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

Germany end Italy hoodoo

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 2/07/2016


© Getty

Germany won 6-5 on penalties to end their tournament hoodoo against Italy and book their place in the semi-finals of Euro 2016.

Jonas Hector scored the winning spot-kick after the game had finished 1-1 after 120 minutes of football in Saturday's quarter-final in Bordeaux; Leonardo Bonucci's penalty cancelling out Mesut Ozil's 65th-minute opener.

Eighteen kicks were needed in the penalty shoot-out and misses from Simone Zaza, Graziano Pelle, Bonucci and Matteo Darmian proved crucial as Germany, who have never beaten Italy in eight previous matches at major tournaments, advance to face France or Iceland in Marseille on Thursday.

However, they will be without defender Mats Hummels for that game after he picked up his second booking of the tournament, while Antonio Conte has taken charge of Italy for the final time ahead of his move to Chelsea.

Germany boss Joachim Low raised eyebrows ahead of kick-off by dropping Julian Draxler and matching Italy's shape with three central defenders, even though his side had not conceded a goal in their first four matches at Euro 2016.

And they rarely looked like losing that record in an edgy first half short on clear chances - although Bastian Schweinsteiger - on for the injured Sami Kehdira in the 15th minute - had a goal disallowed for a clear push on Mattia De Sciglio.

Mario Gomez headed over a Joshua Kimmich cross and Thomas Muller scuffed one into the arms of Gianluigi Buffon, but Italy went closest in the opening period when Stefano Sturaro's drive was deflected just wide by Jerome Boateng.

Germany forward Muller is yet to score a goal at a European Championship and he was denied by an acrobatic clearance on the line from Allessandro Florenzi shortly after the interval after Gomez had set him up on the edge of the area.

As the tension rose, Italy picked up three bookings in the first 14 minutes of the second half, including De Sciglio's second of the tournament, ruling him out of a potential semi-final - but thoughts of qualification were dented as Ozil opened the scoring on 65 minutes.

Gomez was the chief architect on the left wing, feeding the run of Jonas Hector to the by-line and his cut-back was deflected off Bonucci into the path of Ozil to half-volley into the bottom corner from seven yards.

Gomez, who limped off on 72 minutes, should have added a second shortly before his departure when he received Ozil's lofted pass and chested down, only to see his improvised close-range back-heel spectacularly palmed over by Buffon's right hand.

And it proved costly as Germany handed - literally - an equaliser to their opponents after 77 minutes following a moment of madness from Boateng.

The defender inexplicably raised both hands in the air to block a Florenzi cross as he challenged Chiellini - and Bonucci struck the resulting penalty firmly to the left of the previously unworked Manuel Neuer.

Hummels' 90th-minute trip on Eder earned him his second booking of the tournament, ruling him out of Thursday's semi-final, but extra-time was needed to decide who would be in that match in Marseille.

Substitute Draxler hooked an over-head kick just over the bar and misplaced a pass to Muller when he was in on goal, but the tie would ultimately be settled by spot-kicks.

Italy's Lorenzo Insigne and Germany's Toni Kroos netted before late substitute  Zaza skied his penalty over the bar and Muller saw his effort saved by Buffon.

Andrea Barzagli scored for Italy, but then Ozil struck the post and Pelle rolled his effort haplessly wide, allowing Draxler to level the shoot-out at 2-2.

Neuer then saved Bonucci's second penalty of the evening to give Schweinsteiger the chance to send Germany through, but he lofted his chance over the bar.

It went to sudden death and Emanuele Giaccherini, Marco Parolo, De Sciglio, Hummels, Joshua Kimmich and Boateng all held their nerve before Neuer saved Darmian's low penalty to his left.

Hector then smashed home the 18th kick of the shoot-out to break Italian hearts and take the world champions one step closer to a fourth European Championship trophy.


Germany: Neuer, Hector, Howedes, Hummels, Khedira (Schweinsteiger, 16), Ozil, Muller, Boateng, Kroos, Kimmich, Gomez (Draxler, 72).

Italy: Buffon, Florenzi (Darmian, 86), Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini (Zaza, 120), De Sciglio, Parolo, Sturaro, Giaccherini, Eder (Insigne, 108), Pelle.

Man of the Match: Mats Hummels

More From Sky Sports

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon