Curse of the penalty shootout hangs over England again

CHANTILLY: England is back in the knockout stage of a major soccer tournament. And that usually means one thing: A strong chance of being involved in a penalty shootout.

That's bad news for the English.

England has lost six of its seven shootouts in major tournaments since 1990, making it something of an unwanted tradition for the national team.

Players like Stuart Pearce, Chris Waddle, Gareth Southgate and David Batty are as well known for missing penalties for England than anything else they achieved in their careers.

"We know it is going to be a tough game for us to break them down and it's important that we play at a really high tempo and make them work and try to tire them out, and then take the chances when they come."

And that, according to Rooney, has been England's problem this tournament.

"We do have to be a bit more ruthless, in terms of chances we have had," said England's record scorer with 52 goals. "We have to take a few more of them."

Rooney is set to be restored to the team against Iceland after being on the bench against Slovakia, meaning he will make his 115th international appearance tying David Beckham's record for an outfield player for England. Goalkeeper Peter Shilton holds the national team's overall record with 125 caps.

Beckham has texted Rooney and Hodgson to wish them good luck in Nice.