England Crash Out Of Euro 2012
England crashed out of the UEFA European Championship soccer competition late on Sunday night in a battle fought to the wire, and beyond.
At first it looked like a rejuvenated renaissance England squad, enjoying a whole new spell of popularity and confidence under new manager Roy Hodgeson, was going to dispel the doubters to go further than the quarter finals. They started the first half with passion, determination and even a little panache, but for the most part they looked inferior to the forceful dynamic Italy.
Italy set apart in a class of their own for the majority of the pitch battle, subjecting the English players to attack after attack. They took most of the possession, and passed the ball nearly three times as much as their slightly inferior opponents. England coach, Roy Hodgson, picked an unchanged squad from the last Euro match, and for a while it seemed to be working as the first part of the fast half belonged to England.
There were many chances for England, but none of the team could capitalize on them to slot one passed the Italian goal keeper, Buffon. The first half ended goalless and the promise of a second half of goals galore never materialized. Italy dominated the play, the possession and the chances, a number coming from the vibrate yet temperamental Mario Balotelli. Although as usual he mixed moments of genius with others of complete slackness and moves more like a Sunday pub league player.
The woodwork came to England’s defense on a couple of occasions when shots from Italy’s finest hit the post, however the only time the ball hit the net was a sleek header from Nocerinoa as penalties loomed which was ruled out for offside.
Former German super player Jurgen Klinsmann watched the game with keen interest "Italy were far superior to England. What impressed me was technically they controlled the game, but also they were physically stronger. That surprised me, and they deserved to get into the semis where they will expect a good clash with Germany. I had hopes for England but to be honest they didn't deserve it because they could not keep tempo with Italy, they didn't close down spaces and it was too big a mountain to climb."Continued on the next page