Having missed three penalties, the Germans gave their fans more than a few scares yet still qualified, no doubt helped by Simone Zaza’s contender for the worst penalty miss of all time.
Here are five of the most nerve-shredding penalty shoot-outs of all time. Which one did you find the most dramatic?
1 Czechoslovakia 2-2 West Germany (5-3 pens)
Euro 1976 Final
Few players have a move named after them (think the Cruyff and the Garrincha turns) and even fewer have a penalty named after them. In the Euro 1976 final against holders West Germany, Czechoslovakia’s Antonin Panenka stepped up knowing that if he scored, his country would lift the trophy. And then he did this:
Panenka’s delicate chip straight down the middle of Sepp Maier’s goal stunned the footballing world then and has spawned a thousand imitators since. This, ladies and gentleman, was the birth of the Panenka penalty.
2 West Germany 1-1 England (4-3 pens)
World Cup 1990 Semi-Final
Bobby Robson’s England side reached a World Cup semi-final for the first time since 1966, facing West Germany. Gary Lineker scored the goals while Gazza pulled the strings in midfield, and all this was soundtracked to New Order’s “World in Motion” – featuring John Barnes’ legendary rap. Italia 90 was all set to be English football’s second summer of love. And then it went to penalties.
With the scores at 3-3, Stuart Pearce stepped up looking to give England the lead. “Psycho” was a regular penalty taker for Nottingham Forest and most expected him to score, but his shot was straight at Bodo Illgner. Olaf Thon put Germany ahead, meaning England’s hopes rested on Chris Waddle’s shoulders. The once-mulletted Geordie blazed his effort over the bar to put West Germany in the final, compounding Gazza’s tears and breaking England’s hearts.
3 England 1-1 Germany (5-6 pens)
Euro 96 Semi-Final
England met Germany again six years later, and again in a semi-final that went to penalties. 1996 was the year football came home as England hosted Euro 96 with “three lions on the shirt; Jules Rimet still gleaming”, as Baddiel and Skinner sang. Terry Venables’ men beat Scotland 2-0, and famously thrashed Holland 4-1 at Wembley in the group stages, before overcoming Spain in the quarter-finals to end their penalty shoot-out hoodoo.
Sadly, England couldn’t repeat the trick against Berti Vogts’ Germany, despite scoring their first five penalties. Germany matched the home side kick-for-kick, and then defender Gareth Southgate strode to the spot from the centre circle. Sadly, his tame effort was saved by Andreas Köpke, and with the next kick Andreas Möller fired Germany into the final.
4 Brazil 0-0 Italy (3-2 pens)
World Cup 1994 Final
The World Cup came to the USA in 1994, and things were memorably kicked off during the opening ceremony by Diana Ross, who lays claim to the second worst penalty of all time:
This tournament featured the first World Cup final to be decided by penalties, as Brazil’s all-star side led by Romario played out a bore-draw with an Italy team led by defensive stalwarts Francesco Baresi and Paolo Maldini. With Brazil leading 3-2 in sudden death, Italy’s hopes fell to the mercurial Roberto Baggio, who had virtually single-handedly dragged them to the final. In a cruel twist of fate, the Divine Ponytail skied his penalty into Row Z and handed Brazil the World Cup.
5 Chelsea 1-1 Bayern Munich (4-3 pens)
Champions League Final 2012
Chelsea’s 2011/12 was almost a disaster. They sacked their manager Andre Villas-Boas in March and finished sixth in the Premier League behind Newcastle. Against all the odds they reached the Champions League final following an improbable 2-2 draw away at Barcelona in a match famous for Gary Neville’s “goalgasm”:
Chelsea faced Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena. Bayern led 1-0 heading towards the end of the game, before Didier Drogba equalised with a trademark header. The match went to penalties, and following misses from Olic and Schweinsteiger, Drogba slotted home with his final kick in a Chelsea shirt to gift the Blues the trophy and the world a million John Terry memes. Finally, an English side had beaten a German side in a penalty shoot-out!