England v Italy, 24 June 2012

Score0-0 :: penalties 4-2 to Italy
RefereePedro Proenca
CompetitionUEFA European Championship Quarter-final
VenueOlimpiyskyi Kyiv, Kyiv
Attendance64,340
Kick-off: 9.45pm local (7.45pm BST) Italy won 4-2 on penalties After extra time Assistant referees: Bertino Miranda (Portugal) Ricardo Santos (Portugal) Fourth official: Cüneyt Çakır (Turkey) Additional assistant referees: Jorge Sousa (Portugal) Duarte Gomes (Portugal) Man of the Match: Andrea Pirlo (Italy) Alessandro Diamanti struck the decisive penalty as Italy edged past England 4-2 on penalties to set up a UEFA EURO 2012 semi-final meeting with Germany in Warsaw on Thursday. After an electrifying opening in Kyiv, the imperious Andrea Pirlo took the baton and much of the game took place at his sumptuous tempo. Yet Italy were never quite able to crown his regal approach play. The threat of the counterpunch was always there, and remained even after the end of the 120 minutes when Riccardo Montolivo missed his spot kick. Ashley Young hit the bar, however, and Gianluigi Buffon denied Ashley Cole, allowing Diamanti to calmly slot in. This was a quarter-final that began as it ended – with heart in mouth. Either side could have been ahead inside five minutes. First Daniele De Rossi rattled the upright from all of 30 metres with a vicious, sliced half-volley that was always arcing beyond the scrambling Joe Hart's hopeful hands. Back came England, and Glen Johnson ought to have broken the deadlock when James Milner's deflected cross perfectly intersected his run. The ball got caught under his feet, though, and his weak shot was in the end comfortably clawed away by Buffon. The pace was not about to relent just yet, either. Italy's forward forays were studied, full of elegance and elan as Antonio Cassano and Pirlo picked at England's defensive line, looking for a chink in the armour. Roy Hodgson's men embraced a more direct approach, with Johnson their battering ram down the right. The manoeuvre was no less effective – Leonardo Bonucci, starting in place of the injured Giorgio Chiellini, and the excellent Ignazio Abate both made key interventions. Gradually Johnson was put back in his place, at right-back, as the Azzurri found their rhythm. They also discovered a new attacking ploy: rather than try to blast a hole through England's defensive wall, they sought to scale it. It so nearly brought rich reward. The tactical master Pirlo was the brains behind it, releasing Mario Balotelli with a fine lifted ball and it took a brilliant block from the vigilant John Terry to keep it 0-0. Cassano almost released his strike partner in similar style before he and Pirlo combined to fashion the chance of the half as the interval approached. Pirlo's raking cross to the far post found Cassano, whose header back into the box landed perfectly for Balotelli – only for Manchester City FC club-mate Joleon Lescott to get there first, superbly spearing the ball over the bar. The Italy assault resumed after the restart, however. De Rossi lashed wastefully wide, Hart denied Balotelli and Montolivo fired over with the goal at his mercy. The majestic Pirlo was at the heart of Italy's ascendancy, beating even substitute Andy Carroll in aerial duels and simply unstoppable with the ball at his sage feet. The breakthrough seemed only a matter of time – it never came, more heroic defending from Johnson denying Antonio Nocerino at the death to force extra time. The additional half-hour came and went with relatively little incident, save for an Diamanti cross that evaded everyone before hitting the upright and a Nocerino header that found the net but also the assistant's flag. Penalties had no lack of incident, including an audacious chipped Pirlo effort. And then it ended as it now has six of the seven times England have endured a major tournament shoot-out – with their defeat. Italy go on, though they will be without the suspended Christian Maggio against Germany.

0 (2)  England

Manager: Roy Hodgson

0 (4)  Italy

Manager: Cesare Prandelli

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Joe Hart
Defender Ashley Cole
Defender John Terry
Defender/Centre back Joleon Lescott
Defender/Full back Glen Johnson
Defender/Midfielder James Milner
Defender/Midfielder/Forward Ashley Young
Midfielder Steven Gerrard (captain)
Midfielder Scott Parker
Forward Wayne Rooney
Forward Danny Welbeck

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (captain)
Defender Ignazio Abate
Defender Andrea Barzagli
Defender Leonardo Bonucci
Midfielder Daniele De Rossi
Midfielder Claudio Marchisio
Midfielder Riccardo Montolivo
Forward Mario Balotelli
Forward Antonio Cassano
Forward Andrea Pirlo

Substitutions:

Andy Carroll for Danny Welbeck 60
Theo Walcott for James Milner 61
Jordan Henderson for Scott Parker 94

Substitutions:

Alessandro Diamanti for Antonio Cassano 78
Antonio Nocerino for Daniele De Rossi 80
Christian Maggio for Ignazio Abate 90

Cards:

Cards:

Andrea Barzagli 82 Y
Christian Maggio 94 Y

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Jack Butland
Goalkeeper Rob Green
Defender Martin Kelly
Defender/Midfielder Jordan Henderson
Defender/Midfielder Phil Jagielka
Defender/Midfielder Phil Jones
Defender/Left back Leighton Baines
Midfielder Stewart Downing
Midfielder/Forward Theo Walcott
Forward Andy Carroll
Forward Jermain Defoe

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis
Goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu
Defender Christian Maggio
Defender Angelo Ogbonna
Midfielder Alessandro Diamanti
Midfielder Thiago Motta
Midfielder Antonio Nocerino
Forward Fabio Borini

Comments:

Penalty shoot-out details (England went second) 1 - Steven Gerrard [scored] 2 - Wayne Rooney [scored] 3 - Ashley Young [missed] 4 - Ashley Cole [saved]

Comments:

Penalty shoot-out details (Italy went first) 1 - Mario Balotelli [scored] 2 - Riccardo Montolivo [missed] 3 - Andrea Pirlo [scored] 4 - Antonio Nocerino [scored] 5 - Alessandro Diamanti [scored]