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Heartbreak for England in penalty shoot-out

27 June 2017

England suffered an agonising penalty shoot-out defeat to Germany in the semi-finals of the European Under-21 Championship.

Goals from Demarai Gray and Tammy Abraham either side of half-time turned things around for England after trailing to Davie Selke’s 35th-minute opener.

Murphy, who had started on the bench alongside City team-mate Angus Gunn, entered the fray on 65 minutes with Germany beginning to assert themselves. The match was level again when Felix Platte powered in a header from a corner with 20 minutes remaining.

Germany’s dominance grew following their equaliser, and England would have been relieved to hold out for extra-time. The break failed to stem the flow of Germany’s attacking play, however, and they spent much of the first half of extra-time pummelling England’s penalty area.  

The Young Lions were brighter after the restart as the game became more frantic, but no one could find a winner. Tammy Abraham and former Canary Nathan Redmond saw their penalties saved, as England missed out on a first appearance in the final since 2009.

Murphy, who only recently forced his way into the England Under-21 squad, made a big impression on the tournament. He was lively in England’s opening match of the tournament against Sweden, and set up a crucial equaliser against Slovakia in the second game with a dangerous whipped cross shortly after coming on at half-time. Against hosts Poland Murphy was once again called from the bench at the start of the second-half, and his lung-bursting run into the area put him in the right place to slot home Gray’s cut-back to help England to a 3-0 win.

Gunn, a loan signing from Manchester City, couldn’t displace Jordan Pickford in goal for England but will have picked up invaluable international experience.

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