‘Worst feeling in the world’: England lament the loss of something they had never had - GulfToday

‘Worst feeling in the world’: England lament the loss of something they had never had


A dejected England’s Harry Kane (left) consoles his wife Katie after their loss against in the final of the Euro. Agence France-Presse

England captain Harry Kane admitted his side’s penalty shoot-out defeat in the Euro 2020 final against Italy on Sunday was “the worst feeling in the world”.

Along with Harry Maguire, Kane was one of only two England players to score from the spot as Italy won the shoot-out 3-2 after a 1-1 draw following extra time at Wembley.

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all missed their penalties, leaving England to rue a wasted opportunity to win their first major trophy since the 1966 World Cup.

“Penalties is the worst feeling in the world when you lose,” Kane told ITV.

“Anyone can miss a penalty. Penalties is penalties. We went through a process. The boys did everything they could, it just wasn’t our night.”

“We were playing against a very good side. We got off to the perfect start. Maybe dropped a little too deep sometimes. They had a lot of the ball,” Kane said.

“We looked fairly in control, they didn’t create too many chances. They got their breakthrough from the set-piece and after that was 50-50.”

After reaching their first European Championship final in an uplifting run to their first major title match since the 1966 World Cup, Kane insisted England would bounce back from the agonising loss.

“We win together, we lose together. We’ll learn and grow from it. Those boys will grow from it and it will give us more motivation for the World Cup next year,” he said.

“You’ve got to hold your heads high. It’s been a fantastic tournament.”

Meanwhile, coach Gareth Southgate urged England to use the pain of their Euro 2020 final defeat against Italy to fuel success in the future as the Three Lions boss accepted the blame for their heartbreaking penalty shoot-out defeat.

When it came to penalties, Southgate gambled by sending on late substitutes Rashford and Sancho specifically for their prowess from the spot.

The move backfired as England suffered the latest in a long line of bitter shoot-out defeats at major tournaments.

“That is my responsibility. I chose the guys to take the kicks. I told the players that nobody is on their own in that situation,” Southgate said.

“It is my decision to give Saka that penalty. That is totally my responsibility. It is not him or Marcus or Jadon.

“Marcus and Jadon have been by far the best in the lead-in. It was a gamble (to bring them on), but if we gamble earlier we maybe lose the game in extra time.”

England had actually won their last two penalty shoot-outs against Colombia at the 2018 World Cup and against Switzerland in the 2019 Nations League. But even those successes weren’t enough to keep Southgate’s players from losing their nerve when the stakes were highest.

With over 60,000 fans roaring them on and millions more watching at home, sporting immortality beckoned for England if they had won the shoot-out.

Jordan Pickford did his part with two saves and Southgate insisted he had no regrets about his picks for the penalty takers.

“We’ve tracked them, what they’ve done with their clubs over a long period of time and what they’ve shown in training as well,” Southgate said.

“That’s the process that worked for us in Russia and in the Nations League. Tonight it didn’t quite work.”

“We did start well. They were bound to have a spell where they came into the game,” Southgate said.

“We didn’t keep the ball well enough in that initial period in the second half. It was our lack of composure in possession that turned the game. The way they used the ball was better than us.”

After an uplifting run to their first European Championship final featuring memorable knockout stage wins over Germany, Ukraine and Denmark, Southgate and his players have to pick up the pieces after seeing their dreams shattered.


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