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Rediff.com  » Sports » Euro 2016: Germany beat Italy in epic penalty shootout

Euro 2016: Germany beat Italy in epic penalty shootout

Last updated on: July 03, 2016 10:56 IST

Germany break jinx against nemesis Italy after winning 6-5 in a thrilling penalty shootout in Bordeaux. The 18 penalties ties the record for most spot-kicks taken in the history of Euro Championship. 

IMAGE: German players applaud their supporters after their victory. Photograph: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Germany defeated old rivals Italy 6-5 in a penalty shootout at Euro 2016 with a winning spot kick from Jonas Hector after the game finished 1-1 following extra time on Saturday to reach the semi-finals.

They will now face the winners of the other quarter-final between hosts France and Iceland, who play on Sunday.

Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil, who had experienced a quiet tournament so far, was in the right place to open the scroring in the 65th minute when he turned in Jonas Hector's cutback after good work from Mario Gomez down the left.

IMAGE: German players during the penalty shootout against Italy. Photograph: Darren Staples/Reuters.

The Italians, however, levelled with a 78th minute penalty from Leonardo Bonucci after Jerome Boateng handled the ball.

Germany, who had not conceded a goal in their previous four tournament matches here, took their time to get going against a well-oiled defence with Thomas Mueller having their best chance before Ozil broke the deadlock after more than an hour.

Bonucci gave Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer no chance 13 minutes later with a well-placed penalty as Italy, who eliminated holders Spain in the last 16, refused to buckle and sent the game into extra-time and a penalty shootout.

After a tense, tactical battle ended 1-1 after extra time, the usually clinical Germans missed three spot kicks but still progressed courtesy of even more wayward shooting by their opponents who failed to convert four of their penalties.

IMAGE: Italian players look dejected after their close defeat in the penalty shootout against Germany

"It was something special to have so many penalty-takers, such drama! We did not manage to beat Italy in 90 minutes. We did not beat Italy in 120 minutes.

"Then this shoot-out just fitted that duel between Italy and Germany. It wasn't that easy. It was a war of nerves. I did prepare, but none of their penalty takers aimed where they usually do," said German goalkeeper Manuel Neur after the match. 

Source:
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