Italy Throw England Out of Euro 2012 after Penalty Kicks
Italy's players celebrate their penalty shootout victory over England in their Euro 2012 quarterfinal in Kiev. Photo by Getty Images
Italy have made it to the semi-finals of Euro 2012 as they beat England in the last quarter-final after penalty kicks.
Alessandro Diamanti scored the decisive kick Sunday to send Italy through to the European Championship semifinals with a 4-2 win in the shootout following a 0-0 tie with England.
Italy will next play Germany in the semifinals on Thursday in Warsaw, Poland. Defending champion Spain plays Portugal on Wednesday in Donetsk, Ukraine.
Ashley Young hit the crossbar with England’s third, and Ashley Cole’s attempt was saved by Gianluigi Buffon.
For England, it was yet another exit from a major tournament in the quarterfinals after a penalty shootout. England lost to Portugal in the same manner at Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup.
England briefly led the shootout after Riccardo Montolivo missed Italy’s second penalty. His shot went wide of Joe Hart’s right post as the England goalkeeper guessed correctly.
Rooney then sent Buffon the wrong way, firing in his spot kick to the keeper’s right to give England a 2-1 lead. The momentum shifted after Pirlo’s bold piece of skill leveled it 2-2.
The match ended 0-0 after 120 minutes of play. The Italians twice hit the post, but were also let down by poor composure in front of the net. Diamanti clipped the post with a curling cross in the 101st minute, and swept a shot wide in the clearest chance of the second period of extra time.
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