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England slays German demons, off to Euro 2020 quarterfinals

Raheem Sterling England Germany Euro 2020
Soccer Football - Euro 2020 - Round of 16 - England v Germany - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - June 29, 2021 England's Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates.
REUTERS/Frank Augstein

The two men that all of England had been waiting for to produce this summer came through in the Three Lions’ toughest test yet.

Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane scored in the final 15 minutes to lift England to a 2-0 victory over Germany in the Round of 16 of Euro 2020 on Tuesday from Wembley Stadium in London. It’s just England’s second victory over Germany at a major tournament dating back to 1966, which was the last time the Three Lions eliminated Germany in a knockout round; which just so happened to be the World Cup Final, also in England.

Sterling’s ice-breaking goal in the 75th minute was his third of the European Championships this summer after the Manchester City star had not scored for England at a major tournament in nine years of international caps.

Kane provided the exclamation point with his first goal of the tournament — a long-time coming for the Tottenham star and the Premier League’s golden boot winner.

After early German domination — prompting immediate questions of Gareth Southgate’s lineup — England settled with two tame chances in the 16th and 17th minutes on Manuel Neuer’s net from Raheem Sterling and Harry McGuire to at least suggest that the Three Lions can indeed dictate play in the German half.

Germany nearly went in front when Werner was played down the left with a step ahead of the England defense. But his effort from that side of the box was saved away by Jordan Pickford in the 32nd minute.

It paled in comparison to the danger of England’s best chance of the first half, during the second minute of stoppage time, but they could not score.

Sterling took on four German defenders at the top of the box before the ball somehow popped into the path of Harry Kane right at the doorstep. His first touch moved him clear of Neuer, but it was too far from the striker’s foot as Mats Hummels cleared the chance away.

Sterling took matters into his own hands in the 75th minute, firing England ahead when he slotted a low cross from Luke Shaw well inside the German box past Neuer.

As Wembley Stadium reverberated with over-the-moon England fans, their club nearly gave it right back in the 81st minute when the legendary and always-dangerous Thomas Muller was sent in alone on Pickford. Yet, Muller pulled his shot from the top of the box wide of the left post to which he sunk to the pitch on his knees with head in hands.

Clear of danger, Kane finally got his goal and put England ahead for good in the 86th minute when he redirected a cross from Jack Grealish home from six yards out with his head.

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