Kane repeats Son's success as Germany are toppled again
On June 27, 2018, Korea knocked Germany out of the World Cup with captain Son Heung-min scoring the insurance goal in the 2-0 win, creating one of the most memorable moments in Korean football history.
Almost exactly three years later, on Tuesday, England knocked Germany out of the 2020 Euros with captain Harry Kane scoring the insurance goal in the 2-0 win. On both occasions — the last two major tournaments that Germany has competed in — it was the Tottenham Hotspur attacking duo that put the final nail in the coffin.
Korea's 2-0 victory in 2018 was the more dramatic one. At the time, Germany were the No. 1 ranked team in the world, while Korea was ranked at No. 57.
Neither team had got off to a good start in their Group F games, but Korea was trailing in fourth place, having already lost 1-0 to Sweden and 2-1 to Mexico. Germany had also lost 1-0 to Mexico but had beaten Sweden 2-1. If they beat Korea, they likely would advance to the knockout stage.
Despite the odds stacked in Germany's favor, neither team was able to get anything across in 90 minutes. It wasn't until injury time in the second half when Korea struck, twice. Kim Young-gwon scored the opener at 92 minutes, hammering the ball past the goalkeeper in the middle of the box to take the score to 1-0.
Son's chance came minutes later, when the German goalkeeper was robbed of the ball deep in Korea's half. A long cross picked out Son at the other end of the pitch, and the captain slotted the ball straight into the empty goal.
Both Korea and Germany crashed out of the World Cup, but Korea did so with their heads held high, leaving the tournament as giant-killers.
England entered the tournament with better odds — they're ranked at No. 4 in the world to Germany's No. 12 — but with a long track record of bottling it in big moments, victory was by no means guaranteed.
Again, both teams were level pegging until the very end of the game. Raheem Sterling broke through in the 75th minute, giving England a 1-0 lead. Kane's head sealed the deal in the 86th, with Germany again being sent home after a 2-0 defeat.
Kane will be back in action as England take on the Ukraine in the quarterfinals on Saturday, or Sunday morning in Korea. Whether he'll ever appear alongside Son again remains unclear — the Spurs talisman still appears to be set on leaving the club, although no transfer has been announced.
BY JIM BULLEY [email@example.com]