With only one game standing between England and a European Championship Final place, Terry Venables made a change to his team who overcame Spain on Saturday. Phil Neville was left out of the starting line-up with Paul Ince (back after suspension) taking his place, although his role was in midfield.
The first promising attack came from England in the electric atmosphere at Wembley. Twenty five yards away from goal Paul Ince hit the ball on the volley which the German goalkeeper, Kopke, punched over the crossbar. This was an excellent shot by Ince indicating that England could pull off the win if they took advantage of Kopke's tendancy to punch the ball rather than catch it.
Just three minutes of play had elapsed before England scored the opening goal. Gascoigne took a corner-kick and placed it towards the near post. Adams was there, beating Ziege and Sammer in the air, and connected with the ball to knock
it on to Shearer, who headed it through Kopke's legs for his 5th goal in the Championships.
Germany were not shell-shocked after going behind to an early goal. In typical German fashion they dug deep and were able to resume their usual passing game which has become their trade mark. The Germans came at England's defence largely through the centre and right wing. Becoming an increasing threat to England, Germany's Helmer moved forward to give the ball to Moller who continued
to make ground in England's half. Brushing off Gascoigne, Moller fed the ball to Helmer who crossed the ball for Kuntz to finish the good build-up by scoring. Sixteen minutes into the game the score was 1-1.
With Germany beating down on England it was hard for the home team to keep the scoreline as it was let alone get another goal. However, the host nation succeeded in keeping Germany out for the remainder of the game and were even able to make attacks of their own. Anderton crossing from a pass from Platt, found Shearer, but the tournament's highest goalscorer put the ball over the crossbar. Sheringham also tried to put his country ahead but Reuter stopped his shot.
After 90 minutes of play a winner had not emerged from this semi-final. Extra time was required to try to determine a winner. Three minutes into this extra time the game could have been won by England after McManaman drove the ball towards the goal, but Kopke saved. Then Germany had their turn to try for the 'golden goal" when Helmer crossed to Kuntz, but he took too long. It was a nerve jangling end and it got worse for England when Kuntz headed the ball into England's net, but the referee blew for a foul committed by Kuntz. Gascoigne almost had the final say but he failed to convert the crosses provided by his team mates.
For the second time in five days England were in a penalty shoot-out. Shearer took the first penalty followed by Hassler, Platt, Strunz, Pearce, Reuter, Gascoigne, Ziege, Sheringham and Kuntz, all scored. Then on the sixth penalty when it was sudden death, Southgate missed and Moller converted his penalty to take Germany into the final. This was the second time in two recent semi-final shoot-outs in major competitions that Germany had beaten England this way. England had in no way disgraced themselves during this Championship. They had provided the nation with some excellent memories and left the competition only through penalties. They should be proud of their contribution to the tournament and for the way they conducted themselves.
Seaman, Pearce, Ince, Adams, Southgate, Platt, Gascoigne, Shearer, Sheringham, Anderton, McManaman.
Subs Not Used: Flowers, Barmby, Campbell, L Ferdinand, G Neville, Stone, Fowler,
Kopke, Reuter, Freund (Strunz 119 mins), Helmer (Bode 110 mins), Sammer, Moller, Scholl (Hassler 77 mins), Kuntz, Babbel, Ziege, Eilts.
Subs Not Used: Kahn, Schneider, Klinsmann, Bierhoff, Reck.
England Scorer: Shearer (3 mins)
Germany Scorer: Kuntz (16 mins)
England cautions: Gascoigne
Germany cautions: Reuter, Moller
Referee: Sandor Puhl (Hungary)