England Loses to Italy in Penalty Kicks
The match dragged on past midnight and into another day as Italy hammered against the English defenders. Things were bleak in the beginning but as England gained a footing it appeared as though they’d give Italy a run for their money. England was able to soldier on until the final whistle blew with the game still standing at a draw.
England’s track record with penalty kicks is a dodgy one at best. From 12 yards out the team has failed to finish in the last 6 of 7 PK appearances in a major tournament. Their last victory from the penalty spot came in a victory over Spain during the Euro in 1996.
Italy defeated a confident Hart in the box with a masterful chip from Andrea Pirlo following an early dive from England’s goalkeeper. From there it would appear as though Italy were unstoppable. Success from Pirlo, Mario Balotelli, and Alessandro Diamanti was enough to seal the victory for Italy.
Hart was extremely confident of his capability to thwart a penalty situation but proved to be less than effective against Italy’s on-point strikers. Over all Italy had 35 attempts on goal throughout the game, 20 of which were on frame. England had only 9 attempts with 4 being on frame. The Passing game told the same story as England was able to connect a paltry 320 passes when compared to Italy’s 815.
In a game where statistics usually aren’t the deciding factor of who dominated a match, in this case they rang true and the better team prevailed on the pitch in Kiev.