No, it’s not coming home… for now. Italy inflicted heartbreak on one of Euro 2020’s favorites, England to secure European glory after beating the latter 3-2 on penalty shoot-outs this past Sunday at London’s Wembley Stadium. This marks the first time Italy has won the prestigious European Championship since 1968 as Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma made superb saves for two of England’s penalties en route to their historic win.
Both sides had fought to a 1-1 extra-time draw supported by raucous cheers from fans of both teams in the hotly contested final game of the delayed Euro competition (due to Covid-19).
Euro 2020 Finals Match Recap
Luke Shaw opened the salvo on England’s hopes of finally winning the big one after a decades-long trophy drought just two minutes after the opening whistle with a timely assist from teammates Harry Kane and Kieran Trippier — the latter sending over curling deep cross that the fleet-footed Shaw met with a half volley to hit the back of the net for his first international goal.
And Italy, for the most part, could barely offer a response in the first half — further cementing the English young guns’ dreams of winning a major tournament since 1966.
However, the visitors managed to equalise in the second half after Leonardo Bonucci scored a goal after 67 minutes as England keeper Jordan Pickford failed to block a close-range shot from Bonucci after pawing Andrea Belotti’s header onto the post.
Thereafter, the game went on with neither team able to add to their tally — resulting in extra time which, as you would already know by now, both teams could not seal the deal.
The outcome of the game was to then be decided by a penalty shoot-out, which was the first time the outcome of a final was decided in this fashion since Czechoslovakia beat West Germany in 1976. To put it succinctly, the Italian keeper managed to secure two saves from Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka after Marcus Rashfor hit the post. On the other side, the Italian team’s Federico Bernardeschi, Leonardo Bonucci, and Domenico Berardi all scored their respective goals which was indeed a cause for wild celebrations in Italy after they lost in the finals in 2000 and 2012. Nevertheless, it was a heartbreaking moment for some 67,000 local attendees at the Wembley stadium as England once again came up just short of winning their first major final since they won the World Cup some 55 years ago.
Good work England, you’ll get it next time. And congratulations to the Euro 2020 champions Italy, you deserve it.