Italy gets past England in Euro 2012 quarterfinals | Soccer
Italy beat England on penalty kicks to advance to the Euro 2012 semifinals. Italy will play Germany on Thursday.
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KIEV, Ukraine — After two hours of clever, often dominating but in the end fruitless play, Italy found the answer against England.
Alessandro Diamanti scored the decisive kick Sunday to send Italy through to the European Championship semifinals with a 4-2 victory in the shootout. Neither team scored in regulation or extra time.
Italy will play Germany in a Euro 2012 semifinal match Thursday in Warsaw, Poland. Defending champion Spain faces Portugal in a semifinal Wednesday in Donetsk, Ukraine.
The final is Sunday in Kiev.
"We deserved this victory," Diamanti said. "The penalties rewarded our dominance during the match. It's only fair."
But not until penalties by Mario Balotelli, Andrea Pirlo — with an audacious slow chip shot down the middle of the goal — and Antonio Nocerino did Italy find the net. Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney scored England's penalties.
The difference: Ashley Young hit the crossbar with England's third attempt and Ashley Cole's attempt was saved by Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
For England, it was yet another exit from a major event in the quarterfinals after a penalty shootout. England lost to Portugal in the same manner at Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup.
"It's obviously a hard way to go out," Rooney said. "And it's maybe happened too many times now."
Major League Soccer
• Brandon Barklage scored the first two goals of his 22-match MLS career to lead the host New York Red Bulls to a 3-2 victory over D.C. United before a crowd of 25,187.
The Red Bulls and D.C. United lead the Eastern Conference with 30 points each, though New York has played one fewer match.
D.C. United waived Barklage, 25, in December.