25 Jun 2012

England beaten in a penalty shoot-out again

5:47 pm on 25 June 2012

The agony and the ecstasy of the first penalty shootout at Euro 2012 was settled in the most predictable fashion when England extended their hopeless record to six embarrassing flops.

Since losing a World Cup semi-final against Germany in Turin in 1990, England have been eliminated on penalties in five more tournaments, including Monday's exit at the hands of the Italians.

Italy won the shootout 4-2 at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev following a 0-0 draw after extra time, setting up a clash with Germany in Friday's semi-final in Warsaw.

For England and Italy, a shootout was a nightmare scenario they wished to avoid as both nations have dreadful records overall with the Azzurri's 2006 World Cup final triumph against France a rare bright spot.

On the night, it was clear that Italy were striving to end the contest in normal time by creating a stream of chances, but they were unable to beat England's solid defence in which goalkeeper Joe Hart and central defender John Terry were outstanding.

In the end, it came down to penalties again, and Ashley Young missed for England, hitting the crossbar, while Ashley Cole's effort was saved by Gianluigi Buffon.

Spain will play Portugal in Thursday's semi-final in Donetsk.

The final's Sunday morning in Kiev.