Late substitute Alessandro Diamanti scored the decisive penalty kick on Sunday night to give Italy a 4-2 shootout win over England and a chance to hold off the German machine in the Euro 2012 semis.
Italy had everything it needed to beat England in the regulation but Roy Hodgson’s charges had a bit of luck staying alive until penalties.
The Italians dominated throughout, outshot England significantly, twice hitting the post, but poor composure in front of Joe Hart’s goal didn’t earn them anything valuable.
They even thought they had scored a late winner through substitute Antonio Nocerino, who headed home from Diamanti's cross in the 115th, but the goal was ruled out due to offside.
The game was decided on penalties, historically England’s weak point. And history repeated once again. Ashley Young hit the crossbar with England's third, and Ashley Cole's next attempt was saved by Gianluigi Buffon.
Mario Balotelli, Andrea Pirlo, Antonio Nocerino and Diamanti made sure Italy would play so far perfect Germany in the semifinal on June 28.