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LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 29: Harry Kane of England celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 2-0 during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Round of 16 match between England and Germany at Wembley Stadium on June 29, 2021 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo : Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)
The round of 16 has finally concluded in the Euro 2020 tournament, with England and Ukraine booking the last two tickets to the quarterfinals. After a long wait, England finally defeated arch-rivals Germany in a major tournament while Ukraine recorded a major shock by defeating highly fancied Sweden with a dramatic late winner in extra time.
Sterling and Kane lead England to the last 8
England barged into the quarterfinals on Tuesday with a nerve-wracking 2-0 win over Germany at the Wembley Stadium. Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane scored two late goals for the Three Lions, who finally ended their 55-year wait for a knockout tie win over their bitter rivals.
Sterling, who scored match-winners against Croatia and the Czech Republic earlier in the group stage, delivered the goods again. He broke the deadlock against Germany with a calm finish in the 75th minute, steering in Luke Shaw’s perfectly weighted cross from the left flank.
The victory was secured in the 86th minute when Harry Kane scored a headed goal past Manuel Neuer to send English fans inside the stadium into wild celebrations. Substitute Jack Grealish had an instant impact off the bench, delivering the cross for Kane, who finally nabbed his first goal of the tournament.
England’s defense once again stood tall in the round of 16, with the Three Lions recording their fourth consecutive clean sheet as they have yet to concede a goal in this tournament. Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was terrific between the posts for England, producing outstanding saves against Timo Werner and Kai Havertz in each half.
Gareth Southgate’s decision to switch to a three-man central defense with Kieran Trippier and Shaw as fullbacks paid dividends as Germany failed to trouble England for most of the contest.
Manchester United captain Harry Maguire showed his value to the side with another towering display at the back while also providing an extra dimension to England’s attack with his heading ability from set pieces.
It was a disappointing end for the Germans, who failed to get their game going in this tournament. They struggled out of the gates in the group stage, needing a late goal against minnows Hungary to go through to the last 16. Their luck finally ran out against England in what was Joachim Low’s final game as Germany manager.
Apart from Low, this also could be the end for older stars Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels, and Toni Kroos. Muller could have extended his international career for Germany if he converted on a 1-on-1 opportunity against Pickford with the score at 1-0.
Dovbyk sends Ukraine through with a late strike
Next up for England in the quarterfinals is a clash with Ukraine, who stunned Sweden in Tuesday’s other round of 16 match. Artem Dovbyk scored in added time in extra time to give Ukraine a dramatic 2-1 victory over Sweden.
It was total heartbreak for the Swedes, who were reduced to 10 men after Marcus Danielson was given a red card in extra time after a VAR check. Danielson got his foot to a dropping ball before catching his opponent and was initially booked, but referee Daniele Orsato upgraded the booking to a red card after reviewing the foul on the pitch-side monitor.
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