Once again England’s remarkable inability from spot kicks has cost them a place in the semi-finals of the World Cup.
The 3-1 shoot out defeat to Portugal was a repeat of the European Championship exit two years earlier when the Portuguese where on home soil.
Owen Hargreaves was the only Englishman to convert his penalty as the England curse continued.
England have now lost six of the seven penalty shootouts they have been involved in.
Contrast this to Germany, who since defeat to Czechoslovakia in the 1976 European Championships have won every shootout they have been involved in.
That record becomes even more incredible when you consider they have also scored every individual penalty within the shootout.
But England’s demise could have been avoided had Sven-Goran Eriksson employed better use of the players at his disposal.
His decision to stick with David Beckham when the England captain is clearly past his best has caused frustration for many fans.
This was compounded by the performance of Aaron Lennon when he finally got his chance in place of Beckham during the second half of the quarterfinal.
His pace and dribbling caused panic in the Portuguese defence, something Beckham rarely achieved, and fans can only wonder how England would have faired had he been used earlier.
England’s chances were further inhibited when their one genuine world class star Wayne Rooney was played out of his best position and employed as a lone front man.
Rooney is at his devastating best playing behind a main striker and running at defences from thirty yards out.
England’s tactics of hitting him with long balls was a complete waste of his talents and a let off for the Portuguese defence.
But with Eriksson now departed, the reigns of the England manager’s job are passed on to Steve McClaren, Eriksson’s assistant for the past five years.
Fans can only hope McClaren introduces a new attacking brand of football to excite the supporters and break with more defensive instincts of Eriksson.
We await with baited breath.