Extra-time has been a nightmare for England fans in recent history. It simply does not end well for the Three Lions and on Thursday we once again saw a lead slip from our grasp and the game end in defeat across 120 minutes. But was that a one-off or have England got a historical issue when it comes to those extra 30 minutes? We’ve delved into the history books to find out.
England have played 15 extra-time periods in their history and come out as winners on just three occasions - if you discount the result of penalty shootouts. Of course, the majority of these extra-time periods have ended in draws given the fact that two sides are often happy to settle for penalties but England recent record has been poor.
The Three Lions have failed to win a game in extra-time since the World Cup Quarter Final in 1990, where a Gary Lineker penalty was enough to give the Three Lions the win over the Indomitable Lions after a 2-2 draw in normal time. More shockingly, England have failed to even score a goal in extra-time since that same game, even after 10 attempts. Since then it has been all downhill in those extra 30 minutes at major tournaments.
In the semi-final of Italia 90, England came agonisingly close to reaching the World Cup final but couldn't find the breakthrough. Gazza’s tears preceded an inevitable penalty shootout defeat.
In 1996, England went through two more extra-time periods. On home soil they didn’t find the breakthrough against Spain but managed to squeeze past them on penalties to set up another semi-final meeting with the Germans. Gazza come within an inch of winning the game in extra-time but once again it would be penalties to decide who went through. Southgate missed. England were out.
Two years later they got another chance after a 2-2 draw with Argentina but once again lost on penalties and it was the same story in 2004, 2006 and 2012 against Portugal and Italy respectively. England just cannot seem to find a goal in extra-time.
The recent awful penalty record was put right against Colombia last year but again England couldn’t find the winner in the 30 minutes added. The most difficult to take was last year’s semi final defeat against Croatia. The game felt as if it was slipping away after the perfect start and Mandzukic struck a devastating winner in extra-time. Heartbreak.
However, it has not been all bad in extra-time for England. Their crowning glory, the World Cup win in 1966 came in extra-time lest we forget. Geoff Hurst bagged two goals which both definitely crossed the line to give the Three Lions a 4-2 win over West Germany at Wembley.
Perhaps it is something to do with the mentality going into extra-time but it feels as if England need to be more aggressive and forward-thinking when it comes to the end of the normal period. Euro 2020 is next which will mark 30 years since England scored a goal in extra-time, let’s hope they can invoke the spirit of 66 rather than recent years.
England results in Extra Time
1954 World Cup Group Stage: England 3-3 Belgium (4-4 aet - Draw)
1966 World Cup Final: England 2-2 West Germany (4-2 aet - Won)
1970 World Cup Quarter Final: England 2-2 West Germany (2-3 aet - Lost)
1990 World Cup Last 16: England 1-0 Belgium (1-0 aet - Won)
1990 World Cup Quarter Final: England 2-2 Cameroon (3-2 aet - Won)
1990 World Cup Semi-Final: England 1-1 West Germany (1-1 aet - lost on pens)
1996 European Championships Quarter Final: England 0-0 Spain (0-0 aet - won on pens)
1996 European Championships Semi Final: England 1-1 Germany (1-1 aet - lost on pens)
1998 World Cup Last 16: England 2-2 Argentina (2-2 aet - lost on pens)
2004 European Championships Quarter Final: England 2-2 Portugal (2-2 aet - lost on pens)
2006 World Cup Quarter Final: England 0-0 Portugal (0-0 aet - lost on pens)
2012 European Championships Quarter Final: England 0-0 Italy (0-0 aet - lost on pens)
2018 World Cup Last 16: England 1-1 Colombia (1-1 aet - won on pens)
2018 World Cup Semi Final: England 1-1 Croatia (1-2 aet - Lost)
2019 Nations League Semi Final: England 1-1 Netherlands (1-3 - Lost)