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Zero to hero: Kane sends moaning England fans into sharp U-turn after goal helps down Germans at Euro 2020

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For much of a tense game at Wembley on Tuesday, Harry Kane was again bearing the brunt of England supporters’ frustrations – but all that changed with his late goal as Three Lions fans regained some faith in their skipper.

Goalless at Euro 2020 heading into the last-16 meeting with old enemy Germany, Kane was enduring a tournament to forget.

The Tottenham man had appeared off the pace in the three group-stage games, with suggestions that England boss Gareth Southgate might be better off dispensing with the services of his captain in favor of the array of younger talents at his disposal.

When Southgate kept the faith with Kane against the Germans, that looked like a decision that had backfired badly following another woeful first-half performance from the Tottenham man in which he managed only eight touches and spurned a golden chance just before the break when presented with the goal at his mercy and only Manuel Neuer to beat.

At the break, some observers were screaming at Southgate to introduce the likes of Rashford or Sterling.

Unfit or just plain out of form, Kane was clearly struggling – and the momentum against the England captain was mounting online.

But all that changed in the space of 11 second-half minutes.

First, Raheem Sterling got on the end of a Luke Shaw cross to poke the ball past Neuer and put England ahead.

It was the Manchester City winger’s third goal of the tournament as he continued his post-season resurgence following a difficult campaign with his club.

But more was to come when Kane finally popped his Euro 2020 cherry. More good work down the left from Jack Grealish ended with him dinking a cross into Kane, who nodded past Neuer from close range.

The Three Lions skipper was mobbed – and the response from Kane fans to his doubters online was swift in coming.

England had their first knockout-stage win over Germany in 55 years and next head into a quarter-final meeting with either Sweden or Ukraine in Rome on Saturday.

Manager Southgate also earned praise for his approach, prioritizing control and game management over flair – although it was undoubtedly the introduction of Aston Villa maverick Grealish for Bukaya Saka on 69 minutes which helped inject some much-needed potency into the English attack.

It was a question of personal relief for Kane though, as fans will hope his first Euro 2020 strike will open the floodgates for plenty more.  

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