Italy edge out Spain on penalties to reach Euro 2020 final

Jorginho’s spot-kick seals progress for Italy who have not been beaten in their last 33 games.

Italy players celebrate reaching the final after winning the penalty shoot-out [Laurence Griffiths/Pool via Reuters]

Jorginho converted the decisive spot-kick as Italy beat Spain 4-2 on penalties after their Euro 2020 semi-final ended 1-1 after extra time on Tuesday, earning them a place in Sunday’s final against either England or Denmark.

Spain missed two of their spot-kicks, including one by substitute Alvaro Morata, whose late equaliser had taken the game into extra time.

After a cagey first half, Italy struck on the hour when a fast-paced break begun by goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma ended with the ball falling for Federico Chiesa, who cut in from the left and curled in a superb finish.

Spain levelled 10 minutes from time when Morata, dropped from the starting team after a run of poor finishing displays, played a clever one-two with Dani Olmo to open up the Italian defence and calmly slot home to take his team into extra time for the third successive game.

Italy were not always on top in this game, though, with Spain the better side for long spells of an epic contest before Chiesa’s goal in a match watched by a crowd of almost 58,000.

For Spain, the failure to find a winner meant penalties again for a side that beat Switzerland in a shoot-out in the quarter-finals.

They had also beaten Italy on penalties at Euro 2008, but this time misses from Dani Olmo and then Morata saw Spain give up the advantage they had been handed when Manuel Locatelli failed with the first kick in the shoot-out.

The Italians celebrated at the end with a large contingent of their UK-based supporters, and a team that has been rejuvenated under Roberto Mancini continues to dream of winning a first European Championship title since 1968.

It is nine years since Spain mauled Italy 4-0 in the Euro 2012 final in Kyiv to win a third consecutive major tournament, and this was the fourth consecutive European Championship in which these powerhouses had met.

Now unbeaten in 33 games, Italy go through to the final to face either England or Denmark, who will meet on Wednesday in the second semi-final.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies