Shoot-out sees England hopes dashed

Shoot-out sees England hopes dashed

The agony of a penalty shoot-out is clear to see on an England fan's face

England football fans react watching the England v Italy Euro 2012 quarter-final match in Leicester Square, London

First published in National News © by

England fans have suffered penalty shoot-out heartache yet again as Roy Hodgson's side crashed out of Euro 2012 against Italy in Ukraine on Sunday night.

The quarter-final in Kiev finished goalless after extra time, before the dreaded spot kicks ended supporters' hopes that this could be their year.

The Three Lions fans held their heads in their hands during the shoot-out when Ashley Young hit the bar and Ashley Cole's effort was saved.

The 6,000 supporters cut a depressing sight as they trudged from the Olympic Stadium after midnight local time, with the long wait for a second major trophy extended.

Paul Farley, 48, from Swanley, south-west London, had sympathy for the England players. "Penalties are rubbish," he said. "It's a very harsh way to go out."

David Martin, 35, from Hull, said: "It's the same again. We just can't take penalties. The disappointing thing for me is that we just sat back during the game and did nothing."

Millions of fans back home were glued to television screens as the drama unfolded. But many dedicated fans had paid hundreds of pounds for last-minute flights, match tickets and accommodation to be inside the 65,000-capacity stadium.

A large number of supporters spent the hours before kick-off in the Kiev fan zone at Independence Square, drinking beer and singing songs in the glorious sunshine.

Assistant Chief Constable Andy Holt, who is representing the British police contingent in Ukraine for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said there were no reports of disorder following the match. "The England supporters are subdued and there are no issues at all," he said.

The atmosphere at an Italian bar in Soho, London was understandably different, as the Italians cheered and shouted in celebration of their side's win. One of the partygoers, Fabrizio Amboroso, said the better team had won. "We deserved the game. It was very hard, we had a lot of chances, it was a fair result," he said.

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