England and Germany to renew epic rivalry at Euro 2020


LONDON — One of the great rivalries in international soccer will be renewed on Tuesday at the European Championship when England plays Germany in the round of 16 at Wembley Stadium.

The teams have played some epic matches in the past, including in the 1966 World Cup final and in the semifinals at Euro ’96.

They each won one of those matches, but overall the Germans lead with 15 victories, 13 losses and four draws.


Less about the result and more about what unfolded before kickoff in front of 110,000 fans at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, the English visitors gave a Nazi salute during the playing of the German anthem.

And they did it under British government orders.

The act handed Adolf Hitler a propaganda coup a year before Britain declared war on Nazi Germany in 1939 after its invasion of Poland.


England won its only World Cup title by beating West Germany in London in a match that produced an enduring moment of controversy that is still the subject of debate.

In extra time with the scored even at 2-2, Alan Ball crossed to England teammate Geoff Hurst, who turned and shot. The ball thumped down from the underside of the West German crossbar and Roger Hunt raised his arms to proclaim the ball bounced over the goal line.

Wolfgang Weber thought he had headed the ball over for a corner, but Swiss referee Gotffried Dienst conferred with Soviet linesman Tofik Bakhramov, who believed there was a goal.

The limited camera angles and lower-quality footage means it’s inconclusive to this day whether the ball crossed the line. But it counted on the Wembley Stadium scoreboard as Hurst’s second goal.

His third — a thumping left-footed drive — completed what remains the only hat trick in a World Cup final.


The Germans recovered from a 2-0 deficit to officially end England’s reign as World Cup champions in the quarterfinals of the 1970 tournament in Mexico.

Alan Mullery and Martin Peters had given England the lead, but Franz Beckenbauer began the recovery midway through the second half. England coach Alf Ramsey then replaced midfielder Bobby Charlton and an equalizer from West Germany captain Uwe Seeler sent the game into extra time.

Gerd Müller volleyed in the the winner to secure Germany’s first competitive win over England and a semifinal berth against Italy — a match they would lose.


Before the European Championship expanded its final tournament, the quarterfinals were still part of qualifying and were played over two legs at home and away.

The English hosted West Germany in the first match at Wembley in 1972 and Uli Hoeneß put Germany ahead with a curling shot from just outside the penalty area that left England goalkeeper Gordon Banks lying face-first on the turf.

Francis Lee managed to score a late equalizer for England but Günter Netzer and Gerd Müller scored even later, in the 84th and 88th minutes, respectively, to give the West Germans a 3-1 cushion heading into the second match. That next game in at the Olympic Stadium in West Berlin finished 0-0, sending West Germany on its way to the title in Brussels.

1990: WEST GERMANY 1, ENGLAND 1 (West Germany won 4-3 on penalties)

Just like in 1966 and 1970, the teams went to extra time at the World Cup — this time in Italy in the semifinals.

Gary Lineker equalized for England after Andreas Brehme’s deflected free kick made it 1-0.

The match was made even more memorable because of Paul Gascoigne’s tears after getting a yellow card that would have ruled him out of the final. There was further weeping when England lost the penalty shootout.

Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle both hit their spot kicks over the bar and the Germans went on to win the final.

1996: ENGLAND 1, GERMANY 1 (Germany won 6-5 on penalties)

There was no second victory over Germany at Wembley Stadium in a major soccer tournament.

Alan Shearer put England ahead with a header in the Euro ’96 semifinals, but Stefan Kuntz equalized for the now-unified Germans. Paul Gascoigne then failed to connect with Shearer’s cross, sending the game to penalties.

Current England coach Gareth Southgate missed the decisive kick in the shootout, and Germany went on to win the title.


The last game at the old Wembley turned out to be Kevin Keegan’s last game in charge of England’s national team.

The coach decided to quit while seeking privacy in a bathroom cubicle shortly after Dietmar Hamann’s free kick squirmed through the hands of goalkeeper David Seaman.


On German soil, England produced a signature win of Sven-Goran Eriksson’s tenure as coach — and it’s greatest performance against a unified Germany team.

Carsten Jancker scored to give Germany the lead in Munich in a qualifying match for the 2002 World Cup, but a trio of Liverpool players then took over.

Michael Owen scored a hat trick, Steven Gerrard knocked in a half-volley to put England in the lead, and Emile Heskey delivered the final blow.


Back at the World Cup, this time in the round of 16 in South Africa, the two teams produced five goals but the match is best remembered for the one that didn’t count.

Trailing 2-0, England managed to claw one back from defender Matthew Upson. The revived England team then rampaged forward in search of an equalizer and Frank Lampard shot hard from the edge of the penalty area.

The ball struck the underside of the bar and television replays clearly showed it bouncing about a yard behind the German goal line.

The referee, however, waved play on, a blow the English never recovered from, instead conceding two more goals to the Germans.

The disallowed goal transformed the sport, with goal-line technology in place four years later for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

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