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Euro 2020: Italy Knock Spain Out On Penalties To Zoom Into Final

Euro 2020: Italy Knock Spain Out On Penalties To Zoom Into Final

Italy have reached the Euro 2020 final defeating Spain 4-2 in a penalty shootout after 1-1 draw in regulation time in Tuesday’s encounter.

Chelsea midfielder Jorginho scored the decisive penalty after Gianluigi Donnarumma saved Alvaro Morata’s effort.

Both Italy’s Manuel Locatelli and Spain striker Dani Olmo missed the first spot kick for their sides.

Italy took the lead in the 60th with a goal from Federico Chiesa who curled a shot between Spain defenders Aymeric Laporte and Eric Garcia and into the far corner.

Spain got back into the game on 80 minutes thanks to substitute Morata after exchanging passes with Olmo before beating Donnarumma.

Italy have now eliminated Spain in consecutive European championships after also achieving the feat in the 2016 edition.

The Azzuris will now be hoping to land a first continental title since 1968 on home soil.

They will face either England or Denmark in Sunday’s final which will also hold in Wembley stadium.

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  • pompei 3 years ago

    Another blockbuster game. 2 Euro heavyweights going at it. Skills, technique, tactics at a very high level. 2 bad misses by Oyarzabal, an awful penalty from Morata who incidentally grabbed the Spanish equalizer after Chiesa had put Italy ahead. Enrico Chiesa must be a proud papa, watching his son’s exploits at the Euro tournament. Like father, like son indeed. Congrats to the Azzurris for obtaining the final spot. And even if they don’t win, they’ve had a fantastic tournament. But then, who says they can’t win?
    England are likely to be their next opponent, but the Danes will have a thing or two to say about that.
    Having watched several matches at the Euros and the Copa America, it is quite obvious that African countries need to buckle up if they want to compete with Europe and South America at the world cup. The gap has gotten wider. Apart from Algeria, African football is just not at the same level. When I see the way Italy, England, Spain, Brazil, play, I find myself wishing Nigeria played like this. These teams play with a high tempo and great understanding. Passes go to where a player is supposed to be, not where a player is, so there is a lot of movement. There is a great desire and motivation to create chances and score goals. The foot is never taken of the gas pedal.
    In most of these countries that are doing so well, the players join academies at an early age where they are taught football in all its ramifications. In Africa, our players have the basic skills and not much more. The cerebral and technical aspects of the game are largely ignored. This is why it is such a challenge for African teams to compete with their European and South American counterparts. It is also why our Euro based players are so much better than the home based. What Africa has in her favor is the exceptional individual talents she has at her disposal. But against the best in the world, individual talent can only take you so far. We need to start teaching our kids the cerebral and technical side of football.

    • JimmyBall 3 years ago

      I agree with you 100%… You see the way Chiesa curl that ball with the inside of his foot? That’s classic technique… If na our boys they will start adjusting their stomach to face post first then defender to clear ball comot… It’s well!

      • pompei 3 years ago

        “If na our boys they will start adjusting their stomach to face post first then defender to clear ball comot”

        Lol. I dey laugh, but it is a sad reality. Our boys are so poor technique wise. Our strikers don’t know how to open their body up and curl the ball past a goalie. They don’t know how to cross a ball into the box properly. Look at the way the English players cross the ball! E sweet me men! E dey like say make I enter field go attack some of those crosses. Our guys no sabi cross ball. Talking about freekicks, the only technically sound freekick taker we have produced is Jay Jay. Our players just put their foot thru the ball and hope for the best. In Europe and South America, they have techniques that ensure the ball goes up over the wall and bends down into the net.
        Honestly, we have a lot of work to do. We’ve got good players, they just need to learn technique and tactics so we can be at par we the best teams in the world.

        • Dr. Drey 3 years ago

          Hehehehehe…but when Rohr said it would be difficult for an African team to win the world cup, even bingos on the streets started barking….LMAO. The old man knows what he has seen. You’ve got to be playing with these guys week in week out to be able to boss them at the latter stages of the mundial. You cant do that with players battling relegation or players stuck in North Africa or back water European leagues. Teams like Austria, Switzerland, Denmark who have been able to stand toe to toe with these guys (i mean France, Italy, Spain, England) are dominated by players who ply their trade week in week out in the leagues of these Top 5s. For each game of the Euros and Copa America I watch, I just shake my head at the illusion that we want to reach the semifinals of the world cup as things are now….we cant score or defend set pieces, we cant keep our fitness for 90 minutes, we lose concentration every quarter of an hour (we were inch close to kicking messi out of 2018 world cup and moving to the R16 until V.Moses decided let me rest and enjoy watching the match too), we cant bend our shots like Insigne or Chiesa or deliver “meet me for backyard” kind of crosses…crosses that will confuse both the goal keeper and the central defenders…..My brother, we still have a long way to go.

          And the funny thing is that we dont even have a plan to achieve this our pipe dream. Teams like Algeria and Senegal are MASSIVELY recruiting foreign borns into their national teams, they have leagues o, leagues that are far better and far more organized than ours, yet they chase all their france born, holland born and every foreign born in sight, but racists and bigots will cry when Rohr starts 4 foreign borns in the SE at once, according to them they have MANY TALENTS in their league…..LMAOOOoo….Foreign born Nigerians arent Nigerian enough…..Lolz….the ones at home are more Nigerian than the Nigerians born abraod….LMAOOoo. Rohr must come and sit down in their league in 2021 and scout their talents because Westerhoff did so 30 years ago…LMAOooo…their many talents that cannot compete against the likes of Simba of Tanzania or ElMerriekh of Sudan….their many talents who do not even know where to stand on the pitch talk more of how to play when faced with a Mexico team dominated by Mexican league players…..LMAOOOoo. Countries like USA are already revolutionizing their developmental set ups and fixing their young ones in top clubs in the top 5 leagues…you go through the roaster of the USMNT today and you will be shocked at the quality of clubs they play for….Juve, Man City, Dortmund, Barca, Chelsea etc. Before Americans used to be happy that their players are playing against these clubs, now their players play FOR these clubs. These are the ones who are serious about reaching the medal zone at the world cup. We we are concerned about taking our “MANY TALENTS” to the USA to be advertised, with ZERO plans for fixing our foundations.

          We never ready o. Infact Africa as a whole never ready.

          • pompei 3 years ago

            Dr. Drey, well said. A problem recognized is a problem half solved. It is good for us to know exactly where we stand in relation to the football giants on the planet, and if we want to be competitive with these giants, we need to put in the work to achieve that.
            But will greed and corruption in high places allow for this work to be done properly? As long as our administrators continue to prioritize their belly over national interests, I fear that our football ambitions will remain in dreamland.

      • JimmyBall 3 years ago

        In the ongoing Copa America and Euro 2020… I noticed majority of the teams play 4-3-3… Is there an obvious reason for this? Our now favored 4-2-3-1 is also good and stable especially in midfield, but the problem is that whenever it is played to its real detail… It often leaves the main striker isolated from time to time and having to depend heavily on his own ability to play the holdup properly and effectively… but when you come against clinical and dogged defenders like Chiellini and Bonuci, or John Stones and Maguire who are bullies… and those of French National team that as strong and untiring as our own players… how does a system of lone attacker with often delayed support from those playing behind him with as much midfield function as their attacking functions become effective… The Mexico guys play our homebased same 4-3-3 as against Aigbogun’s flat 4-4-2. It will be very good if our Coach can find a way to play different systems such that he could switch these systems during plays for efficiency based on what our opponents throw at us…

  • pompei 3 years ago

    Can we study the way the Italians defend? How is it that they are able to defend so superbly under intense pressure? Their center backs Bonucci and Chiellini are 34 and 36 respectively! Yet, look at the solid defensive performances they produce.
    One thing about the Italians is that every body on the field is capable of defending. The attackers are defending from the front when they lose possession. Immobile and Insigne will produce defensive sliding tackles when necessary. The midfielders provide very good cover for the back four, and run tirelessly in midfield, marking opponents and cutting off channels for passes. The entire attack and midfield chase the ball around when they don’t have it. They press up high on the pitch, denying the opponent time and space to use the ball. It makes the work of the center backs so much easier. No wonder they have the “old men” playing there, who can now use their vast experience to guide their colleagues. It’s like playing with your coach on the pitch! They are so organized, and so effective in stopping attacks. England is also like this. Superbly organized at the back. And hunting the ball down like a pack of wolves in the midfield and the attack when they lose possession. Which is why a final between these 2 sides would be absolutely riveting to watch.
    Nigeria could really benefit from watching the way these 2 teams defend. We have good individual defenders, but they are poorly organized, and they lack tactical discipline, especially when Balogun is not playing. Loss of concentration is the biggest enemy of Nigeria in football. And this occurs mostly after we have just scored a goal. That is when we are at our weakest tactically. We need to fix these issues if we want to go far at the world cup.

  • JimmyBall 3 years ago

    Just imagine how the Italians neutralize the good midfield play of the Spanish with disciplined defensive setup… See how Spain applied high and close pressing making sure the Italians never settle on the ball… this is what we cannot do that countries like Algeria and cameroun are now using against us to unsettle our boys. I am yet to see Super Eagles apply high pressing and disciplined defensive setup… The Italians playing under and “Old Guard Mancini” who believes in the stubborn “Catenaccio” iron-clad defensive structure of great Italian teams of the past has successfully applied the old system with swift 4-3-3 counterattacking forward play to go 33games unbeaten and ultimately land in EURO 2020 finals with a good chance of winning…

  • Ayphillydegreat 3 years ago

    You see guys the problem is that African players are not tactically efficient like the Europeans and South Americans. There’s a reason why countries like Brazil, Argentina, Italy and Germany just to name a few have 15 WorldCup titles between them. To be honest Africa’s chances of reaching the semifinals of the WorldCup was Cameroon in 1990, Nigeria in 94 and Ghana most especially in 2010. A team like Italy will not win a penalty at virtually the last kick of a game and missed it. If Italy were the SuperEagles team leading till the 88th minute in 94 there is absolutely no coming back. Same with Cameroon in 1990. And that’s when about 90% of their players play in Europe. Are this the teams we expect an home based team to face in the WorldCup?? I hope I will see a day when an African team will win the WorldCup or at least reach the Semifinals. But in reality it’s near impossible unless maybe a team can be able to shock the world. At the moment that team doesn’t exist. Complacency and lack of concentration at crucial moment has always been our bane. We can only present a team that can capture the world imagination by maybe reaching the quarter finals at best. Where we meet one of those teams and that’s the end of the road. I’m also looking forward to an Italy vs England final for a fascinating climax to this wonderful tournament. I’m already salivating the Argentina vs Brazil final at the Copa America.

  • pompei 3 years ago

    Catenaccio (the doorbolt) is an old but effective defensive system. We can learn a thing or two from the Italians in this regard. Attacking and creating chances is not our problem. The problems we have are:
    1) Finishing – converting chances into goals
    2) Defending – Defending goal leads, and defending properly when under intense pressure.
    Perhaps NFF can send Rohr on a refresher course to learn a few new concepts.
    And if we don’t want to go to Sokoto, we can try Shokoto. Our next door neighbor Cameroon had a very solid defensive team in the 1980s and early 1990s. Yes, they had good defenders like the late Stephen Tataw and Emmanuel Kunde, but the entire team could defend very well. They were so good at defending, especially defending goal leads, that conceding a goal against them usually meant the end of the game.
    For this reason, we used to call them CHURCH DONE CLOSE back then. One they score you, that’s it. They just sit back and soak up your pressure. They were game management experts. You will find that you may even have 90% possession, but you can’t do anything with the ball. They were so good at keeping opponents away from their vital area. Remember what they did to Maradona and Argentina in the 1990 mundial? The only team that equalized against that Cameroon team was England in that same world cup, a “wind-aided” result in my opinion. The ref might as well have been wearing a 3 Lions jersey. So blatant he was in his bias for the English, awarding 2 of the most dubious penalties I’ve ever seen. His whistle was a potent weapon for the English against the Cameroonians, who were obviously the better side. But I digress.
    We can maybe invite one of the Cameroon defenders of that era and pick their brain on how they did things back then.
    Nigeria as we are now has a strong team that is tough to beat. Of course I’m referring to the foreign legion. If we improve defensively, we will become even stronger. In my opinion, improving defensively will make us a match for the very best teams in the world. But if we continue to be weak tactically and defensively, we might record a win or two against ordinary, mediocre teams, but we will be easy pickings when we confront the best teams.

    • Greenturf 3 years ago

      Cameroon lost by 4 goals to nil against Russia in 1990 world cup last group stage game.

      • pompei 3 years ago

        That was a dead rubber played with reserve players. I doubt very much that we would have the same result if it was a knock out game.

    • Hi Pompei,

      I also want to take issue with what you said about “our players not being able to open up and curl around a goalkeeper” like Chiesa did for Italy yesterday.

      Allow me to kindly draw your attention to the clip below. Please fast forward it almost to the end. You will see our very own Aaron Samuel accomplishing such a deft manoeuvre. Might I add that I think Aaron’s effort is more beautiful to the eye and displatched with greater level of poise and panache. Lol

      🙂 🙂 🙂


      • And Aaron Samuel wasn’t even playing in Europe at the time (let alone a top 5 European league)!

        🙂 🙂 🙂

        • DiMastta 3 years ago

          What’s the big deal in what Chiesa did? Victor has been doing that since his U17 days. Chukwueze had to be trimmed down from being too “Arjen Robin”.
          Nigeria born best players in the SE are virtually academy boys, having rarely played in the poorly managed NPFL.

        • @Jimmyball @Pompei
          I think the issue with African players and their development usually goes beyond playing in top 5 leagues or clubs. I believe there is an aspect of personal development to their trade. To put this context clearly, here is what I mean. The great football nations Brazil, Argentina, England, France and Germany have a history of great players that can be a guiding light to their national team players.In the case of Brazil, it’s was Pele – Ronaldo – Cafu and so on. For Germany – Rudi Voller, Juergen Klinsman, Oliver Bierhoff who was a mentor to Kloser and the likes. These players have helped shaped their future National teams at every stage. Ajax now is the modern template by employing the members of the thier past winning team with the likes of Patrick Kluivert and co to model the next generation. What am I trying to point out here, because there was a team that achieved great success earlier. Those members of that team are somehow employed back to create the next generation. Whether it’s at club sides or at the National level. This means that these players have performed under the highest competitive environments and provide this sort of insight to the next generation. In our case, even our 1994 squad did not play at the top leagues in Europe, only a few players. Back then the best teams were in Germany, Italy and perhaps Spain. England wasn’t as dominant today, to be clear about the players that played in these clubs and leagues were Oliseh at Dortmund, Amunike at Barcelona, Mutiu Adepoju, Finidi and Kanu at Ajax. The rest of the that 1994 squad were Belgium, Switzerland and France. If at today’s example, Lampard mentored Mason Mount, Rudi Volker mentored Kai Havertz, Luis Enrique mentors the likes members of the current Spain squad and so on. Where are the efforts of our past Super Eagles players apart from fighting NFF for the job of the National team job. Even the NFF Technical Committee is suppose to have tapes of football greats and legends to pass to U17 players for study. In order to build those players. But this is not done. Once you have no vision of where you want to get to or who you want to play or be like. You are totally lost. This I believe is beyond sending a coach for refresher courses. I believe the best players that should be our national team coaches should they decide to will be John Mikel Obi and Finidi George.

      • pompei 3 years ago

        Yes Deo, I remember that goal. Very well done by Samuel. Wish we had more players who can do that. Most of our strikers just hit the ball as hard as possible and hope for the best. No placement. From time to time, you see a statistical outlier who can replicate Samuel’s feat as shown in this video, but 95% of the time or more, the technique is poor, or even non-existent.
        Note however, that Samuel was playing outside Nigeria at the time, as you mentioned. China specifically. If a China based player is more grounded technically than our HB, then I would say we have some home work to do, don’t you agree?

  • JimmyBall 3 years ago

    … Someone is asking what the big deal is in what Chiesa did… Lol, really? That’s one of the trickiest techniques to deliver in a high tempo game like that… Insigne does it often, but for Chiesa, he also delivered something as effective against Belgium… I will always say it that chasing after foreign borns while they continue to shun us and instead take up options play for junior age grade sides of countries where they were born Will always be short term solution… we must develop our league and coaches whether we like it or not… unfortunately, most of the developmental funds awarded by FIFA after major tournament participations by Nigeria are often used for other ventures and largely embezzled… We must build local coaching capacities and develop an U-18 NPFL to run almost similar to the main NPFL… we can regionalise and play championship format later to ease financial bunden of travels with the attendant risks in today’s Nigeria… Sadly, good ideas for development abound but whether those administrators saddled with helping us drive a gainful change are prepared is another story alltogther

    • pompei 3 years ago

      Jimbo, I also thought that was a strange comment. But we are all entitled to our own opinions. If somebody thinks Chiesa’s goal is “no big deal”, all power to that person! Loool!

  • Ayphillydegreat 3 years ago

    I’m pretty certain that some of those players advertised in the US against Mexico after they might’ve absconded won’t mind working at McDonald’s in California than playing in the NPFL. Lmao!! That is how deteriorated our league is currently is. By October when they will be playing new friendlies it will almost be a new set of home based players because 90% of this ones brought to the US would’ve fled to oblivion. Some of them will even enter Canada by road. Lmao!! We must fix the league and restructure our facilities at home then talents will automatically be discovered that way. Expecting home based players to prosecute important WorldCup qualifiers is akin to heartbreak and disaster looming. Anyway as long as Rohr remains the coach that ain’t happening. Our foreign players are still struggling to make it out the group stage yet some country that could not qualify for ordinary CHAN are still reserving quotas for home based players LMAO!! Fix your league then the rest will fall in place.

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