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The nation was filled with such contrasting emotions of disappointment and pride on Sunday night as England lost their first ever European Championship final in an excruciating penalty shootout, other than a handful of morons who saw fit to abuse the nation’s heroes on social media.
Golden Glove winner, Jordan Pickford was outstanding in the penalty shootout as he has been all tournament, saving two of Italy’s spot kicks.
To move away from some of the negativity surrounding Sunday’s defeat, we look at some of England’s heroic goalkeeping performances in years gone by.
David Seaman v Spain, Euro ‘96 Quarter Final
The last time England had won a knockout game at the Euros before this instalment, they had to rely on David Seaman after a 0-0 stalemate with Spain at Wembley in 1996.
After two monumental results against Scotland and Holland in the final two group games, England were less inspiring in their Quarter Final tie with Spain denied two goals by the offside flag.
The game made history by being the first ever to go to golden-goal extra time, but it also etched David Seaman’s name into the tapestry of England football.
England scored all four penalties, and Seaman’s save from Miguel Nadal was enough to send them through to a second consecutive tournament semi-final and what would be their last for twenty-two years.
Jordan Pickford v Germany, Euro 2020 Round of 16
Jordan Pickford could be in this list for Sunday’s display, but also his excellent performances in Euro 2020 as a whole. However, the exhilarating 2-0 win over Germany was possibly his finest game as part of the England set-up.
England ran out comfortable 2-0 winners in the end, however this did not tell the whole story. Two goals in the final fifteen minutes at Wembley sent England through, but some fantastic saves from Pickford, namely blocking Timo Werner in the first half and turning a Kai Havertz effort over the bar in the second, kept Joachim Low’s men at bay.
In another piece of history, the Everton man played a huge part in beating Germany in a knockout game for the first time since 1966.
Gordon Banks v Brazil, World Cup 1970 Group Stage
Strangely, England lost this game 1-0 but England’s most revered ever goalkeeper produced one of the greatest saves of all time from the man many consider to be the world’s greatest ever player, Pele.
A World Cup legend in his own right already, Banks somehow kept out a wicked bouncing header to claw onto the frame of the goal and behind. It is widely regarded as the greatest save in World Cup history.
Oddly enough two moments in this defeat, the other being Bobby Moore’s effortless tackle on Pele, were immortalised in what was England’s last World Cup for twelve years, having failed to qualify for 1974 and 1978.
Both Banks and Moore will of course be more fondly remembered for their exploits in 1966, but few enjoyed moments played and played again like their pieces of genius in the Mexico sun.