A penalty shoot out was required for England to get past Spain, and set-up a semi-final clash with old rivals Germany. ITV Sport continue to show these games and this is the fifth and final episode in our series, see parts one to four here: England 1 v 1 Switzerland England 2 v 0 Scotland England 4 v 1 Netherlands England 0 v 0 Spain So this was it. Germany again. Could England put away the memories of Turin in 1990 or were they to succumb once again to the relentless German appetite to win? The game was as close as the final score suggested. Two early goals parked the sides at 1-1, a scoreline that persisted to the end of extra time. England had not one but two huge chances to win the game late on. Darren Anderton hit the post with the net gaping, as he tried to turn a ball that had trickily landed behind him, then famously Paul Gascoigne failed to connect with a cross that seemed easier to finish than not. No touch, no shot and therefore no mention in the sequence: As we can see this was not a game of high quality chances. Apart from Anderton’s miss, Alan Shearer’s 3rd minute opener was the only shot significantly in advance of the penalty sport for either side. England once again tweaked their formation in this game, with three centre backs in a nominal 3-5-2 system, with wingers rather than traditional full backs placed in the wide slots: Unusually England did not make a substitution during the whole game, which gives us a unique opportunity to compare the first and second half pass positions without the interruption of replacements: Steve McManaman and Darren Anderton kept to their wings in the first half, but were far more flexible in the second half. Gascoigne too saw a change in role from half to half, as he moved forwards as the game went on. Territory wise, England had far the better of it. Six players attempted over twenty passes in Germany’s final third, while no German player attempted more than fifteen at the opposite end. David Platt in particular was neat and tidy with 94% passing, while unusually for a forward, Teddy Sheringham got through the most volume; 75 passes in total. In the end though, they couldn’t make it pay and the game went to penalties. Eleven penalties hit the back of the net before Gareth Southgate stepped up to take England’s sixth, and missed. Once more it was not to be England’s day, and the German team went on to the final, in which they conquered the Czech Republic to win the tournament.
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