England 0 Italy 0: Steven Gerrard heartbroken by shootout defeat
England captain Steven Gerrard cursed his side's "bad luck" after the Three Lions were beaten on penalties by Italy in the last eight
A heartbroken Steven Gerrard was left to reflect on another shootout failure for England after Italy triumphed on penalties to reach the semi-finals of Euro 2012.
After a goalless 120 minutes largely dominated by the Italians, missed spot-kicks from Ashley Young and Ashley Cole eventually proved the difference as Alessandro Diamanti slotted home the winning penalty to set up a clash with Germany.
Three Lions captain Gerrard was quick to praise his team-mates’ efforts but admitted his despair at the result after coming so close.
“We do [leave the tournament with our heads held high] but it still doesn’t help the heartbreak,” Gerrard told BBC Sport. “I just feel for the players who from day one have given absolutely everything. Today we did the same.
“I thought this time on a penalty shootout we might have had that bit of luck we need but it wasn’t to be.
“In a penalty shootout, when you get your nose in front, you’re praying that you see it out and that it’s your turn. But credit to Italy, they’re a fantastic team and they got the bit of luck in the shootout.
“The lads at the back were fantastic tonight. Everyone’s been great in training. Every time we’ve come out I think we’ve done the country proud but again we go home with heartbreak, which is difficult to take.”
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