Euro 2020: Italy beat Spain on penalties to enter fourth final
Italy are through to the final of Euro 2020 after a hard fought victory in the semi-final over three-time champions Spain at the iconic Wembley Stadium in London, which will also be the venue for the summit clash.
Italian goal-keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma saved the penultimate spot kick from Alvaro Morata to set up the win for his team. Jorginho converted the decisive penalty kick to give Italy a 4-2 shootout win. The midfielder took a trademark hop at the end of his run-up before rolling the ball into the bottom corner.
EURO 2020 Semifinal: ITALY vs SPAIN – Highlights
The match had finished 1-1 through extra time. Federico Chiesa scored for Italy with a curling shot in the 60th minute, a goal that came against the run of play as Spain dominated possession and had several close chances till then.
Spain coach Luis Enrique, who left his striker Morata on the bench to go for a pacy front three sensed the need for change and brought the Juventus forward on in the 62nd minute. That substitution bore fruit as Morata equalized for Spain in the 80th minute, with an assist from the nimble-footed Dani Olmo, who had been a thorn in Italy’s flesh throughout the match.
As luck would have it, both Olmo and Morata fluffed their lines in the penalty shootout as the Italians made up for their loss to the Spaniards on penalties in Euro 2008, at the quarter-final stage.
Italy vs Spain – Action in Images
Italy will be back at Wembley Stadium for the final on Sunday against either England or Denmark.
Italy and Spain were even at 0-0 at half-time with both teams failing to create clear-cut chances. Spain forward Dani Olmo came closest to scoring but his close-range shot was saved easily by Italy goalkeeper Donnarumma. La Roja had another good chance in the 15th minute when winger Ferran Torres’ attempt from outside the area went wide of the near post.
Italy had one late chance when Emerson hit the crossbar at the stroke of half-time.
Mikel Oyarzabal, who started for Spain in place of Morata, missed two golden opportunities in either half. While Italy soaked up all the pressure and defended resolutely, it was Spain’s lack of finesse in the final third which cost them a place in the final of the tournament.
(With AP inputs)
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