KIEV, Ukraine -- Alessandro Diamanti scored the decisive penalty kick Sunday to send Italy through to the European Championship semifinals with a 4-2 win in the shootout following a 0-0 tie with England and a spot.
Italy will next play Germany in the semifinals on Thursday in Warsaw, Poland.
Mario Balotelli, Andrea Pirlo -- with an audacious slow chip-shot down the middle of the goal -- and Antonio Nocerino also scored for Italy. Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney scored England's penalties.
The match ended 0-0 after 120 minutes of play. The Italians twice hit the post, but were also let down by poor composure in front of goal. Diamanti clipped the post with a curling cross in the 101st minute, and swept a clear shot wide in the clearest chance of the second period of extra time.
Nocerino, another substitute, thought he had scored from Diamanti's cross in the 115th but was offside.
For England, it was yet another exit from a major tournament in the quarterfinals after a penalty shootout. England lost to Portugal in the same manner at Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup.
Italy dominated the match, which ended 0-0 after 120 minutes of play. The Italians twice hit the post, but were also let down by poor composure in front of goal. Diamanti clipped the post with a curling cross in the 101st minute, and swept a clear shot wide.
The first scoreless match at Euro 2012 was neither dull nor lacking good soccer.
Italy's attacking desire and creativity under coach Cesare Prandelli had playmaker Andrea Pirlo at its heart. Italy had 35 shots, compared to only nine for England.
Rooney then sent Buffon the wrong way, firing in his spot kick to the keeper's right to give England a 2-1 lead.
The momentum shifted after Pirlo's bold piece of skill leveled at 2-2.