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Germany reaches Euro semis after beating Italy in penalty shootout


With two of the best defenses in the tournament facing off on Saturday, chances were at a minimum until the second half opened up for Italy and Germany.

After the teams couldn’t be separated in regulation and after extra time, Germany defeated Italy in a shootout, 1-1 (6-5 on penalty kicks), in Bordeaux. The Germans will take on either hosts France or Iceland in the next round, which takes place on July 7.

Jonas Hector beat Gianluigi Buffon on the final attempt to send the Germans through to the next round, after a back-and-forth showdown that began with six misses in the opening five rounds of shots between the two teams.

Germany broke the deadlock in the 65th minute, when Ozil smashed home a failed clearance from the Italian backline. Jonas Hector found himself open on the left wing, before his deflected cross reached Ozil and the Arsenal attacker gave Die Mannschaft the advantage.

The Italians found a lifeline 13 minutes later, when Leonardo Bonucci equalized from the penalty spot. Centerback Jerome Boateng was the guilty party on the call, after having conceded a corner kick just seconds earlier.

Neither team managed to grab ahold of the game during the opening 45 minutes, with a combined two shots on target all Italy and Germany had to show for their efforts. The Germans found themselves on the ball more through the early goings, however, Antonio Conte’s side improved as the half progressed and began to get the ball into more dangerous areas.


Jonas Hector notched the winner for Germany with the 18th kick of the shootout.


A flurry of poor attempts in the shootout slowed down once sudden death approached, but Matteo Darmian’s miss proved to be decisive for the Italians before Jonas Hector stepped up and buried his effort.


Simone Zaza was substituted on specifically for the penalty shootout, and the Italian striker failed to complete his task in miserable fashion.


  1. I have an idea to reduce the number of knockout games being decided by PKs. How about at the end of Extra Time, the managers are forced to sub off 8 of their 11 players(GK must come off) for bench guys and are allow to preserve 3 field players and then play another, shorter ET period of say, 20 minutes. The effect would be almost all of the squad would get to play and it would turn into an examination of bench depth Fitness would not be a problem because you have fresh legs and the better bench would probably win THEN if still tied after the new extra time period, do PKs.

  2. No one likes penalties but it’s not any worse than deciding it via fake soccer like you guys are suggesting. It’s just part of tournament soccer so deal with it.

    In any event, I’m delighted I won’t have to watch this talentless Italian team any more. Outside of Buffoon and the CBs, this is a really poor Italy team. Nice job by Conte getting them this far but man watching this team is dull.

    • And here is the problem we face…

      Sure, we all agree this is really dumb. But it’s “just part of tournament soccer so deal with it”. Sure, we could create solutions that would allow the better team to have a better chance at winning (instead of turning it into a 50/50 crapshoot), but then that wouldn’t be a “part of tournament soccer”.

      Guys, that 3 pointer in hoops? So stupid. 2 pointers are “just a part of a basketball”. I refuse to add a 3 point line!

      Guys, the extra point and kick off! It’s a part of football, we just need to deal with it! (or we could just remove this eventually, because they are now useless plays).

      Things change, things are improved. Apparently I’m the only one who can figure it out!

      • Brilliant comment except you haven’t suggested anything that’s actually better than a PK shootout. And no, a 7v7 game is not better and is also not real soccer. How is that any better than PKs?

        It’s like this is the first time you guys have watched a tournament. Games are decided by PKs sometimes?!?! Who knew?!?!

      • Nope, I’ve always hated PKs, and now I’m putting my thoughts down on internet paper. 9 v 9, and 7 v 7 is soccer, just because it’s not 11 v 11. Since there is no option to just continue 11 v 11 (due to teams that will continue to bunker/player fatigue), another option should be sought. That is where I come in.

        You are the kinda person who wants to constantly maintain status quo, and likely thought moving the extra point back was a dumb idea, cuz it’s “not how football is played”. Changes can be made, and should be made. I didn’t like it because it didn’t go far enough.

        For some reason people think you can’t make big changes to sport. Again, the 3 point line wasn’t part of initial basketball, and you would have surely been against its introduction. But that’s an innovation that has been very helpful to the game and the entertainment value of it, much like my idea would provide more entertainment (and furthermore, a fairer outcome).

        I haven’t even written yet about how freaking boring all the extra times are, 30 minutes of teams waiting out penalties. Again, what a joke! Every time I write something new i realize how genius my idea is. FIFA, come get me!

  3. Something needs to change. While there were late goals in regulation for the group stages, almost every knockout round has died at the 75 minute mark, with both team basically holding on for penalties.

  4. Go back to golden goal (sudden death) in OT. Allow a fourth sub for the first 15 of OT; another sub for next 15 minutes, etc. Allow teams to get more fresh legs on the field and play until one team wins it.

  5. At one time Germany set the bar for taking OT Penalty Kicks. They would send 5 high-hard-ones
    at you in the upper corner and that would typically do it. Now they look like a college team with
    various types of misses. You couldn’t win a match making only 2 out of your first 5, in more than 1 out of 30 matches. So we may not see the likes of that result for a long time. As for alternatives
    to avoid penalty kicks, I would probably go for letting each team pair down to 9 players for the
    30 minute extra time. The coaches could select the 9 they wanted, and that would probably create
    a lot more openings in front of the goal. As it stands now, the teams are too tired to work their
    way through an 11-man world class defense after playing for 90 minutes.

  6. Zaza coming in to take a penalty with his first touch of the ball, what a shocking mistake by Conte!!

    Ditto that there has to be a better way to decide football games than penalties…

    Italians don’t have world class forwards that could have won the game for them today.

  7. Why are penalties still in existence? What a joke. I don’t even finish watching games that go into penalties. Do people think it’s exciting? I did when I was 12…

    Why can nobody think of a better solution, or even consider alternatives? Except me –

    After 90 mins, take 2 players off per team. 9 v 9. After 10 or 15 minutes, 2 more off. After a set time, 2 more off again and so on until someone eventually scores.

    It’s not hard…yet I have heard nobody offer this option. Hockey does something similar and everyone loves it. The winner stays the best team, generally, and soccer decides it, not some lame kicks between a guy and the goalie.

    Somebody read this and offer me a job in fifa, cuz this is only the easiest and most basic idea I have to improve the sport.

    What a joke.

    • I take it you don’t watch much hockey since they don’t take a player off in the PLAYOFFS. They do it in the regular season and sure it makes it exciting but it’s there also incentives like an extra point in the standings if they win in overtime.

      Your idea is quite honestly the worst one I have seen in a while for a solution to penalties.

      • No, IFAB has tried many different things in the past 20 years to change it but it always comes back to penalties being the best way to decide it. In this years rules they add a fourth sub in the extra time but Euro chose to not use the new rules unlike Copa. Yours is the worst solution even if changing nothing is an option.

      • Wrong. Mine is the best. Just because I’m not a fan of minor, incremental change doesn’t make the idea bad. The issue is simple minded people afraid to think big. ohhhhh, one more sub in extra time, that’s mind blowing!

        How about we just flip a coin…team that calls correctly goes through…

      • It’s a terrible idea to take players off like that. You didn’t even address that the NHL doesn’t do that in the playoffs when games are on the line. They only do it during the regular season. Why doesn’t the NFL do it? The NBA? One reason: because it’s a dumb idea.

      • Why do I have to address that? I thought NHL did it, apparently they don’t in the playoffs. So what? Makes no difference to my idea. Again, I’m the one thinking outside the box here, finding improvement in an awful process. NBA/NFL you can’t compare, because they are both high scoring/scoring is simple. You play 5 minutes extra, somebody will likely win. 10/15 minutes max, unlimited substitutions.

        Ultimately, the comparisons between my idea and your idea (just kidding, you don’t have any, so I’ll use status quo) –

        My idea –

        Pros – Super exciting, action packed, better chance the superior team wins, maintains the game deciding the outcome.
        Cons – Not 11 v 11, potential fatigue (which i have minimized).

        Status Quo –

        Pros – maybe some find it exciting?
        Cons – basically allows the worse team an even chance to win.

        Basically, I’m the guy inventing the 3 point line. Everyone thinks it’s a “dumb” idea and not “just the way it is”…Foresight vs. Myopia. I’ll take innovation 7 days a week. The reason we have to spend 30 extra minutes watching an NFL game on Sunday is because they continue to use the kickoff and extra point, which are useless plays (though surely you like them, as “that’s the way football has always been played!”)

      • You have to address it because your point is moot after that. And no it doesn’t make it more exciting of a game. Only it does to you because you think you are inventing something new when it really is the dumbest thing I have heard in a long time and there are really are a lot of dumb comments on here.
        It isn’t about the status quo, it is that they have tried other things and learned they didn’t work out best. You can keep thinking this idea but you’ll continue to get laughed at when you tout these as some sort of smart ideas.

    • So have you actually considered what would really happen here? Assume both teams are in a 4-4-2. The first two you take off are your strikers. Then your wingers. Then your midfielders. Now you have eight defenders and two goalies playing. Does that sound interesting in any way?

    • Actually, the shoot out was very exciting. You should have watched it. Still, I understand your frustration. Nevertheless, taking players off the field is a terrible solution. Die hards of hockey, by the way, HATE that the NHL has done that. In soccer, it would be worse. Too much field to run and exhausted players would make for pathetic soccer. Can you imagine 8 guys on each side covering that much territory after already running for a full game? Your idea is actually quite silly, though you seem proud of it.

      • I would be fine playing nonstop 11 v 11, but people complain the poor players are tired. Hence, the reason why you keep taking players off. Sure they will be tired, but the goal will be scored much faster.

        Surprised people poopoo-ed this idea (likely because you haven’t thought of it first). And no, I don’t watch hockey, nobody does. At least they’ve made some decisions to try to make the game more exciting.

        Gimme a 7 v 7 germany/italy matchup for 10 minutes. Increases the likelihood Germany will win, as they dominated the game and were the far better squad (just like Argentina was int he Copas, oops).

        Dude talking about tactics changing is senile. Seeing how the team sets up and removes players on the fly is legit excitement, vs. this awful penalty “solution” that makes the game 50/50 and rewards the lousier team.

        I just hope somebody from FIFA reads these comment sections, and makes the decision to hire me ASAP.

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