England’s dream of ending their 55-year wait for a major trophy ended in anguish, as Italy defeated them 3-2 on penalties at Wembley to take the prestigious Euro 2020 trophy to Rome for the first time since 1968
On a night of full of tension and anticipation, defender, Luke Shaw put the Three Lions in front two minutes into the game, setting them on course, and raising their hopes of possibly experiencing their most joyful day since July 30, 1966, as Nation as far as football is concerned.
Italy, unbeaten in 33 matches before the final showdown, shaken by their early goal, gradually worked their way back into the game and got the equalizer in the 67th minute thanks to Leonardo Bonucci’s quick thinking.
With both sides squared on goals and failing to produce a winner at the of regulation and extra time, it was on to penalties and bitter disappointment for England manager Gareth Southgate and his players, who had gone into the final high on expectations and emotion.
England missed three of their five penalties, with Marcus Rashford hitting a post and Italy goalkeeper, Gianluigi Donnarumma denying Jadon Sancho teenager Bukayo Saka.
Harry Kane and Harry Maguire scored for England but, while Pickford kept hopes alive with saves from Andrea Belotti and Jorginho, Domenico Berardi, Bonucci and Federico Bernardeschi scored for Italy, as Roberto Mancini’s men roared to life following Donnarumma’s crucial save.
The shadow of agony cast over Wembley as the England players and their manager, looking downcast, rallied round each to find solace in their consoling embrace as their fans drifting out of Wembley, not without an applaud for the team that had brought them closest to the feet of a Major trophy in the last 55 years, and now the wait for such luxury continues. k