Playing at home in Wembley Stadium, London, the English National Football Team defeated their German counterparts 2-0 with goals from Raheem Sterling (75th) and Harry Kane (86th), to progress from their Euro 2020 Round of 16 to a quarterfinals match against Ukraine.
The English and German sides played a taut match with lots of rough play and an accommodating referee who only called 20 fouls and five yellow cards when quite a few more of each could have been whistled. The overly defensive contest had England managing four shots on target with two going in and Germany managing three with none hitting the net.
The match will be remembered not just for the two goals England scored in the run of play instead of off a set-piece, or for the rare tourney win over the Germans, but mostly for the last misread by coach Joachim Low who started Timo Werner and Leon Goretzka instead of using a lineup that could best use the services of Leroy Sane, Serge Ganabry, or Ilkay Gundogan all of whom had stellar club seasons.
In the match, Thomas Muller was put in one on one with Jordan Pickford and managed to mishit the ball away from goal and Werner had three missed golden goal-scoring opportunities. Kai Havertz played a great game, setting Muller and Werner up multiple times and taking a fantastic volley that Pickford just parried over the bar.
In the end, the lack of creativity on the German side was their downfall as the English, who are rarely creative as a national team, raised their game and produced several clever scoring opportunities. The winner will now fancy their chances moving forward as they are on the easy side of the bracket and would not face another major contender until the final.
Ukraine 2-1 Sweden a.e.t.
In a rocking Hampden Park, in Glasgow, Scotland, Ukraine defeated Sweden 2-1 after extra time with Oleksandr Zinchenko opening the scoring with a wonderful close-in volley only to have Sweden draw at the 43rd when a deflected Emil Forsberg shot wrong-footed Ukrainian keeper Heorhiy Bushchan.
The match had been even in the first half and tilting Sweden’s way in the second and in the early part of extra time until Marcus Danielson was given a deserved red card at the 99th minute for a rash foul on Artem Besyedin who had to leave the match injured. From that moment on Ukraine pressed their advantage and at the 120+1 substitute Artem Dovbyk scored off a diving header from a perfect cross by Zinchenko for the winning goal.
Now the over-extended Ukrainians will be asked to travel to Rome to meet up with their English counterparts for their quarterfinals match.
Photo: Oleksandr Zinchenko 159700171 © Oleh Dubyna | Dreamstime.com