It’s happened again! England have found themselves on the wrong end of a penalty shootout defeat to Germany, this time in Tuesday’s European U21 Championship semi-final in Poland.
Aidy Boothroyd’s side started brightly but as the first-half wore on, Germany started to dominate and eventually took control via a Devie Selke header on 35 minutes.
However, before the break, England drew level with Leicester’s Demarai Gray scoring after a corner.
In the second-half, the Young Lions once again started strongly and went ahead via a close-range effort from Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham.
Yet once again, Germany improved as the half worn on and eventually got back on level terms on 70 minutes, with sub Felix Platte heading home.
The Germans pushed for the winner and went close on a number of occasions. However, the game would ultimately go to extra-time.
Neither side could make the breakthrough in the subsequent 30 minutes, leading to yet another England v Germany shootout.
Maximilian Arnold netted the first penalty for Germany before Lewis Baker made it 1-1.
Everton’s new-signing Jordan Pickford then did well to keep out Yannick Gerhardt’s effort. However, scorer of England’s second goal in normal time, Abraham, then saw his weak effort saved by Julian Pollersbeck.
Ben Chilwell stepped up and sent Pollersbeck the wrong way, only for Max Meyer to produce a clinical spot-kick finish and make it 3-2 to the Germans.
Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse then blasted his penalty into the roof of the net, before sub Nadiem Amiri made it 4-3 to the German youngsters.
The pressure was now on Ward-Prowse’s Southampton team-mate, Nathan Redmond, only for the winger to see his decisive effort saved by a diving Pollersbeck.
So Germany progress to the final while an English side once again lose on penalties to their old foe.
However, Boothroyd and his charges can be proud of a very good showing which bodes well for the future of English football.
Germany will face Spain’s supremely gifted side in the final, after a hat-trick from Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez fired the Spaniards to a 3-1 victory over Italy.