England ended a 55-year wait for a knockout tie victory over Germany to secure a quarterfinal berth at Euro 2020.
Euro 2020 has been a tournament of upsets and wild draws. This has led to the Round of 16 being a bag of upsets.
First, the Netherlands were knocked out by the Czech Republic. Then Croatia lost a thriller to Spain and none were bigger than Switzerland overcoming France in a penalty shootout.
The world’s number 1 side Belgium knocked out the defending European champions Portugal. The tie meant that one big team had to fall early anyway.
It was similar yesterday with two European giants clashing when England went up against Germany.
Yesterday’s result has officially confirmed that the “Group of Death” of Euro 2020 has been knocked out. Hungary went out in the group stage and all three teams from Group F were eliminated in the Round of 16.
Portugal and Germany were unfortunate enough to play against higher-ranked sides. France, however, blew a 3-1 lead with less than 10 minutes to go.
Euro 2020 Round of 16: England 2-0 Germany
It was a gripping game that saw both teams squander chances. England had more of them though and eventually, got the goal they deserved.
The much-talked-about Jack Grealish was the hero as he was brought on as a substitute by Gareth Southgate.
The Aston Villa captain immediately had an impact as he nicely linked up with Luke Shaw on England’s left side. Grealish added dynamism and control on the ball. His movement troubled Matthias Ginter and Joshua Kimmich that eventually led to England’s opening goal.
The English winger dragged Ginter to the edge of the box before playing in a sleek pass on the overlap for Shaw to run into. The Manchester United left-back then placed a perfect low cross into the German box that needed a simple tap-in from Raheem Sterling for the lead.
This was Sterling’s third goal at Euro 2020 and England’s third of the competition as well. The Manchester City man had registered no goals in a major international tournament for England prior to this year’s competition.
He has changed all of that and how! The crowd erupted at Wembley in the 75th minute as they realised what they were on the verge of achieving.
Thomas Mueller threw a chance to equalise
However, their joy was short-lived as Sterling gave the ball away cheaply shortly after. Toni Kroos pounced on it and played a delightful through ball that Thomas Mueller ran onto. He did everything right and set himself up one-on-one with England keeper Jordan Pickford.
As fans held their breath, somehow, the German legend missed the target! Muller, who is one of the leading goalscorers at the FIFA World Cup, is yet to register a goal in the European Championships.
Germany knew this was the chance and although they kept pushing, they were caught out. Shaw was immense as this time, he intercepted the ball in Germany’s half and played it into Grealish.
What followed was pure ecstasy for the English. The young winger put in the perfect cross that captain Harry Kane headed home to make sure of the victory in the 86th minute.
This was Kane’s first goal of the tournament and finally, England had a goal from another player. England are yet to concede a goal in this year’s competition and this will give them a world of confidence.
Is it coming home for England?
They have an easier run to the finals and are favourites on their side of the bracket. Fortunately for them, one of Italy and Belgium will be knocked out in the quarterfinals when they clash on Saturday.
The Three Lions face Ukraine next who upset Sweden in extra time to clinch a historic victory themselves.