Ninety minutes and additional 30 minutes of extra time of an exciting, tension-soaked football was what it took Italy to defeat England and end a 53 years wait for a European Championship title in Wembley yesterday.
There was no doubt both teams were going into the history books when they qualified for the final with England’s Luke Shaw scoring the first goal and capitalizing on poor defending to send the home fans into a frenzy.
Some seconds into the 67th minute Leonardo Bonucci brought Italy level in leaving both teams hunting for a winning goal as the game went all the way into extra time and penalties.
However, it was the heavy blow of a penalty shootout loss that killed the renewed hope, which means those 55 years of hurt will have to be extended before they are eventually ended.
Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and 19-year-old Bukayo Saka all failed to convert on the spot consecutively, and could only watch on as Italy celebrated a deserved title with their supporters behind the goal.
After so much revived expectations, optimism and belief, it was a familiar tale of disappointment at Wembley for the England team.
Italy has been the standout team in this tournament, extending their unbeaten run to 34 games having been transformed by Roberto Mancini in the past three years.