James Ward-Prowse captained England under-21s as they suffered penalty heartache in their European Championship semi-final with Germany.
The Young Lions fell behind on 35 minutes when full-back Jeremy Toljan found Davie Selke in the box, who planted his header beyond the outstretched grasp of Jordan Pickford.
But Aidy Boothroyd’s men summoned up the spirit to respond just six minutes later. Ward-Prowse’s corner caused problems in the box, and when Calum Chambers shot deflected into the path of Demarai Gray, he made no mistake with a powerful finish.
England made a strong start to the second-half and capitalised when Will Hughes pressed high to win possession, before driving into the box and teeing up Tammy Abraham, who tapped home from close range.
Things took another twist in Tychy with 20 minutes remaining when Germany levelled. Maximilian Arnold’s corner found Felix Platte’s run across goal and he scored the second headed goal of the game.
As England looked to regain their composure and re-establish the momentum, Boothroyd introduced Nathan Redmond on 72 minutes, but neither side could get a decisive third
And after stalemate in extra-time, it was to the so often cruel nature of spot-kicks for a place in the final.
Ward-Prowse stepped up to convert from the spot, but Nathan Redmond saw his effort saved as the side bowed out 4-3 in the shootout at the last four stage.