GARETH SOUTHGATE took full responsibility as three England subs missed shootout penalties in Italy’s Euro 2020 final triumph.
Southgate’s self-confessed «gamble» failed after he brought on Marcus Rashford at right-back plus Jadon Sancho deep in extra time after Bukayo Saka’s earlier introduction.
All three missed from the spot with unorthdox run-ups as Italy won the shootout 3-2 following a 1-1 draw after extra time.
Three Lions’ boss Southgate, who famously missed a Euro 96 semi-final penalty, was quick to console a distraught Saka – while Sancho was also in tears..
And Southgate told ITV: «it’s my responsibility. I chose the players to take the kicks.
«We decided to make the changes near the end of the game, and we win and lose together as a team.»
And of the penalty-takers, as well as the order, he added: «We worked through them in training.
«That was the order that we came to. But that’s my call.»
And Southgate seemed to accept Rashford and Sancho might have been caught cold after coming on so late – as England loaded their team with attackers and regular penalty-takers.
He said: «That’s always the risk you take. They’ve been by far the best (at penalties) in the league.. and to get all those attacking players on you have to do it late.
«So it was a gamble but if we gamble earlier maybe we lose the game.in extra time.»
Southgate, though, is as proud as ever of the unity in his squad despite defeat.
He said: «They’ve been tight throughout and that’s how it is today.
«In the end we weren’t quite able to see the game through in the normal regulation time.
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«Italy showed what an absolutely outstanding side they are.
«But our players have done themselves proud. everyone of them has been exceptional.
«We’re obviously unbelievably disappointed not to go that one step further.»
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