England turn penalty torment around to reach Euro semis

England turn penalty torment around to reach Euro semis

England’s history at major tournaments is littered with penalty pain but they put that tortured past behind them to beat Switzerland and reach the semifinals of Euro 2024.

The Three Lions were perfect from the spot with all five kicks in Duesseldorf, while goalkeeper Jordan Pickford continued his fine penalty record by saving from Manuel Akanji.

It was quite a contrast to the penalty heartbreak that Gareth Southgate’s England side went through three years ago when they lost the final of Euro 2020 on home soil.

As a player Southgate also suffered the ignominy that comes with missing in a shoot-out more than most after his penalty was saved in the Euro 96 semifinal exit to Germany.

But the England manager’s attention to detail is helping turn the tide on their record with three wins from four shoot-outs under his watch.

England won a World Cup shoot-out for the first time in their history against Colombia in 2018 en route to the semifinals.

Victory in Saturday’s quarterfinal was just their second ever in a Euros in six attempts, while they also beat the Swiss in a third-place playoff at the 2019 Nations League finals.

“We think we’ve got a good process. We’ve been in four, we’ve won three,” said Southgate.

“Of course, we got absolutely crucified for the one we lost and that’s always going to be the case because it is outcome based.

“We refined that process a little bit. We have more regular penalty takers in the squad now than then and more that have been in shoot-outs.”

Source link: Daily Trust/