Agony for England fans as Three Lions beaten on penalties by Italy in Euro 2020 final
HERALD photographer Mark Williamson captured all the emotion at Stratford Town FC on Sunday, where England fans watched the Three Lions suffer penalty shootout heartache in the Euro 2020 final against Italy.
England got off to the perfect start at Wembley when Luke Shaw volleyed in at the back post after just two minutes, giving hope that the men's team could quite possibly go on to lift their first major trophy since the World Cup win in 1966.
As the game went on Italy – who came into the final on the back of a 33-game unbeaten run – slowly worked themselves back into the contest and the Azzuri deservedly drew level in the 67th minute when veteran defender Leonardo Bonucci was on hand to stab home the rebound after Marco Verratti's header was tipped onto the post by England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
After a nerve-racking 30 minutes of extra time, neither side could find a winner and so it would be penalties to decide who would go on to lift the Euro 2020 trophy.
Here, the Three Lions missed three of their five penalties, with Marcus Rashford striking the post while Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka – who was taking the decisive fifth penalty – saw their spot-kicks saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Earlier, Harry Kane and Harry Maguire put their penalties away while Pickford kept Gareth Southgate's men in the shootout with fine saves from Andrea Belotti and Jorginho.
However, it was not be as Domenico Berardi, Bonucci and Federico Bernardeschi all scored for Italy to give the Azzuri a 3-2 victory on penalties.
After the match, riot police could be seen breaking through crowds outside Wembley Stadium as fans departed.
Beer bottles were thrown amid chants against Italy and the Metropolitan Police said there had been 49 arrests by officers policing the final, with 19 officers injured “while they confronted volatile crowds”.
The force said: “A number of officers remain on duty, helping fans leaving Wembley or central London. We are there to look out for your safety.”
Police also confirmed they are investigating after footage was posted online appearing to show people being punched and kicked inside the stadium.
A security breach ahead of the match saw a “small group” of people get into the stadium without tickets, prompting officials and police to work together in efforts to identify and remove them.
The Football Association denounced those who forced their way in as “an embarrassment” and vowed to work with authorities to “take action” against them.