Facing Germany in the round of 16 (2-0), England had to wait 75 minutes to secure their place for the next round in this Euro 2021. This Saturday, July 3, on the lawn of the Olympic stadium in Rome, the Three Lions knew they were almost in the semi-finals of the tournament from the 50th minute of play when they led by three goals. England’s victory was finally even clearer (4-0).
Thanks to a great start to the second half, Gareth Southgate’s players secured their lead by a goal acquired in the first period, on three successive ball strokes. The first of Harry Maguire, who came to play the movers in the Ukrainian area on a free kick shot by Luke Shaw (46th). The second three minutes later, on a new center from Shaw, for the header of Kane (50th).
The Tottenham striker then offered himself a double after opening the scoring early in the game on a bright service from Raheem Sterling (5th). Southgate had announced it after his goal at the end of the match against Germany: Kane, much criticized at the start of the tournament for not having found the net, was going to feel freed of a weight. The Three Lions striker came very close to a hat-trick on a sublime volley of the left foot well diverted by Georgiy Bushchan (62nd).
9 – Harry Kane equaled Alan Shearer by scoring his 9th goal with England in a major tournament (EURO + World Cup), only Gary Lineker (10) has more often found the fault in these major competitions with the Three Lions. Giants. #ENG # EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/ZRtXkFdMMY
– OptaJean (@OptaJean) July 3, 2021
On the corner that followed, Mason Mount found the head – for the third English helmet – of Jordan Henderson for the fourth goal (63rd). With its two completely failed half-time starts, Ukraine therefore found itself condemned, quickly, to leave the quarter. The players of Andriy Shevchenko hardly believed in an equalizer on the only real Ukrainian occasion, a strike not sufficiently supported by Roman Yaremchuk well diverted by Jordan Pickford (17th).
The Everton goalkeeper has still not conceded a single goal since the start of the Euro and the English rearguard seems confident of his strength. The English attack seemed in its infancy at the start of the tournament, it experienced a kind of click against the Nationalmannschaft. After this release against the Germans, England were the only team to master their quarter-final from start to finish. She could have won even more widely if Declan Rice (33rd) and Jadon Sancho (40th), finally holder after having played only six minutes in four games so far, had managed to deceive Bushchan.
For the first time in the Euro, England moved beyond its borders, having played all of its matches in London. The Three Lions, who were back to four defenders tonight, were able to count on the support of a few die-hard British supporters, but the atmosphere at the Olympic Stadium in Rome was light years away from Wembley madness. A stadium that they will return to on Wednesday for their semi-final against Denmark.
Far from giving in to the pressure of a match away from home, England showed the confidence of a more than serious contender for the final victory. The Southgate side seem confident and the path to the Euro final has never looked so clear for England, who have not played any since the competition was created in 1960. An anomaly that a whole people is impatiently waiting to be able to correct, to celebrate a second coronation on the international scene after the 1966 World Cup.