Euro 2020: Giorgio Chiellini was in a playful mood ahead of the coin toss before penalties.© AFP
Italy captain Giorgio Chiellini was in a joyous mood at the coin toss before the penalty shootout against Spain in the Euro 2020 semi-final on Wednesday. He exchanged pleasantries with Spain captain Jordi Alba, laughing and joking with the Spaniard and even hugged him tightly after having jokingly punched him in the face. While Alba was far from amused, Chiellini’s apparent calmness ahead of the shootout ran through his team as Italy beat Spain 4-2 on penalties to make the final of the championship.
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This was after the teams finished 1-1 after 90 minutes as Federico Chiesa gave Italy the lead but Alvaro Morata equalised for Spain.
However, Morata and Dani Olmo missed their penalty shots as Spain failed to repeat their 2008 Euro performance where they had beaten Italy on penalties.
Italy’s win on Wednesday gave them hopes of winning their first Euro title since 1968 and their unbeaten 33-match streak will be tested when they face England or Denmark in the final on July 11.
The win was all the sweeter for Italy as it came nine years after Spain had beaten them 4-0 in Euro 2012 final in Kiev.
Spain had beaten Switzerland in the quarter-finals in another penalty shootout but couldn’t repeat that performance here.
In the second semi-final of Euro 2020, England will meet Denmark at Wembley Stadium on Thursday.
England have had a dream run in the tournament thus far and have played all but one of their matches at home.
England’s 2-0 win over Germany in the Round of 16 was one of the highlights of their campaign.
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