England gave Germany a lesson in ruthless finishing, converting its only two real chances of this Euro 2020 last-16 match to finally end its decades-long inferiority complex against its old, historic rival.
Germany hadn't lost a knockout match to England in a major international competition since the 1966 World Cup final, but second-half goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane secured the home side a 2-0 win and passage through to the quarterfinals.
For the neutral, it certainly wasn't a thriller. At times, both sides seemed more scared at the prospect of losing than excited at the thought of winning.
Chances were few and far between; indeed, Germany had the better opportunities until England stole the lead in the 75th minute thanks to Sterling's close-range finish.
Playing in front of a partisan 40,000 crowd that made Wembley Stadium feel like it was at capacity, England capitalized on their chances when it mattered.
England head coach Gareth Southgate's introduction of Jack Grealish in the second half also helped change the course of the match.
England to face Ukraine in Euro 2020 quarterfinals
Grealish was involved in both of England's goals and will have certainly staked his claim for starting berth in the next round against Ukraine, who beat Sweden 2-1 in Glasgow later on Tuesday. That quarterfinal will be played in Rome's Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.
As "It's Coming Home" — the chorus to "Three Lions," England's adopted anthem — echoed around Wembley, the English players took a deserved lap of honor and soaked in the adulation of an ecstatic crowd.
Thousands of expectant fans had gathered on Wembley Way — the famous road that leads up to England's national stadium — several hours before kick-off, their nerves manifesting in a cacophony of songs and chants that were never quite in sync.
Small pockets of German fans that made their way through the sea of white shirts were met by vociferous boos; they were massively outnumbered in the 40,000 capacity crowd.
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