England out on Penalties, Italy through

England came close but it wasn’t good enough.  Heartbreak among the players according to Gerrard, although few people thought England would get this far – a quarter final in the Euro 2012 against Italy. It all came down to their old enemy, the penalty shoot out. Taking Italy to a 0-0 score and losing 4-2 on a penalty shoot out.

They chased hard throughout the game, but the legs were tired and the passing left a lot to be desired. The fans have been marvellous, now England have to work on aspects of their game that need improving and aim for the world championships. The only consolation is that they leave the tournament with their heads held high, not having lost a game.  Italy, a nation who had never lost to England in such a game.

England looked nervy at the beginning and many people thought John Terry was not a good choice but he saved the day on one occasion. After half time Italy stepped up a gear and should have taken the lead. In fact, England might have sneaked in, in stoppage time, but Rooney could not control his acrobatics. Italy created the better chances in stoppage, somehow England held on. Hodgson’s men at one time had the advantage in the penalty shoot out but Italy were clinical and when Ashley Cole’s penalty was saved, that was it. England gave everything, it wasn’t enough.

Justice for Italy, but having come so close that won’t make defeat so easy for England to take. It would have been a terrible injustice if Italy hadn’t gone through, they played the better game and made more chances. Roy Hodgson has only been in the job for six matches and he’s put a bit of pride back in the game, so he will take comfort from that as he prepares the teams now for the World Cup in two years’ time.