Euro 2020 semi finals
Italy’s dream continues as the Italians overcame Spain on penalties 1-1 (4-2 p). After 90 minutes of great football that saw Chiesa and Italy open the deadlock for Italy at the 60th minute. The Juventus player’s strike was beautiful as the Azzurri took on the 1-0 lead.
Spain controlled tempo and had the ball for almost 70% of the time and finally got their reward from Morata at the 80th minute to level the game at 1-1. At the end of the time of regulation both nations were head to head getting into overtime. The game slowed down a bit due the intensity of the game early on, and the amount of energy delivered at the previous rounds from both team. In fact, Spain had to play already two overtimes at the Round of 16 and quarter final stages and Italy went to overtime at the round of 16 and eliminated the number one team in the world rankings with Belgium at the quarter final stage.
The penalties are always cruel for the team that lose them. Spain and Italy both missed on their first attempt, but then the Italian keeper Donnarumma saved Morata’s attempt just before Jorginho’s penalties to send Italy onto the Euro final.
Reactions from the managers:
Roberto Mancini, Italy coach:
“We are pleased to have given joy like this to the Italian people. We knew it would be very hard, Spain caused us plenty of trouble. We tried to score when we had the chances but we had a hard time because we didn’t have much of the ball. We wanted the final even if not many people believed us before the tournament. I congratulate Spain, they are a great team and penalties are a lottery. There are some games when you have to struggle but we deserved to be here. We knew it was going to be tough, it wasn’t easy and Spain surprised us at the beginning by deciding to play without a striker. This squad, however, is amazing. Everyone wants to win, but this group of players wanted to do something special and they just did that.”
Luis Enrique, Spain coach:
“I think we deserved an ‘excellent’ if I wanted to give my players marks. I think they’ve been marvellous. I can’t criticise them, I have to praise them. It’s time for them to rest now. Morata had an adductor problem but still wanted to take the penalty and that says so much for his personality. He’s been gigantic for us in this tournament. In professional sport we all have to learn how to win and how to take defeat. That’s why I want to congratulate Italy. We’re going back to Spain safe in the knowledge that we were clearly among the best teams at this tournament.”
Italy is waiting whether they will take on England or Denmark on Sunday.