Gareth Southgate heaped praise on his England players after he led his team to a 2-0 victory over Germany in the first knockout round of Euro 2020.
The first half was both entertaining and tense. The best two chances in the opening half-hour fell England‘s way.
Raheem Sterling forced Manuel Neuer into a good save from range before Harry Maguire headed straight at goal. This was before Jordan Pickford saved Timo Werner’s effort from inside the penalty area.
Just before the break, the ball fell nicely for Harry Kane in the penalty area after Sterling was tackled. The forward touched it inside and was set to score if it was not for Mats Hummels’ goal-saving interception.
Germany had another good chance just after the restart. The ball was fed to Kai Havertz on the edge of the area and his thunderous strike had to be tipped over the bar by Pickford.
The deadlock was broken in the 76th minute. Sterling did well as he advanced towards goal and the ball was eventually played to Luke Shaw on the flank. He squared it to the Sterling who smartly tapped the ball in past Neuer.
Thomas Muller found himself through on goal with ten minutes to go but his strike went just wide of the far post.
The game was put beyond doubt in the final ten minutes though. Luke Shaw released the ball to Jack Grealish on the left. He expertly crossed it to Kane who headed it in for his first goal of the tournament.
England will play Sweden or Ukraine in the Euro 2020 quarter-finals on Saturday, July 3.
“It’s a brilliant afternoon,” Southgate said. “We talked about bringing enjoyment to the nation really and afternoons like this are what that’s about.
“The players were absolutely immense, right the way through the team and the fans were as well. Only 40,000, but it’s as good an atmosphere as I can remember at Wembley.
“We played extremely well. I think we deserved the win, but I’ve had to say to them (the players) straight away, look, ‘I’m the party-pooper because if we don’t capitalise on that on Saturday now, then it doesn’t count for anything.’
“I’m just so pleased. I was looking at the big screen and I saw David Seaman up there. The team-mates that played with me, I can’t change that, so that’s always going to hurt.
“But what’s lovely is we’ve given people another day to remember and now we’ve got to go and do it in Rome.”