The world champs can still become European champs.
On Saturday, Germany got past rival Italy in a dramatic penalty kick shootout to advance in their Euro 2016 quarterfinal, setting up a date next week with the winner of France-Iceland in the semifinals. After finishing the 120 minutes level at 1-1, Germany edged Italy 6-5 from the spot in nine rounds, the longest shootout in Euro history.
Manuel Neuer saved Matteo Darmian’s in the last round and Jonas Hector beat Gianluigi Buffon to end the shootout.
The victory marked the first time Germany has ever beaten Italy in a cup.
The first 45 minutes brought little pleasure for soccer fans watching, but it improved in the second as Germany controlled the ball and most of the half.
A second-half goal from Mesut Ozil opened up the scoring in this one as Germany’s defense put forth a fine showing for the most part, containing Italy in attack for most of the 90 minutes.
Off a nice bit of work from Mario Gomez on the wing, Ozil ended up connecting on a deflected cross on 65 minutes to beat Buffon as the Italian superstar goalkeeper conceded for the first time all tournament long.
With just under 10 minutes to go, Jerome Boateng was called for a hand ball in the box, and a penalty kick was awarded, which Leonardo Bonucci finished to draw level.
In extra time, nothing could be had, sending it to the dreaded shootout.
Level after four spot kicks, Bonucci was saved by Neuer, which meant Bastian Schweinsteiger had a chance to win it, but he missed the goal to send it to one-and-one rounds.
Things remained even into the ninth round where Darmian had his saved and Hector somehow got his under Buffon to advance.
Germany has reached six straight semifinals in international cups and joins Portugal and Wales in the semis.