As soon as
extra-time came to an end, I had a feeling that was it. England and
penalties just don't work, and as we lost our fifth successive major
penalty shootout that theory was reiterated. It was a night of wasted
opportunities and total lack of dominance on England's behalf, but worst
of all, it was a night of disappointment and continued tournament
main problem for England? We couldn't keep the bloody ball for more
than ten seconds, and when we did eventually work it into a good
position, we made a total waste of it. Johnson's shot straight at
Buffon, Rooney's sky-ward header, Welbeck's attempt not even on target.
We had all the luck, but couldn't find the finish.
thumped his penalty home, there was a sense of
football justice. Italy had dominated for the majority of the game with
England hanging on by the skin of their teeth. The game had barely
kicked off when Daniele de Rossi's curling striker crashed off the post
and crucial blocks from John Terry
and, later on, Joleon Lescott
. Substitute Antonio Nocerino
's headed goal was correctly
ruled offside and a Diamante cross ended up hitting the post.
was a miracle we took it to penalties, but a disappointment
nonetheless. The Three Lions rode their luck, but for not quite long
enough. Brazil 2014 anybody?