England ended 55 years of hurt by knocking Germany out of a major tournament for the first time since 1966, and now face the Ukraine in Saturday’s Rome quarter final (8pm).
Heroics from keeper Jordan Pickford kept Tuesday afternoon’s match goalless until Raheem Sterling found the back of the net in the 75th minute. Thomas Muller then missed an open goal and the chance to equalise when clean through as Harry Kane capitalised on the let-off with a close-range header to make it 2-0.
Earlier in the week, defending champions Portugal were beaten 1-0 by Belgium on a frustrating night in Seville which saw Ronaldo and company dominate large parts of the encounter without managing to score.
The demise of many of the pre-tournament favourites continued with an unprecedented penalty shoot-out defeat for World Cup holders France by Switzerland while runners-up Croatia found themselves at the wrong end of a 5-3 score line with Spain, and was completed by Holland’s shock 2-0 exit to the Czech Republic.
Switzerland v Spain (Friday 5pm, St Petersburg)
Belgium v Italy (Friday 8pm, Munich)
Czech Republic v Denmark (Saturday 5pm, Baku)
England v Ukraine (Saturday 8pm, Rome)
Both subsequent semi-finals next Tuesday and Wednesday as well as Sunday week’s final will be played at Wembley.
By SKIP BANDELE