By Leonard Kamugisha Akida
Its a landmark evening for Mancini after he has emerged a winner of UEFA Euro 2020 champions against England, leading his Italian team to win a second trophy after 53 years since 1968.
Italy’s chances to win this trophy were at first seemingly shattered by England’s defender Luke Shaw who netted in the fastest-ever goal in Euro finals recorded at 1:56 minutes.
Luke Shaw’s early opener was cancelled out by Leonardo Bonucci in the second half who scored an equalizing goal for Italy.
The deserved equaliser eventually came from a set-piece, with veteran defender Leonardo Bonucci tapping in after a scramble on 67 minutes and, at 34 years old, becoming the oldest goalscorer in a Euros final. He was also one of three Italians to find the net from 12 yards at the end of extra-time to seal their second Euros crown, after their first in 1968.
Leornado Bonucci’s goal was a ray of hope to Italy in this fantastic 34-match unbeaten run which culminated in Mancini becoming the first Italian coach to lead his side to a UEFA EURO since Ferruccio Valcareggi in 1968.
“Not a bad evening’s haul for Bonucci. The Henri Delaunay Cup and a Star of the Match double for the defender.”
The 90 minutes and extra time match ended in a 1-1 Draw and this time was to either see a trophy coming home (London) or going to home (Rome) in penalty shootouts.
It was however a match report as England and Gareth Southgate suffer penalty shootout heartbreak, with Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka missing from the spot, after a 1-1 draw.
The penalty shoot-out
Player Team Outcome
Domenico Berardi Italy Scored
Harry Kane England Scored
Andrea Belotti Italy Saved
Harry Maguire England Scored
Leonardo Bonucci Italy Scored
Marcus Rashford England Missed
Federico Bernardeschi Italy Scored
Jadon Sancho England Saved
Jorginho Italy Saved
Bukayo Saka England Saved
The 3-1 Penalty score made Italy lift the Henri Delaunay Cup for the second time after 53 years since since Giacinto Facchetti in 1968 and, the Southgate side which was so hungry to win this trophy after 55 years of no win were left once again heartbroken.
That win for Italy sees them win their second EURO title, 53 years after they won their first in 1968 – the longest gap between titles for a nation.
The UEFA Star of the Match has been announced as Leonardo Bonucci. UEFA Technical Observer Packie Bonner said of Bonucci’s showing: “It was such a strong defensive performance from the 34-year-old. He showed distribution out from the back and the all-important equaliser.”
Bonucci becomes the most Azzurri appearances at the UEFA EURO finals, the oldest goalscorer in the tournament’s showpiece, and his hands on the Henri Delaunay Cup.
Italy are unbeaten in their last 34 international matches W27 D7 – last defeat was in September 2018 (vs Portugal).