LONDON — Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane struck late goals as England reached the Euro 2020 quarterfinals with a 2-0 win over Germany at Wembley on Tuesday, its first knockout victory over their old rivals since the 1966 World Cup final.
England will play either Sweden or Ukraine, which were to meet later on Tuesday in Glasgow, in the last eight after a victory which sent the home crowd of over 40,000 into wild celebration.
It was England’s first-ever knockout round win at the Euros inside 90 minutes and after a buildup dominated by talk of historic and bitter tournament losses to Germany, its focus will now be on making some history of its own.
The visitors’ defeat marked the end of Joachim Loew’s time as Germany coach after 15 years in charge, during which he guided the team to the 2014 World Cup title in Brazil.
Debate will continue about England manager Gareth Southgate’s selections but it was telling that both goals came after midfielder Jack Grealish was introduced from the bench in the 69th minute when the entire tempo and mood of the game changed.
Six minutes after Grealish came on he was involved in a flowing passing move which ended with left wing back Luke Shaw deftly slipping the ball across the face of the goal for Sterling to slide in his third goal in four Euro 2020 games.
Yet shortly after scoring Sterling almost gifted the Germans a leveler when he gave the ball away on the halfway line and Kai Havertz sent Thomas Mueller through on goal.
The experienced World Cup winner had only England keeper Jordan Pickford to beat but dragged his shot wide of his right-hand post, leaving Sterling, who watched in anguish on his knees, to leap to his feet in relief.
After that reprieve, and with the crowd roaring England on, Grealish was the direct provider for the second goal, crossing from the left for captain Kane to beat keeper Manuel Neuer with a stooping header.
It was Kane’s first goal of the tournament and his return to scoring ways will be another positive for Southgate as he looks ahead at a potential route to the final. — Reuters