Mon, 25 Jun 2012 09:00:57 GMT

Euro 2012 4th QF: Italy beat England 4-2 on penalties

It was a dramatic night of football in the last quarterfinal of Euro 2012 as England and Italy dished out two contrasting styles but in the end, it was the veteran Buffon, who had the last laugh. England, once again were left to lick their wounds in a major tournament

Euro 2012 4th QF: Italy beat England 4-2 on penalties

Kiev: After two hours of clever, often dominating but in the end fruitless play, Italy found the answer against England. Penalty kicks. Alessandro Diamanti scored the decisive kick Sunday to send Italy through to the European Championship semifinals with a 4-2 win in the shootout following a 0-0 tie with England.

Italy will next play Germany in the semifinals on Thursday in Warsaw, Poland. Defending champion Spain plays Portugal on Wednesday in Donetsk, Ukraine.

"We deserved this victory," Diamanti said. "The penalties rewarded our dominance during the match. It's only fair, we played a great match and battled from the first to the last minute."

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 the Azzurri find the net. Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney scored England's penalties.

The difference: Ashley Young hit the crossbar with England's third, and Ashley Cole's attempt was saved by Gianluigi Buffon