Washington

Italy secures Euro final win over England in penalty shootout

Washington

"It's coming home" was the slogan for England's national soccer team, which was without a major international trophy since its FIFA World Cup win in 1966.

One game away from ending that generations-long drought, playing at home at their national stadium, hearts broke across the country after a 3-2 loss in penalty kicks to Italy. 

England didn't take long to get the home crowd at Wembley Stadium going as it got off to a good start with Manchester United left back Luke Shaw opened the scoring two minutes into the match against Italy. 

Despite opening the scoring, England didn't dominate the first half to take advantage of playing at home. Italy controlled possession of the ball with 65% and got off six total shots in the first 45 minutes. 

In the second half, Italy maintained its possession of the ball with 70%, but their shots finally began hitting their target. At the 66th minute, Juventus FC defender Leonardo Bonucci would score after a scramble for the loose ball coming off a corner kick. 

For the remainder of the 24 minutes, the score stayed tied. An added 30 minutes of extra time weren't enough to find a winner, and so the final went to penalty kicks. 

When Torino FC striker Andrea Belotti missed his penalty kick chance, it seemed as though the stars were aligning for England. However, that dream became a nightmare as Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho went on to miss their penalty kicks for England in the shootout. 

 

The pressure of extending England's hopes fell on the shoulders of 19-year-old Bukayo Saka. The Arsenal midfielder stepped up but saw his penalty kick attempt stopped by Italy's Gianluigi Donnarumma to give the Euro trophy to the Italians. 

Meanwhile, England will need to wait until next year when the World Cup comes around again in Qatar if it hopes to win that elusive international trophy.