Italy required a 4-2 penalty shoot-out victory to beat a talented Spain team and book their place in the Euro 2020 final. The match finished 1-1 after extra time.
The Azzurri took the lead in the second half through Federico Chiesa’s excellent curling shot but were pegged back with 10 minutes to go by Alvaro Morata’s finish after a fine move.
Extra time passed with Spain looking the more threatening, but neither side quite had a cutting edge.
Spain started the game in a much more aggressive manner than they had previously shown all tournament. The link-up play was excellent and Mikel Oyarzabal and Fernan Torres both had presentable chances in the first 15 mins.
La Roja continued to play some very pretty football in the second half but with half an hour to go, it was Italy who took a 1-0 lead. An excellent counter-attack saw Insigne play the ball through for Ciro Immobile. He was beaten to the ball but Chiesa picked it up and curled it into the bottom corner from just inside the box.
With 10 minutes to go Spain drew level. A wonderful one-two between Morata and Dani Olmo saw the striker go through on goal and slot past Gianluigi Donnarumma.
The 90 minutes ended 1-1 which was no less than Spain deserved from the game.
Spain were the better side again in the first half of extra time, almost scoring on at least two occasions. The midfield looked much fresher than Italy’s and Morata was providing a constant threat.
The second half showed that both sides had almost nothing left in the tank. Penalties would be needed to separate them. Giorgio Chiellini decided that Italy will kick first.
Manuel Locatelli stepped up first and saw his penalty saved. Next up was Spain’s Dani Olmo who blazed his penalty over the bar.
Andrea Belotti put Italy ahead and Gerard Moreno then levelled it up. Leonardo Bonucci was next and he calmly slotted his penalty away. Thiago followed for Spain with a cool finish.
Federico Bernadeschi fired into the top corner next, and he was followed by Morata who saw his penalty saved by Donnarumma.
Jorginho was next and he superbly fired Italy into the Euro 2020 final. They will play either England or Denmark at Wembley on Sunday 11th July.
Italy: Locatelli (SAVED 0-0), Belotti (GOAL 1-0), Bonucci (GOAL 2-1), Bernadeschi (GOAL 3-2), Jorginho (GOAL 4-2).
Spain: Olmo (MISS 0-0), Moreno (GOAL 1-1), Thiago (GOAL 2-2), Morata (SAVED 3-2).