On July 11, Italy beat England in the European soccer championship that took place at London’s Wembley stadium. English player Luke Shaw scored extremely early into the game — only two minutes after kickoff, as reported by NBC News. However, Italy’s defender, Leonardo Bonucci, came out of halftime strong to even the score.
As the final score was 1-1, the game’s winner was ultimately determined by a penalty-kick shootout. Italy won the shootout 3-2 after blocking England’s final shot. Italy’s Jorge Luiz Filho had missed the previous shot, but Italy was already up 3-2. The score remained as Gianluigi Donnarumma, a 22-year-old Italian goalkeeper, made two saves. This caused England’s last attempt to hit the post and allowed the Azzurri to triumph in the final moments of the game.
This was the first championship played by England’s men’s soccer team since 1966, and the team has yet to beat Italy in a major tournament. Italy’s win on Sunday marks the team’s first triumph in the European championship since 1968. The Washington Post reported that before the game on Sunday, Queen Elizabeth said that she wishes for “history [to] record not only [the team’s] success but also the spirit, commitment and pride with which [they] have conducted [them]selves.”
Because of COVID-19 pandemic guidelines, Wembley stadium was not allowed to operate at full capacity during the championship. However, over 60,000 fans — who mostly came from England — were still permitted to attend the game at the stadium. Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton were among those in attendance and their young son Prince George.
Crowds cheered when the Italian captain, Giorgio Chiellini, held the trophy in victory at the end of the game. According to BBC reporter Mark Lowen, Italy’s “victory has brought joy back to Italy after the hell of the pandemic.” Fans of the Italian soccer team are excitedly celebrating the Azzurri’s victory across the world.