UEFA Euro 2016
Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France
78′ Bonucci (P)
Germany win 6-5 on penalties.
De Sciglio √
Germany progressed into their third consecutive European Championship Semi-final after defeating Italy 6-5 on penalties in the Quarter-finals of the European Championships at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux in Bordeaux.
In what was a repeat of the 2012 European Championship Semi-final, Germany went ahead through Mesut Özil before a Leonardo Bonucci penalty levelled the scores twelve minutes from time. That was before Jonas Hector scored the winning penalty after substitute Matteo Darmian had his penalty saved in the sudden-death penalty shootout where seven penalties were missed.
In a first-half where chances were few and far between, it was Italy who had the first sight of goal in the 14th minute, when Alessandro Florenzi cut inside to fire an effort that tested Manuel Neuer, although the effort lacked conviction.
In the 29th minute, Germany thought they had taken the lead when substitute Bastian Schweinsteiger headed home a cross past Buffon, but the goal was correctly chalked off as the former Bayern Munich midfielder shoved Mattia De Sciglio before meeting the delivery.
Five minutes before the break, Germany went close when a good Joshua Kimmich sent a good cross into the path of Gómez who did well to get across Bonucci before heading wide. A minute later, Germany should have went ahead when Toni Kroos sliced an effort that fell to Kimmich whose touch fell to Thomas Müller who should have scored but he miscued his strike and Buffon claimed the effort.
A minute later, Italy went close to taking the lead when Emanuele Giaccherini did well to pull the ball back across goal, which Neuer was forced to palm away into the path of Stefano Sturaro who fired an effort inches wide via a deflection.
After the break, Germany were in the ascendancy and should have taken the lead when Gómez wonderfully controlled a cross-field pass before teeing up Müller who looked set to score but he was fantastically denied by Florenzi who blocked the ball on the line with an outstretched leg after he earlier lost possession.
After the hour-mark, Italy had a good chance when Éder teed up Marco Parolo whose volley into ground drifted wide in the 61st minute.
Four minutes later, Germany went ahead. Gómez did well to hold the ball up before finding Hector whose deflected cross fell to Özil who swept home on the volley.
Two minutes later, Germany should have got a second. Özil wonderfully found Gómez who was onside and had just Buffon to beat and tried to back-heel the ball past the keeper but the veteran keeper somehow tipped the ball over the bar.
Six minutes later, Italy went close when De Sciglio pulled the ball back to Graziano Pellè who fired wide under-pressure. It was awkward as the ball bounced just before the Southampton striker made contact with the ball.
Three minutes later, Italy were given a golden opportunity when a Florenzi delivery following a corner was headed on by Giorgio Chiellini onto the arms of Boateng, whose arms were up and the referee without hesitation pointed to the spot.
Bonucci stepped up to take the resulting spot-kick and after stuttering in the run-up he fired home despite Neuer guessing right. It was Bonucci’s first ever career penalty.
The game eventually went to Extra-Time and in the first minute of the second period of Extra-Time, Germany had a good chance when a German cross wasn’t dealt with by Andrea Barzagli who headed the ball back dangerously to substitute Julian Draxler who volleyed acrobatically over the bar from close-range.
Six minutes later, Italy went close when Pellè found substitute Lorenzo Insigne who fired an effort from a tight-angle that stung the palms of Neuer who gathered at the second-attempt.
Six minutes later, Germany went close when Boateng found Schweinsteiger who teed up Özil who fired an effort that Buffon saved comfortably.
Despite Germany dominating the latter stages of the game, Italy held on – taking the game to a lottery of the penalty shootout.
After a perfect first round of penalties where Insigne and Kroos fired home, substitute Simone Zaza blazed his effort over the bar – giving Germany the advantage, however, Müller couldn’t capitalise as his effort was palmed away by Buffon, who guessed right.
Barzagli then netted his spot-kick to put Italy ahead before Özil was denied by the post after he sent Buffon the wrong way. However, Pellè couldn’t take advantage as he dragged his spot-kick terribly wide and Draxler took advantage, levelling the scores after he slotted home: sending Buffon the wrong way.
Bonucci was up next, and despite scoring his spot-kick in the match, he couldn’t get the better of Neuer second time round as the Bayern Munich keeper guessed right to palm the effort away, allowing Schweinsteiger to seal victory. However, the midfielder stepped up to blaze his spot-kick over the bar, giving Italy a lifeline.
Then, after three rounds of successful penalties in sudden-death, substitute Darmian stepped up next to see his penalty palmed away by Neuer, meaning that if Hector scored, Germany would progress into the Semi-finals.
The full-back stepped up and dispatched his penalty home despite the ball squirming underneath Buffon who guessed right to put Germany into their sixth consecutive Semi-final since 2004 and inflict a first ever defeat for the Italians against the Germans. It was Germany’s sixth consecutive penalty shootout victory since 1982, although they are still unbeaten since 1976 when West Germany were defeated by Czechoslovakia.
The result meant that Germany progress into their sixth consecutive Semi-final since 2004 and their third consecutive European Championship Semi-final. Germany also get revenge on the Italians after being narrowly defeated 2-1 four years ago thanks to a Mario Balotelli brace. The result means that Italy bow out. It was Italy’s first ever competitive defeat to Germany, who are still yet to beat the Italians in normal-time.