England manager Gareth Southgate has revealed that the Three Lions’ Euro 2020 semi-final penalty-takers were decided by him in a simple system of coin tosses. England went through to the final of the tournament with a 1-1 draw against Belgium after a 1-2 loss to Croatia in the quarter-finals. Southgate told the BBC: “When I picked the teams, the players were all in a room and they were given two coins [to choose between].” One was to keep the coin, the other was to flip.
With the biggest game of the tournament in the bag, England boss Gareth Southgate has chosen the team that will take on Croatia in Moscow. His plan to play the games without the suspended Harry Kane has worked well so far, but he has still selected the same starting eleven as for the win over Sweden.
It’s up to me.
England coach Gareth Southgate knows all too well how painful a penalty kick can be. After losing to Italy in the Euro 2020 final, he consoled Bukayo Sack and then took matters into his own hands.
After Gianluigi Donnarumma kicked Sack’s penalty, the 19-year-old was understandably upset and tucked his head into his shirt, but he was soon surrounded by his teammates, who once again showed the strong cohesion that has been evident throughout the tournament.
As Saka held back his tears, he was embraced by Southgate, whose thoughts must have gone back to the defeat in penalty kicks at Euro 96.
Twenty-five years later, he watched Marcus Rashford hit the post and Jaydon Sancho and Saka hit back with hit-and-run goals in Italy’s 3-2 win after a 1-1 draw.
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