On July 11, the European Championships final between Italy and England was a match to watch. England took the lead with a strike of Luke Shaw in 2nd minute, and it was the quickest goal ever in the Euro final. In the 67th minute, Leonardo Bonucci of Italy scored the equaliser. The score remained 1-1 till the 90 minutes and also after the Extra-time ended. Italy’s team got victory 3-2 on penalties.
Harry Maguire and Harry Kane scored for England. Pickford kept all the hopes alive by saving the goals of Jorginho and Andrea Belotti. Domenico Berardi, Federico Bernardeschi and Bonucci scored for Italy. Gianluigi Donnarumma jumped to his left and saved the spot-kick by Bukayo Saka. This was the third straight failure of England from the penalty shootout at Wembley Stadium in front of its fans.
A Big Triumph for Italy
Nearly around four years ago, the Italian team fell to the lowest moment of its history in football when it first time failed to qualify for the World Cup in almost six decades. Now, Italy is the best team in Europe and has a national record of 34-match unbeaten under the coach Roberto Mancini.
Italy is a decorated team in the world and also has ended some years of trophy drought. On the other hand, England has not even reached the finals since 1966. The last of the four World Cup victories of Italy came in 2006. But the team is an underachiever in Euros comparatively and has only won a title in 1968. However, it has reached the final twice in the years 2002 and 2012. Whereas, England team has not got a chance until now. England was playing the first major final in almost 55 years. The pandemic restriction limited the crowd to 66,000 at the Wembley Stadium.
Gareth Southgate Takes the Responsibility
England manager Gareth Southgate stated that it was his decision to give the teenager Bukayo Saka a chance to take the final penalty in their shootout. Saka was not able to goal, and Italy won in the Euro 2020 final. Southgate also brought Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho deep into extra time to take spot-kicks, and both of them missed. He said that he selected the takers, and he is extremely disappointed not thinking of a step further.
He added that the team decided to make changes during the ending time of the game. However, the players win or lose together as a team. Saka, the Arsenal winger who had made five international tournament appearances, saw the final penalty of England getting saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma. Before that, Andrea and Jorginho wasted their chance to goal for Italy when it was saved by Jordan Pickford.
Southgate said that it was his responsibility, and he chose the players to take the kicks. He further added that it was his decision to provide Saka that penalty. It was not the responsibility of Saka or Jadon, or Marcus. They worked out well in training. Even though it is heartbreaking for the team, but the players should not be blamed for that.