England stars etch names into folklore with Germany win to reach Euro 2020 quarter-finals

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They see it as a challenge as they wrote their own names into English football folklore at Wembley.

The England team which finally beat Germany, ended 55 years of hurt and left the whole country dreaming.

At the final whistle, it was the England fans singing about football coming home rather than the all too familiar German supporters stealing the song.

England beat their fierce rivals in style, Raheem Sterling was the hero again as he broke the deadlock before finally, at long last, Harry Kane got off the mark.

It was by no means easy, at times it was a war of attrition but there were no nerves as the clock ticked down and the 40,000 fans inside Wembley could enjoy an unforgettable victory.

Kane ended a 570-minute goal drought to prompt raucous celebrations
(Image: Pool via REUTERS)

A victory no-one will ever forget because it was Germany, because they finally won a knock-out game in the Euros – their first since beating Spain on penalties in 1996 – and because now they can see their path to glory opening up.

Now they must go to Rome for a quarter final on Saturday, then they have the incentive of a semi final and final at Wembley and they have a team to match the best.

They have overtaken Germany with their youth, their options and a determination epitomised by Jack Grealish coming off the bench to help win the game.

Grealish was involved in both goals, it was his assist for Kane to get the clincher and it was no wonder the England fans have made him a cult hero.

Gareth Southgate went onto the pitch at the end, he of all people will know what it means and made straight for Grealish to congratulate him after a landmark win.

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Twenty five years on, Southgate has finally laid to rest the demons of Euro 96, that penalty miss and this team were good enough to beat the old enemy inside 90 minutes.

It does not get any better than this especially as the crowd were there to make the atmosphere, to take the roof off Wembley and make it a night no England fan will ever forget.

That was what Southgate asked of his players, to create their own history, to score a special goal or provide a wonderful moment. If they do win the Euros, this will be the game that fans will cherish.

The pictures of Sterling – now with three goals in four games and England’s hero – will never be forgotten nor those of Grealish who is this tournament’s Gazza.

Will England go on to win Euro 2020? Have your say in the comments.

England will surely now believe they can go all the way, the tournament is opening up with France, Portugal and Germany all out and they will never have a better chance.

This was also an open invitation against Germany because Joachim Low’s men are a far cry from the team they were as world and European champions.

But they were still a formidable opponent. England looked like a team full of nerves and anxiety as they started slowly, Germany bossed it and Jordan Pickford twice bailed them out with incredible saves.

Pickford’s brilliant block thwarted Timo Werner in the first half and the England keeper made an even better stop with a stunning tip-over to deny Kai Havertz.

At the other end, England were making little headway. Kane looked lost, Southgate’s switch to a back three looked solid defensively but did not create much and it was not until Grealish’s introduction that the Germans began to crack.

The first goal came after 75 minutes when Kane and Grealish combined, Luke Shaw put over a low cross and Sterling raced in to slot home. The stadium came alive.

England had a major scare soon after when Sterling’s pass went straight to Havertz, Thomas Muller went clean through and yet the Germany forward fired wide of the target. It really was going to be England’s night.

England got their second goal cushion after 85 minutes when they broke forward, Grealish found himself in space and his cross was perfect for Kane to head home. After another quiet, subdued game, maybe that is lift off for England’s captain.

It certainly is for this England team.

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