EURO 2020: Italy beats England on penalties to win second title
Italy beat England on penalties to win their second European Football Championship final.
The two teams played 30 minutes of extra time after a 1-1 draw in the last match of Euro 2020 in London where more than 60,000 fans were gathered.
A goal scored in the second minute by England left-back Luke Shaw gave England the lead until Italy’s Leonardo Bonucci scored the equalizer in the 67th minute of the game.
Shaw’s goal was the fastest scored in a European Championship final, according to UEFA, and the fifth-fastest in tournament history.
But the Italians looked more confident in the second half of the game, putting pressure on England.
Tense atmosphere before the final
The atmosphere around Wembley Stadium grew tense in the late afternoon on Sunday as the EURO 2020 final between Italy and England approached.
The match kicked off at 9:00 p.m. CET in front of 60,000 fans, the vast majority in support of the Three Lions, although a dedicated crowd of at least 1,000 Azzurri supporters were also in the stands.
Tens of thousands of fans started to gather around Wembley in the morning, but the atmosphere grew tense as the day unfolded.
Some English fans who appeared drunk threw projectiles including stones, beer cans, backpacks and traffic cones at passers-by.
Three Italian supporters were also attacked by raging English supporters, an AFP journalist noted, as police were deployed in numbers around the stadium.
Most of the Italian supporters with tickets to the final quickly made their way to the stadium and their seats.
Police in the British capital have urged people to refrain from going to Wembley unless they have a ticket and have reported that some people in central London had been seen “jumping from lampposts or fences”, warning of the risk of injury.
Transport police also reported “several cases of flares set off near train stations” and stressed that “these incidents are offenses and will be investigated”.
’90 minutes to have fun ‘
The players spent the day training.
The Azzurri team arrived in London on Saturday to refine their strategy on British soil.
Italy coach Roberto Mancini told reporters at a press conference later in the day that the team had “a difficult game ahead”.
“We’ve got these last 90 minutes to have fun. We’ll try to do what we know we can do and what got us to this point.
“England are a strong team. They have brilliant players and a lot of depth. But the fact that we have reached this point means that we are also a strong team,” he added.
Team captain Giorgio Chiellini said the players will need “a strong heart and a clear head”. “There will be times when we need to be brave and times when we need to be flexible.”
“The lightness and a little bit of madness have brought us here and we will need it tomorrow if we are to win this cup,” he continued.
Southgate, meanwhile, reported that “there are fantastic players in the whole Italian squad”.
“They have a good tactical plan, an experienced coach and an incredible record over the last 30 games. We are very aware of that,” he continued, adding: “We are looking forward to the challenge.”
His team captain, Harry Kane, stressed that the players “started this tournament with the goal of winning it, and now we have this chance to do so.”
“It’s just about staying calm and relaxed as much as possible, and then trying to enjoy the moment you’re there.
“We have a real focus and determination in the group, and to break down the barriers in our country that have existed for a long time,” he also told reporters.
Both teams are cheered by well-known supporters whose football fever reaches the British monarchy. Queen elizabeth ii write a letter saturday to England manager Gareth Southgate and the team to express their “good wishes”.
“55 years ago I had the chance to present the World Cup to Bobby Moore and saw what it meant for the players, management and support staff to reach and win the final of a great international football tournament, ”she wrote.
“I want to extend my congratulations to you and my family for reaching the final of the European Championships, and to send you my best wishes for tomorrow with the hope that history will record not only your success but also the spirit, commitment and pride with which you have conducted yourself, ”she added.
Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister, also sent words of congratulations to the England team for their “incredible performances and achievements” in the EURO competition.
“You’ve forged a bunch of brothers whose energy, tenacity, and teamwork – and sheer flair – seem to shine through in everything you do.
“You have lifted the spirits of the whole country, and tomorrow we know you can lift this trophy too.
“On behalf of the whole nation, good luck, good game and take it home,” he wrote.
The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, meanwhile wished the Italian team good luck. on Twitter, writing: “Fingers crossed for tonight’s EURO 2020 final”, after being presented with an Italian shirt in his name.