England captain Steven Gerrard rued his side’s luck after their penalty shootout defeat to Italy in the Euro 2012 quarter-finals on Sunday.
After a goalless 120 minutes at Kiev’s Olympic Stadium, Roy Hodgson’s men went down 4-2 in the shootout, with former West Ham United forward Alessandro Diamanti scoring the winner.
Speaking to BBC Sport after the game, England captain Gerrard said he had hoped Sunday was the night the Three Lions’ penalty fortunes would finally change.
“The players have given everything. I thought we might have the luck in the penalty shootout but it wasn’t to be,” he said.
“When you get your nose in front during a shootout, you just hope you can hang on, but credit to Italy, they got the luck in the shootout.
“The lads at the back were fantastic, we have done the country proud but we go home heartbroken and that is hard to take.”
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney bemoaned his team’s poor record from the spot, after they also lost on penalties at the 1990, 1998 and 2006 FIFA World Cups, as well as Euro 1996 on home soil.
“We’re gutted about it, people weren’t expecting much this tournament but we’ve shown we are a good team,” he added.
“I don’t know why we can’t win penalty shootouts, it’s a hard way to go out and it’s happened too many times now.”
Goalkeeper Joe Hart did well to deny Mario Balotelli during open play, but proved unable to keep out his Manchester City team-mate during the shootout.
“I face penalties against Mario Balotelli on the training ground and I felt confident, but he took a good penalty,” he said.
“I’ll take away the great way we qualified, we’ve lost at the end of the day, but I don’t think anyone has let the country down and we have adapted well to the manager.”
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