England U21's, who begin their campaign against Finland on Monday, lost a shoot-out 13-12 in the semi-final against Holland two years ago, and coach Stuart Pearce has made his squad practise penalties ever since. "Since then every training session we've practised, for nigh on two years," Pearce told The Guardian. "Statistically we've looked at everything. We've tried to draw in all the penalty takers of each of the eight nations that we're playing against to see what they do. Make no mistake, there's no stone unturned."
"Two out of the three tournaments I've played as a player I've gone out on penalties," Pearce added. "The one where I've managed a team at a major finals has cost me my place on penalties - so three out of four major tournaments.
"That's the importance of penalties. Whoever gets to the final and maybe wins the final in this tournament will have to win a penalty shoot-out. That's the importance of it."