Italy Wins Second Euro Cup Title After Beating England on Penalties 

 - Sakshi Post

Nearly after 28 years, Italy lifted their second European Championship trophy by defeating England 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley Stadium in London. The match had ended 1-1 after extra time. Italy Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma saved two penalties in a row taking his team to the title.  

Italy had earlier reached the final in Euro 2000 and Euro 2012, as well, but had lost to France, and Spain respectively. This is the first major international trophy for Italy since their 2006 FIFA World Cup win.

Luke Shaw gave England a strong start as he sent a thunderous left-footed volley past Italy goalkeeper Donnarumma into the back of the net to give his side the lead in the 2nd minute. Experts say that it was the fastest goal ever scored in a Euro final.

However, Italy had failed to get their passing game going in the first 20 minutes. Shot by Federico Chiesa went wide off the goalpost. Later, Roberto Mancini’s team took control of the match after the half-hour mark. The second half witnessed a dynamic Italy put pressure on the England defense as they dominated possession.

The pressure almost succeeded when Raheem Sterling took Lorenzo Insigne down just outside the England box. But the following free-kick was struck wide by Insigne, and Italy could not find the equalizer.

Chiesa almost netted the kick due to the defensive error from England but goalkeeper Jordan Pickford made a superb move to deny the Italian forward. Later, Leonardo Bonucci brought things back in the 67th minute as he netted in a goal on the rebound.

A corner-kick set up the moment for Italy as Marco Verrati's header was saved by Pickford at a point-blank range. But as he deflected the ball, it landed straight at Bonucci's feet in front of the goal and he made the most of it.

During the remainder of the second half, both the teams continued to search for the winner but neither of them could take the lead due to a few nervy minutes. And then the match went to extra time.

The first 15 minutes of the extra time got no clear chances for both the teams. During the second half, they went in search of the winner, but it ended 1-1. Later, Bonucci converted colly for Italy to put things back at 2-2, while Rashford hit the post after a long-delayed spot-kick.

Donnarumma saved Sacho's shot to bring Italy within one goal of victory. But the dependable Jorginho couldn't beat Pickford, who made a great save to keep England in the match. Then, Bukayo Saka took the decisive spot-kick and Donnarumma saved again to bring happiness for the Italian team and the supporters.

The victory in the finale brings great fortunes for the Italian national team, who had failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Italy is now unbeaten in 34 straight international matches. 

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