England vs. Italy Recap

The Italians secure their win after Alessandro Diamanti whips the final penalty into the goal as Joe Hart dives in the other direction.

Probably one of the most bizarre and funny games in the Euro Cup thus far has been the quarter-final between England and Italy. Although both teams had some good chances, neither team was able to place the ball in the net (without being offside!) by the end of extra time. Though both sides were fairly even in the beginning of the game, Italy soon took complete ownership of the game, having a 64% possession of the ball. Italy had 35 shots in all (20 on target) and England had only 9 (4 on target). On the 5th minute, England created a great set-up for a goal, but Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon got his hand up there to block the shot from going in. After that moment, England did not have any significant breakaways or shots, and Wayne Rooney looked all but ineffective. On the other hand, the Italians shot balls from every angle and distance, but they also could not seem to make a goal. On the 3rd minute, Daniele De Rossi kicked a ball from 25 yards away that shot past English goalkeeper Joe Hart and hit the left-hand post. Later, Mario Balotelli got many chances inside the box to make a shot, but they were often off-target or they were deflected by English defenders. I feel that he should have been substituted toward the end of the second half, for his shots were getting less and less accurate. The surprise goal made by Italy in the 115 minute was found to be offside, so the joy of the Italians died down in a moment of seconds. The first Euro 2012 0-0 game moved on to penalty kicks. Although England was ahead, Ashley Young and Ashley Cole couldn’t make their shots, giving Italy the win which they so rightfully deserved. Italy now advances to the semi-finals and will play Germany on June 28th.