Bonucci revenge motivated German stopper Neuer


Bordeaux (AFP) – Manuel Neuer says his determination to stop Leonardo Bonucci’s second spot-kick was the key to Germany’s dramatic 6-5 penalty shootout win over Italy in Saturday’s Euro 2016 quarter-final.

Neuer, voted the world’s best goalkeeper for the last three years, saved shots from Bonucci and Matteo Darmian in the marathon 18-penalty shootout after it had finished 1-1 after extra-time in Bordeaux.

The Bayern Munich ‘keeper said he had been annoyed when Bonucci’s 78th-minute penalty had cancelled out Mesut Ozil’s opening goal in regular time.

And he was determined to stop the defender scoring in the shootout as Simone Zaza and Graziano Pelle also failed to hit the target for Italy.

“I have never experienced a penalty shoot-out like that before, it really lasted a long time,” said Neuer, who won the man-of-the-match award.

“The two which I managed to stop, I still have in my head and the others just shot straight down the middle.

“I didn’t want to let Bonucci score twice, so I stopped his shot.”

Neuer came out on top in the battle of the world’s top goalkeepers as Germany squeezed past Gianluigi Buffon’s Azzuri.

The Italian veteran bowed out of his 11th major tournament despite saving Thomas Mueller’s penalty.

Buffon trudged off struggling to hold back the tears, but has already said he wants to play through until the 2018 World Cup finals.

Germany will now face either hosts France or Iceland in the Marseille semi-final next Wednesday.

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