When spectating as a neutral penalty shootouts are fun to watch. But that is not the case for either set of fans. Ask any German or Italian fan that what was going through their hearts last night when the game was taken to penalties. I am pretty sure the answers would range from ‘nervous’ ‘fright’ or ‘panic’.
In a game that had no clear favorites, the Germans emerged triumphant beating an Italian side that was equal to them in all respects. Mesut Ozil’s well crafted goal in 65th minute was equalized by sheer stupidity of Jerome Boateng when he managed to handle the ball in the box in a meme-esque fashion that awarded theItalians a penalty. Leonardo Bonucci submimely converted from the spot and brought the match back to square one in 78th minute. Some brilliant saves made by the Italian defenders saw the match proceed to extra time and further to penalties.
When one side has Manuel Neuer between the posts while the other has Gianluigi Buffon, one cannot help but be divided. And they didn’t disappoint. The penalty shootouts were poor by the standards of the teams involved but that rather threw spanners in the level of excitement. Of the first five either side managed to miss 3 penalties keeping the score at 2 a piece. A sudden death later saw both converting the next 3 penalties where Jerome Boateng got his redemption. Manuel Neuer saved the day for Germans when he saved a weak penalty by Darmian. Buffon unfortunately couldn’t replicate his nemesis’s action and saw Jonas Hector’s penalty inches past him.
The ending was an emotional roller-coaster and no matter what the outcome were it was always supposed to be. This is why events like Euro are famous for. Delivering engaging matches by pitching the best against each other. Although the Euro is over for Italy, the Germans have managed to survive another day. Will they outlive the remaining four teams is the question of the hour!