a powerful Bernardeschi free-kick before Jack Grealish’s shot was blocked and Stones came within inches of reaching a Kane cross.
Jorginho was lucky to escape with just a yellow card late on after a late challenge ended up with his studs into Grealish’s knee.
In the shootout,Pickford dived to his left to keep out Belotti’s spot kick after Kane and Berardi both scored.
Maguire powered into the top right corner and Bonucci lifted the ball over Pickford.
Marcus Rashford, who came on as a substitute in the 118th minute, sent Donnarumma the wrong way but his spot-kick bounced off the left post as the scores remained level after three penalties a piece.
Bernardeschi put his spot kick down the middle but Jadon Sancho, another late substitute, saw his penalty saved to put Italy in control.
Jorginho scored the winning penalty in Italy’s semi-final but this time a tame shot was tipped onto the post by Pickford.
It came down to Bukayo Saka who had to score England’s fifth penalty but Donnarumma dived to his right to keep the ball out and win the Euros for Italy.