Netherlands continued their wretched luck with the penalty spot in Euro 2000, having been eliminated by a penalty shootout in four of the previous 5 tournaments the same fate awaited them in Euro 2000 against Italy. The game itself was littered with chances for the Oranje but they failed to capitalize on the opportunities and paid the ultimate price in the penalty shootout.
The semi final started with the Netherlands on the front foot, with Dennis Bergkamp having the first chance by squaring Zambrotta only to see his shot cannon back of the frame of the goal.
Soon after, the Netherlands were awarded a soft penalty and Frank De Boer stepped up and shot to the penalty to the left only to see the goalkeeper make an excellent stop and deny him the opportunity. The Dutch had the cards further stacked in their favor with the dismissal of Zambrotta in the 33 minute and the Italy went totally on the defensive with the central defensive pair of Nesta and Canavaro giving a masterclass performance to reduce the Dutch to a handful of half chances.
A special shout out should also go to Del Piero, who played almost as a full back for almost 90 minutes and stuck to his guns and did well to restrict the Dutch.
As the match moved to the penalty shootout, the momentum was well and truly with the Azzurri as the Dutch had already missed 2 penalties in the match and were heading to the shootout with no confidence. Italy were first to step up with Di Biagio dispatching his penalty to the roof of the net, De Boer, who had already be a culprit on one of the penalties missed did not see his match getting any better as he fluffed his lines in the shootout too.
Italy converted their next 2 penalties first by Pesotto and then a lovely paneka by Totti. Netherlands meanwhile had a match to forget from the spot as Jaap Stam skied his penalty and almost handed the match over to the Italians.
Kluivert scored his penalty in the shootout to atone for his miss earlier in the match. The Dutch were given some hope when Van Der Saar saved Maldini penalty but Bosevelt could not beat the imposing Francesco Toldo who made his 3rd penalty save of the game to send the Italians to the finals of the Euros 2000 and eliminate the host nation.
Final Score: Italy vs Netherlands:0-0(3-1)
Italy: Toldo, Cannavaro, Iuliano, Nesta, Zambrotta, Fiore, Di Biagio, Albertini, Maldini, Del Piero, Inzaghi.
Netherlands: Van der Sar, Bosvelt, Stam, F. de Boer, Zenden, Overmars, Davids, van Bronckhorst, Cocu, Bergkamp, Kluivert