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Monday, June 25, 2012

EURO 2012 : Italy beat England on penalties to reach semi-finals

Alessandro Diamanti struck the decisive penalty after Gianluigi Buffon had denied Ashley Cole as Italy booked a semi-final with Germany.

Video Highlights of EURO 2012 : England v Italy quarter-final

Italy were almost in front inside the opening three minutes when Daniele de Rossi's curling volley from 30 yards crashed back off the post with Joe Hart beaten.

England responded just a few minutes later as Glen Johnson found himself on the edge of the six-yard box, but his shovelled attempt produced a superb reflex stop from Gianluigi Buffon.

England retreated more and more as the game wore on and were almost punished in the first period of extra-time when Italy substitute Diamanti saw his cross come back off the post.

The Azzurri finally had the ball in the net with five minutes left of extra-time, but substitute Antonio Nocerino was fractionally offside when he stooped to head home and England held out to force a shoot-out.

Italy dominated the quarter-final throughout, managing 35 shots on goal to England's nine attempts, but neither side were unable to make the breakthrough as the match finished 0-0 at the end of extra-time.

England suffered penalty heartbreak as Italy won 4-2 on penalties.

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