Alessandro Diamanti struck the winning spot kick as Italy beat England 4-2 in a penalty shootout having dominated a 0-0 draw after extra time in the last Euro 2012 quarter-final.

England's Ashley Young and Ashley Cole missed their penalties, leaving Diamanti to coolly slot home and earn the Italians a semi-final clash with Germany.

Italy struck the woodwork twice and had a goal disallowed in extra time while England failed to trouble Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon after an early chance for Glen Johnson.


Italy's Daniele De Rossi crashed a speculative 20-metre shot off the inside of the post in the third minute and Johnson's scooped shot was clawed away by Buffon.

Italy striker Mario Balotelli had a wasteful evening, kicking the post in frustration at one point as he missed chance after chance.

The Italian attacking partnership of Balotelli and Antonio Cassano created problems for England's defence with clever flicks and movement, while De Rossi and Andrea Pirlo were content to shoot from distance.

England's Joe Hart made a stunning double save from De Rossi and Balotelli in the 52nd minute before Riccardo Montolivo fired over the crossbar with the goalkeeper stranded.

England winger Young fired wide in the 65th minute after substitutes Andy Carroll and Theo Walcott created an opening.

Pirlo pulled the stings for Italy throughout the match, his deft dribbles and passing often providing the platform for his side's attacks.

Carroll's aerial presence gave a new dimension to the English attack and Wayne Rooney almost connected with captain Steven Gerrard's dangerous free kick.

Diamanti forced Hart into a smart save after coming on as substitute for Antonio Cassano with 10 minutes left and Rooney blazed an overhead kick over the crossbar in the last minute of stoppage time.

Italy continued to dominate possession in extra time and almost made the breakthrough when Diamanti's curling cross clipped the outside of the post with Hart beaten.

England's exhausted-looking side dropped even deeper in the last 15 minutes of the extra period as the Italians laid siege to Hart's goal.

Italian substitute Antonio Nocerino headed the ball into the net but the effort was ruled out for offside.

In a battle between two teams with poor records in shootouts, England had the early advantage when Montolivo dragged his shot wide.

But after Young crashed his shot against the bar, Nocerino scored, Cole's effort was saved, and Diamanti was left to seal victory for Italy.

Italy   England
11 Fouls 15
28 Throw Ins 10
63 Possession 37
2 Offsides 1
2 Yellow Cards 0
8 Shots On Target 1
17 Shots Off Target 7
7 Corners 3
1 Counter Attacks 2
12 Blocked Shots 2
0 Red Cards 0

England: starting line-up

1 Joe Hart
2 Glen Johnson 6 John Terry 15 Joleon Lescott 3 Ashley Cole
16 James Milner 4 Steven Gerrard 17 Scott Parker 11 Ashley Young
10 Wayne Rooney
22 Danny Welbeck
  • Coach:
  • Roy Hodgson
  • Substitutes:
  • Unavailable:

Italy starting line-up

1 Gianluigi Buffon
7 Ignazio Abate 15 Andrea Barzagli 19 Leonardo Bonucci 6 Federico Balzaretti
21 Andrea Pirlo
8 Claudio Marchisio 18 Riccardo Montolivo 16 Daniele De Rossi
9 Mario Balotelli 10 Antonio Cassano
  • Coach:
  • Claudio Cesare Prandelli
  • Substitutes:
  • Unavailable:
  • Giorgio Chiellini