England Vs. Italy, Euro 2012 Quarterfinals: Halftime Score 0-0 After Entertaining 45 Minutes

England can't keep the ball, can't finish and are relying on some last-ditch clearances to avoid conceding, but they're still doing enough to keep themselves in their match against Italy. The Italians have been the superior side through 45 minutes, but the Three Lions are still holding onto a 0-0 draw at halftime.

Italy have attempted 13 shots, though many of those have been half-hearted long efforts. Some of their best chances won't be on the box score as shots, though, thanks to some great clearances by the England defense.

The biggest chances of the half came in the very beginning, with one on each end in the opening five minutes. Daniele De Rossi sparked the game to life with a great strike that beat Joe Hart in the 3rd minute, but deflected off the inside of the post and away from the goal. England answered with a chance of their own a minute later, through a great run into the box by Glen Johnson, but he had his shot saved by Gianluigi Buffon.

Things stayed end-to-end for about the first half hour of the match, though Italy had a bit more of the ball. Wayne Rooney had a clear header sail over the bar in the 14th minute, missing a chance that might have been even better than Johnson's. Mario Balotelli had a couple of chances going the other way, but was thwarted twice by England's central defenders. John Terry made an excellent block on a Balotelli shot in the 24th minute and Joleon Lescott cleared a cross into the box in stoppage time that would have resulted in a tap-in goal for Balotelli if it ever reached him.

Roy Hodgson will be thinking about substitutions in the locker room, but he has to be happy with the way his team has performed so far. Scott Parker and Steven Gerrard's positioning in the center has been very good while Danny Welbeck is working hard to keep Andrea Pirlo from running the game. The Juventus regista hasn't been able to create any clear-cut chances for his teammates, and Riccardo Montolivo has taken up a lot of the creative duties as a result. He's been Italy's best player so far, and Hodgson might have to come up with a way to counter him as well.

We have live coverage in our England vs. Italy, Euro 2012 quarterfinals StoryStream. For more on Euro 2012 and the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.