You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Germany progress at Euro 2016

Associated Press Associated Press 2/07/2016 By Steve Douglas

Germany ended 54 years of hurt against Italy in major tournaments, winning a wild penalty shootout 6-5 to reach the semi-finals of Euro 2016.

Jonas Hector scored the winning penalty in the quarter-final match in Bordeaux with the 18th kick of the shootout, slotting beyond Gianluigi Buffon and putting Germany in the last four of a sixth straight tournament.

"I took my heart in my hand and just wanted to make sure it went in," said Hector, Germany's left back.

A cagey, tactical match between two of the continent's heavyweights finished 1-1 after extra time, with Leonardo Bonucci's 78th-minute penalty for Italy cancelling out a 65th-minute strike by Mesut Ozil.

Bonucci was one of seven players to fail to score in the shootout - Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger blazed over when he could have sealed victory with the score at 2-2.

But Hector made no mistake after Manuel Neuer's save from Matteo Darmian gave Germany another opening.

"I've never experienced a penalty shootout like it before," Neuer said.

It was Germany's sixth straight victory in a penalty shootout since losing the final of Euro 1976 to Czechoslovakia, and their first competitive win over Italy in nine tries.

That included the 1982 World Cup final and three major tournament semifinals.

The so-called "Italian curse" is no more for the Germans, who are seeking to follow up their World Cup title from two years ago.

They will next play either France or Iceland in Marseille on Thursday (Friday AEST).

Defeat ended Antonio Conte's two-year tenure with Italy and he heads to Chelsea in the English Premier League with a strong reputation after masterminding wins over highly fancied Belgium and Spain at Euro 2016.

"The only regret I have from this European Championship is these penalties," Conte said.

It was a fixture worthy of a final - Italy and Germany are Europe's most successful football nations with eight World Cup titles between them - but the game didn't live up to its promise.

Dropping deep when not in possession, Italy's defensive set-up stifled the Germans - another tactical success for Conte - and made for a contest of few clear-cut chances until Ozil's goal.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon