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UEFA European Championship goes to Italy

Soccer

The GIST: After a match that at times looked more like a diving competition than a soccer game, the Academy Award UEFA European Championship goes to…Italy.

July 12, 2021
Source: UEFA Euro 2020/Twitter
Source: UEFA Euro 2020/Twitter

The big game: It was supposed to be the perfect setup for an England win. At home in front of 60,000 fans at Wembley Stadium, the English team opened with a Luke Shaw dagger in the second minute, the quickest goal in Euro final history

  • England held up for a while, but in the end, it wasn’t meant to be. Italy came back strong, scoring in the 67th minute and forcing extra time. After a scoreless 30 minutes of overtime, it all came down to the absolute worst way to win a game: penalty kicks.
  • Italy’s three penalty goals to England’s two tied a bow on Italy’s perfect redemption story. After failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the “Azzurri” are now undefeated through 34 matches, and their Euro win has propelled them back into soccer’s highest tier.

The aftermath: Back to those English fans. We previously talked about them booing their own team for taking a knee before matches, but things got worse yesterday when Black players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were targeted in online racial attacks after they missed their penalty kicks. Disgusting. 

  • The English team quickly condemned the attacks, and Rashford’s home club Manchester United and Saka’s Arsenal sent out messages of support. 

Up next: With the Euros over and Copa America won handily by Argentina on Saturday, it’s time for the Concacaf Gold Cup, North America’s continental tournament, all in preparation for next year’s 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Of course, we can’t forget about the next biggest soccer event: the Olympic soccer tournament, starting July 21st. The U23 teams will compete on the men’s side, but it’s the women’s tournament we’re especially psyched for. Get excited.