England are well placed to join Group A winners Portugal in the UEFA EURO 2000 quarter-finals after beating Germany in a major tournament for the first time since 1966.
Captain Alan Shearer scored the only goal of the game eight minutes after half-time, heading in at the far post when David Beckham's dangerous free-kick eluded everyone in a crowded box. Germany pushed hard in vain for an equaliser, and the continuation of their defence now rests on beating Portugal in their final group game and hoping Romania defeat England.
Erich Ribbeck's men will not be bereft of hope after making a bright start in Charleroi. The height and strength of Carsten Jancker caused problems for Martin Keown and Sol Campbell at the heart of England's defence and Sebastian Deisler, one of four changes to the Germany starting XI, brought the supporters to their feet with a buccaneering run down the right.
Dietmar Hamann and Mehmet Scholl also caused palpitations in the England penalty box, then slowly but surely Kevin Keegan's men came into the game. Michael Owen rose to meet Phil Neville's cross but the diving Oliver Kahn pushed the header on to the inside of the post and away. Paul Scholes then volleyed just over.
Two minutes before half-time Beckham picked out Scholes in the penalty area but once again Kahn was equal to the task, parrying the Manchester United FC midfielder's fierce left-foot drive. Germany responded with Hamann shooting just wide and at the interval there was little to choose between the sides – Shearer changed all that.
Germany tried to hit back and Jancker's shot on the turn flew just over. The 39-year-old Lothar Matthäus passed cleverly to Scholl but his shot crept past the post and Seaman then stuck out a leg to save from Ulf Kirsten after a corner before Jancker put the rebound wide. England held on, and a draw against Romania will send them through.