Germany’s dreams of winning a fourth European Championship are over, after a 2-0 defeat to England in the round of 16. It was the final game of head coach Joachim Löw’s 15-year tenure in charge of the team, with Hansi Flick taking over following the EUROs. The highlight of Löw’s career at the DFB was guiding Germany to the 2014 World Cup title in Brazil.
Raheem Sterling (75’) and Harry Kane (86’) scored late to eliminate Germany from the tournament.
Löw started with a familiar 3-4-3 formation from the group stages, with captain Manuel Neuer in goal. Matthias Ginter, Antonio Rüdiger and Mats Hummels lined up in a back three, with Joshua Kimmich and Robin Gosens on the wings. Toni Kross and Leon Goretzka formed the heart of midfield, with Thomas Müller, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner in attack.
Both teams took the knee prior to kick off. “We stand for tolerance and are against every form of discrimination and wanted to stand in solidarity with England’s national team,” Neuer said during a final press conference on Monday. It was the first time Germany had taken the knee. “We fully support it and it didn’t take long for us arrive at this decision.”
The atmosphere inside Wembley was loud right from the start, with the English fans cheering on their team. Germany looked to play their way into opportunities up front, with the first shot of the game falling to Goretzka. England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was on hand to make the save (4’).
Germany were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box after Declan Rice brought down Goretzka in the 10th minute, but Havertz’s shot was blocked by the wall.
Minutes later, Neuer was forced to make a diving save to deny Raheem Sterling from range (16’) before picking off Harry Maguire’s header (17’). England looked to have found their footing, as Maguire had another header saved in the 27th minute. Germany were unable to find Werner up front, as England’s defence stood strong.
In the 32nd minute, Gosens just missed getting on the end of a cross from Kimmich. Seconds later, Germany were on the attack again as Havertz played through to Werner, who had his attempt saved by Pickford. With half-time looning, Hummels was called upon to make a last-minute save inside the five-yard box. A misplaced pass from Müller found its way to Harry Kane, whose heavy first touch allowed Hummels to slide in and clear it before Kane or Bukayo Saka could get to it (45’+2).
The second half began with a spectacular save from Pickford, as he redirected Havertz’s first-time volley from the edge of the area over the bar (48’). It took until the 75th minute for there to be another chance on goal, as England attacked down the wings with Sterling poking home a cross to put his side ahead. Müller was through on goal in the 81st minute but placed his shot just wide of the target, missing the chance to equalise.
Kane would then head home a second for England in the 86th minute – his first goal at EURO 2020, effectively ending Germany’s hopes of a comeback.