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Published: 22:50 | 2/7/16

Germany beat Italy in penalty shoot-out

World champions into Euro 2016 semi-final

Germany are through to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 after they beat Italy 6-5 in a dramatic penalty shoot-out.

This was the first occasion in which Die Mannschaft beat these opponents in a major finals and was just about deserved after spot-kicks were needed to separate the sides after a tight encounter.

Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil and Bastian Schweinsteiger all missed kicks in the shoot-out - the latter blowing the chance to win the game with his ballooned effort - before left-back Jonas Hector hit the crucial kick under the body of Gianluigi Buffon.

Germany had not missed a single penalty in a shoot-out since 1982 but the misses for Italy courtesy of Simone Zaza, Graziano Pelle, Leonardo Bonucci - who had scored the Azzurri's equaliser in regulation time from the spot - and, finally, Matteo Darmian enabled Hector to send Jogi Loew's side into the last four.

The world champions will now play either hosts France or minnows Iceland in the second semi-final in Marseille next Thursday.

After a first half lacking in attacking quality, where Germany's 3-5-2 system cancelled out Italy's similar formation, Mesut Ozil fired the favourites into the lead on 65 minutes.

However, just 13 minutes later Jerome Boateng was penalised for a silly handball in the box and Bonucci coolly slotted past Manuel Neuer.

Germany had been marginally the better side throughout but found Italy's defence and manager Antonio Conte's tactical plan tough to break down with Ozil's goal one of few clear chances they managed to create.

Italy finished the 90 minutes stronger but as the game went into extra-time, neither side was capable of carving out any real opportunities as fatigue and a fear of being caught on the counter attack took hold.

The penalty shootout was not of the standard usually associated with both countries and Germany in particular, with Pelle, Schweinsteiger and Zaza all guilty of embarrassing misses.

Neuer pulled off a superb save to deny Bonucci as the Juventus defender decided to send his shot the opposite way while the Bayern goalkeeper's save from Darmian's weak kick set the stage for Hector.

The youngster's kick wasn't perfect and Buffon will be disappointed he didn't keep it out but Germany won't care as they march on to the semi-finals.

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