Day 22 of Euro 2016 saw two giants of European football clash, as Germany defeated Italy for the first time in a major tournament.
The pair drew 1-1 in normal and extra-time, before a penalty shoot-out inevitably led to the world champions recording their sixth consecutive shoot-out victory.
The first half lacked many clear-cut chances. However, substitute Bastian Schweinsteiger had a goal rightfully disallowed after Italian wing-back Mattia De Sciglio. Mario Gomez head over the bar and Thomas Muller also hit an effort straight at Gianluigi Buffon.
At the other end Stefano Sturaro saw a drilled effort deflect off Germany defender Jerome Boateng and go wide of goal.
Thomas Muller saw an effort cleared off the line by Alessandro Florenzi just after the break. Joachim Low’s team took the lead on 65 minutes. Gomez found Jonas Hector down the by-line and the full-backs cut-back deflect off Leonardo Bonucci to Mesut Ozil seven yards out and the Arsenal star produced a half-volley to beat Buffon.
Gomez came close to adding a second soon afterwards but saw a clever back-heel effort saved by Buffon. The German striker was then forced off the field through injury and on 77 minutes the Azzurri equalised.
Florenzi crossed into the Germany penalty area and Jerome Boateng raised both of his hands in the air. The referee pointed to the spot and centre-back Bonucci beat Manuel Neuer with the resulting spot-kick.
On 90 minutes Germany centre-back Mats Hummels tripped Italy striker Eder and earned himself his second yellow card of the campaign, which means he will miss Thursday’s semi-final.
The extra-time produced very little goal mouth action, although Julian Draxler saw an on over-head kick fly just over Buffon’s bar.
Penalties produced rare Germany misses from the spot by Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil and Bastian Schweinsteiger, as Muller’s miss ended a run of 22 consecutive penalties scored in shoot-out by Die Mannschaft.
Despite the misses the world champions triumphed 6-5 in the shoot-out. Manchester United full-back Matteo Darmian’s penalty was saved by Neuer and full-back Jonas Hector powerfully fired past Buffon to send the Germans into the last four of the competition.
Joachim Low’s side will either play France or surprise package in that last four clash.