It was 16 years ago that England last reached a semi-final of a major competition when they drew with Spain 0-0 after extra time at Euro 2012 in England in the quarter-finals, but then went on to win the penalty shoot out 4-2, which of course was a huge surprise for England.
The England team before semi-final with Germany in 1996
Shearer, Gascoigne and Pearce in the starting line-up
England hardly ever win in a penalty shoot out, and true enough in the semi-finals that year, England drew 1-1 with Germany after extra time, and lost the shoot-out 6-5. We should say that Alan Shearer scored both his penalties in the quarter finals and semi-finals in 1996.
The time before when England did well in a major Championship, was at the 1990 World Cup in Italy, when the great Bobby Robson took England to the semi-finals, after the side had beaten Cameroon 3-2 after extra time in the quarter finals.
That was thanks to two penalties from Gary Linekar.
But there again England lost to West Germany on penalties 4-3 in the semi-final, after drawing the game 1-1 after extra time, and Peter Beardsley scored his penalty for England.
So we have to go back to 1966 for England’s only win ever in a major Championship, when we hammered Germany 4-2 after extra time at Wembley, with Geoff Hurst getting his famous hat-trick, and his West Ham team-mate Martin Peters scoring the second goal.
And with those famous last words from English commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme, when Geoff Hurst scored his third goal just before the end of the game, as he charged down the left wing with some England fans already on the field:
“They think it’s all over – it is now.”
I remember it well because my Dad and I knocked back the two vodkas we were about to down 30 minutes before that, when England had been winning 2-1, but Wolfgang Weber had the cheek to equalize for Germany after 89 minutes – yes it was a hand ball alright.
What a shock that was, but England came back bravely with two extra time goals from Geoff Hurst, who had squeezed Jimmy Greaves out of the starting eleven during the tournament.
England will play Italy tonight in the quarter finals, and we must have a decent change of going through, although it looks like Roy Hodgson will be playing the defensive game he had England playing against Ukraine in their 1-0 win.
England are playing defensive against Italy?
It looks to be two teams fighting it out who are both much better on defense than they are in scoring goals.
We have no idea what will happen tonight, but we are hoping England can do it.
Of course then we will meet Germany in the semi-finals …… it’s good to hear that England are practicing penalties.
Let us know what you think.
Will England Beat Italy Tonight?
- Yes (52%, 308 Votes)
- No (38%, 221 Votes)
- Not Sure (10%, 62 Votes)
Total Voters: 588