The dream of the Spanish team has ended. The team led by Luis Enrique has fought from the first minute to the last, has shown that it believed in its possibilities and has reached the semifinals. Two styles faced each other and tied, both in the ninety minutes and in extra time. The draw for the penalties decided the balance of two of the teams that have made us the happiest in this European Championship. Álvaro Morata, who scored the Spanish goal, missed the decisive penalty.
The game was an exciting and vibrant match, enjoyed by many football fans. The clash of two styles that triumphed and came out winners. Italy, without the ball, with high pressure and on the counterattack. Spain, with possession, Pedri pin, Dani Olmo appearing on the attack line and filtering balls with combinative play inside the area.
The first blow was given by Italy. A long ball that Laporte rejected, but fell at the feet of Federico Chiesa. The Juventus winger controlled the ball, broke Eric Garcia, found the hole to shoot and put a perfect ball at the far post. Impossible for Unai Simón.
Spain was coming, but something was missing, a special ingredient. Luis Enrique left without Morata, bet like Dani Olmo as a false nine and, although the Leipzig player made a good game, he could not have the presence of his partner. The Asturian changed his mind in the second half and the forward entered the grass. Álvaro Morata, so whistled and criticized, scored the tying goal behind an excellent wall with Dani Olmo. He defined in the face to face with Donnarumma with a shot at the near post, deceiving the goalkeeper, like the great forwards.
Thus the extension was reached. A goal disallowed for clear offside to Italy and some dangerous attack from Spain. Very even extension, although with Spain as the protagonist, who proposed more offensive football. There were no goals and penalties were reached. Unai Simón saved Locatelli’s penalty, but Dani Olmo sent it sky high. Then came the nightmare.
Álvaro Morata, who has become Spain’s top scorer in European Championship history with six goals, took the fourth penalty. The striker, who celebrated his previous goal with goalkeeper Kiko Narváez and Fernando Torres, was convinced of his chances. However, the sky clouded over and Donnarumma guessed the shot. He stopped it. Advantage for Italy. Jorginho sentenced in the fifth penalty of the shootout.
Spain has been eliminated from the European Championship with greatness, exceeding expectations and silencing criticism. The national team has overcome all obstacles and has surprised. Luis Enrique has created a very young team, with many possibilities to grow… and with Morata at nine. Because the forward is much more than the error in the penalty. Morata has managed to silence all the criticism and become the goal scorer for La Roja. We all take the bow in his name.