England, despite being one of the strongest footballing nations in the world with top players and support, have struggled to win major tournaments over the years.
Aside from winning the World Cup they hosted in 1966, they had not won a major honour before or since then, with fans desperate for that to change at Qatar 2022.
A big factor behind this could be England’s poor record in penalty shootouts, which are used as tiebreakers to decide who progresses from knockout games that are tied after the initial 90 minutes and after 30 more minutes of extra time.
It is a source of amusement for fans of other countries but a source of pain for England fans, The Sporting News looks at England’s penalty shootout record in the World Cup and other competitions.
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England penalty shootout record
England have been involved in 10 penalty shootouts over three different competitions since 1990, and they have only won three of them. This gives them a win rate of only 30 per cent, which is incredibly low for such a strong side.
To add insult to injury, they only won one of their first seven shootouts. Their first penalty shootout was against West Germany in the 1990 World Cup finals which they lost 4-2.
They won their next one against Spain at the Euro 1996 quarterfinals, but would then have to wait 22 years before their next shootout win in a major tournament.
Along the way, the likes of Argentina, Portugal and Italy have broken the hearts of England when the game came down to spot-kicks from 12 yards.
|Competition||Penalty shootouts||Wins||Losses||Success rate|
|UEFA Nations League||1||1||0||100%|
England World Cup penalty shootouts
As the table above shows, England have only won one World Cup penalty shootout in four attempts, a very poor return. After their loss to Germany in 1990, their hearts were broken again in 1998 as Argentina knocked them out in the Round of 16 after defeating them 6-5 in a shootout where David Batty missed the crucial kick.
A young Cristiano Ronaldo scored the penalty that eliminated England from the 2006 World Cup at the quarterfinals, before the Three Lions finally broke their penalty duck at the World Cup in 2018 when Eric Dier’s penalty saw them defeat Colombia in a shootout at the Round of 16 stage.
Incredible drama! @England advance to the #WorldCup quarter-finals as Eric Dier scores the winning penalty in a 4-3 shoot-out success against Colombia#WorldCup #PL pic.twitter.com/KwxCaLQlzD
— Premier League (@premierleague) July 3, 2018
List of England penalty shootouts at World Cups
|Year||Opponent||Stage||Final score||England penalty takers|
|1990||West Germany||Semifinals||4-2 loss||Gary Lineker (GOAL), Peter Beardsley (GOAL), David Platt (GOAL), Stuart Pearce (SAVE), Chris Waddle (MISS)|
|1998||Argentina||Round of 16||6-5 loss||Alan Shearer (GOAL), Paul Ince (SAVE), Paul Merson (GOAL), Michael Owen (GOAL), David Batty (SAVE)|
|2006||Portugal||Quarterfinals||3-1 loss||Frank Lampard (SAVE), Owen Hargreaves (GOAL), Steven Gerrard (SAVE), Jamie Carragher (SAVE)|
|2018||Colombia||Round of 16||5-4 win||Harry Kane (GOAL), Marcus Rashford (GOAL), Jordan Henderson (SAVE), Kieran Trippier (GOAL), Eric Dier (GOAL)|
Last England penalty shootout
England’s last penalty shootout came in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley Stadium in London against Italy and it ended in familiar fashion for the Three Lions.
After a breathless game had finished 1-1, the teams could not be split in extra-time, which meant that England would have to overhaul history in front of their own fans if they were to break their trophy drought.
And it looked on track when Andrea Belotti missed for the Azzuri and Harry Maguire converted after to put England up 2-1, but in heartbreaking fashion Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka would miss the next three penalties for England, allowing Italy to storm to victory and keep England’s trophy drought alive for another year.