Jakarta, CNN Indonesia —
Multiple players English claimed to be surprised by the decision Bukayo Saka took the decisive kick in the penalty shootout against Italy in the final Euro 2020 (Euro 2021) at Wembley Stadium, Monday (12/7) early morning Indonesian time.
Bukayo Saka became England’s fifth kicker in the penalty shootout. Before Saka kicked, the score was 3-2 for Italy.
The Arsenal midfielder could have extended the breath of the Three Lions if his shot was successful, because the score would be 3-3.
However, Saka’s shot to the left of the goal could be read and denied by Gianluigi Donnarumma. England lost 2-3 and Italy won Euro 2020.
Quoted from Daily Mail, the decision to field Saka as the final kicker surprised several English players.
What’s more, the 19-year-old was placed as the decisive kicker in their biggest game in 55 years.
Gareth Southgate said the reason for having Bukayo Saka was based on the results of his training. (AP/Frank Augstein)
Another surprise was that the penalty was the first for Bukayo Saka at the senior level. The report says Saka has never taken a penalty at senior level. Saka’s only experience was in penalty kicks in youth team matches.
England itself at that time still had a number of senior players such as Jack Grealish and also Raheem Sterling who could take the penalty.
However, Gareth Southgate has given an explanation regarding the reasons for lowering Saka as one of England’s penalty takers.
Saka is selected based on the results during training. In every training session England always end it with penalty practice since September when in preparation against Iceland and Denmark in the UEFA Nations League.
England assistant coach Steve Holland recorded all the results of the penalty practice by making a table to make it easier for the coaching team to make decisions.