Italy will try to avoid another penalty shootout against Germany
The match between England and Italy became a thriller towards the end, although both teams failed to score a single at the end of the 90 minutes and extra time. The England manager Roy Hodgson reckons penalty shootouts are like a “lottery” as any team can grab a win. The Italy manager Cesare Prandelli reiterated Roy Hodgson’s beliefs in his post match news conference.
Nonetheless, Italy grabbed a deserved victory from the penalty shootout on Sunday. On the other hand, England successfully proved that the Three Lions are cursed when it comes to winning through penalty shootouts. England has faced defeat in the last six penalty shootouts.
Mario Balotelli opened Italy’s account in the penalty shootout. The England captain Steven Gerrard stepped take the first spot kick for England which resulted in him making a hole in the back of the net. England was given their chance to win the game when Riccardo Montolivo failed to score.
However, no English player was able to score after Wayne Rooney. Penalty kick from Ashley Young struck the post and Ashley Cole’s penalty kick was saved by Italy’s legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
Meanwhile, Italian midfielders Andrea Pirlo, Antonio Nocerino and Alessandro Diamanti scored for Italy to acquire a 4-2 victory.
Riccardo Montolivo, who is set to join AC Milan from Fiorentina this summer, expressed his gratitude to goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon for saving Ashley Cole’s penalty kick.
“It was a great relief, especially for me,” Riccardo Montolivo said in an interview after the match. “I felt terrible after missing my penalty, it was really a tough moment but fortunately it ended well - we are lucky to have a goalkeeper like Buffon.
“However, the victory was fully deserved, we attacked for most of the game and created many chances even if we were not able to convert them. Losing on penalties after this performance would have been cruel.
“I think we played well in all of our games so far in the tournament. Now we will face Germany, probably the best team with Spain, but we will be ready to challenge them. We don't fear anybody, especially after a performance like tonight’s.”
Cesare Prandelli, who will lead his men against the German invasion on Thursday, wants his men to prepare in all departments before meeting Germany in the Euro 2012 semifinal.
“We are delighted but we have to get ready for Germany now,” Cesare Prandelli said. “They have had two more days' rest (but) if we have the same approach, the same desire, I think we can compete.
“Germany and Spain are favourites here. We'll need everyone fit and fresh; we're going to go for it. They're always attacking games against Germany. Germany are a great side - they made changes against Greece and it made no difference.
“The game here hasn't long ended and we want to get our players fit - we just want to go home and get to bed, to be honest,” Cesare Prandelli added.