The Three Lions Are Out But Not Down
England and Italy both played for the draw at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev on Sunday evening and they got exactly what they came for. Roy Hodsgon´s men were lethargic for large periods of the match against a hard working and well organised Italian team and lacked the fighting spirit which had served them so well in recent games.
Soccer may essentially be a young man´s game, but without veteran player Andrea Pirlo´s blatant confidence the blue shirts may very well have ended up as losers. Both England and Italy struggled to create goal scoring opportunities as the game wore on, though. The Italians had the ball in net in the 115th minute, however, but their effort was correctly ruled out by the linesman for offside. According to England coach Roy Hodgson, however, there was nothing more his players could have done as they eventually lost to The Azzurro on penalties. Roy Hodgson: “I have watched all these players smashing in penalties during training but you can´t reproduce the occasion, the tension and the nervousness. We had five great penalty takers but unfortunately for us two of them missed. We saw Ashley Cole scoring a penalty in the UEFA Champions League Final for Chelsea and Ashley Young has converted many for his club sides. We worked as hard as we could and we survived the cramps and physical problems we suffered. We´re going out of this tournament unbeaten in normal time. We´re going home because we can´t win a penalty shootout.”