Same old story for England

There are few things more certain in life than England losing a penalty shoot-out to Germany...or indeed almost any other nation.

Wednesday, 28th June 2017, 11:30 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:34 am
Nathan Redmond being consoled by Demarai Gray after his missed penalty meant England went out of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship on Tuesday night

Aidy Boothroyd’s Under-21s side became the latest victims as they were beaten 4-3 on spot-kicks by their German counterparts in the semi-finals of Euro 2017 in Poland following a 2-2 draw.

A World Cup semi-final defeat to West Germany in 1990 kicked off a horrible run for England.

Here, we look at the Three Lions’ and Young Lions’ spot-kick woes.

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England’s penalty shoot-out hell began at Italia 90 when West Germany beat Sir Bobby Robson’s side in the semi-finals. Despite a good start to the shoot-out with Gary Lineker, Peter Beardsley and David Platt all scoring their penalties, England could not hold their nerve. For every penalty England scored the Germans netted their own. Stuart Pearce then had his penalty saved by Bodo Illgner, before Chris Waddle blasted his kick way over the crossbar as England crashed out.


England claimed their first and so far only shoot-out success in the quarter-final against Spain, as Pearce redeemed himself for his 1990 miss by holding his nerve at Wembley, while David Seaman’s save from Miguel Angel Nadal’s kick took them into the last four. But the penalty jinx returned against Germany, with Gareth Southgate’s weak effort saved by Andreas Kopke as the semi-final shoot-out entered sudden death. Andreas Moller scored Germany’s final penalty as England failed to bring an end to 30 years of hurt.


England drew 2-2 with Argentina in their second-round match, with the initial 90 minutes most memorable for a stunning solo goal by Michael Owen and the sending-off of David Beckham. Argentina scored the first penalty in the shoot-out and Alan Shearer equalised. Things were looking promising when Seaman saved Hernan Crespo’s effort, but Paul Ince’s subsequent spot-kick was also saved. Two more penalties were converted by each side, but after Argentina went 4-3 ahead, David Batty was unable to convert to condemn England to an early departure.

EURO 2004

Another 2-2 draw, this time with Portugal, meant a shoot-out, and this time England made a dreadful start as Beckham blasted the first kick over the bar. England scored their next two and Portugal missed one which meant England were back in the game. After John Terry, Owen Hargreaves and Ashley Cole all bagged their penalties the score was 5-5. Darius Vassell then had his penalty saved and the Portuguese goalkeeper Ricardo put the ball past Seaman and England were out once again.


Two years later at the World Cup in Germany, England and Portugal met again in the quarter-final. A goalless draw meant that England were once again facing penalties. Portugal scored their first and then Frank Lampard’s effort was saved. Portugal went on to miss their next two, with Hargreaves scoring, but Steven Gerrard was unable to press home England’s advantage as his shot was saved. Portugal’s Helder Postiga then netted his penalty, and Jamie Carragher missed. Cristiano Ronaldo sealed England’s exit from the spot.

EURO 2007 - UNDER-21s

Separating England and Holland in the semi-finals of the 2007 Under-21 European Championship proved difficult, with the Young Lions eventually beaten 13-12 on penalties. The game had ended 1-1 after extra-time, with Leroy Lita giving England a half-time lead. After injured defender Steven Taylor had limped up to score a spot-kick, Anton Ferdinand, who had successfully converted one penalty, hit the crossbar with a second, with Gianni Zuiverloon firing home the winner for Holland.

EURO 2012

A battling goalless draw against Italy meant England went to a quarter-final penalty shoot-out once more. After Mario Balotelli and Gerrard began confidently, it was advantage England after Riccardo Montolivo struck wide and hopes grew when Wayne Rooney put away his effort. However, Ashley Young rattled the bar and then Cole’s effort was saved by Gianluigi Buffon, while Andrea Pirlo and Antonio Nocerino found the back of the net before Alessandro Diamanti gave the Azzurri an unassailable 4-2 lead to confirm England’s elimination from a major tournament in familiar circumstances.

EURO 2017 - UNDER-21s

There was more semi-final heartbreak against Germany after Nathan Redmond’s shoot-out miss sent England Under-21s out of Euro 2017. Demarai Gray had cancelled out David Selke’s opener before Tammy Abraham put England ahead for the first time just after the break in Poland. Felix Platte’s fine header sent the game into extra-time, with England hanging on before penalties. All eyes were on £30million goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and he kept out an effort from Yannick Gerhardt, but opposite number Julian Pollersbeck denied Abraham and then saved Southampton winger Redmond’s spot-kick as Germany won 4-3.