With the ball at his feet and only the goalkeeper to win, Thomas Mueller blew it up.
The German striker, called up to the national team for the European Championship after being eliminated after the team’s early elimination three years ago, had the perfect chance to score a late draw against England on Tuesday.
Mueller had only goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in front of him after he found him in the zone with a ball in the 81st minute, and Germany was 1-0 behind. He sent his shot right off the ladder and then sank to his knees with both hands. dejectedly relaxed at the top of his head.
“We didn’t take advantage of the two great opportunities we had,” said Germany coach Joachim Loew, referring to Mueller’s pass and an earlier chance than striker Timo Werner. “It was clear that everything would be about patience. It was expected that not many opportunities would be created. You need to take advantage of them to be clinical. “
It was closest to Germany in the final minutes of the match at Wembley Stadium. Five minutes later, Germany’s hopes were dashed when England captain Harry Kane headed in to make it 2-0 with his first goal of the tournament. Rahim Stirling had scored first in the 75th with his third.
It was England’s first victory over a German team in a knockout match of a major football tournament since the 1966 World Cup final.
Mueller was among three players dropped by Lev after the elimination of the group stage in Russia at the last World Cup. Both Mats Hummels were sent back and included in the squad for Euro 2020, but Jerome Boateng was not.
Before joining the team, the 31-year-old Mueller has not played for Germany since November 19, 2018. He had a strong season in the Bundesliga, but scored 11 goals and scored 21 more to help Bayern’s ninth consecutive league title – and Mueller’s 10th overall.
But he again could not repeat his result at the European Championships, where his fruitless win without goals in 15 appearances continued in this year’s continental competition.
Before the match, Mueller wondered why Kane had not scored a goal in the tournament so far.
“Great strikers are the best in patience,” said Mueller. – The attacker must be able to wait for his chance. I don’t know why Harry Kane wasn’t in the right position to complete the attack as usual. I’m sure his technique and finishing qualities haven’t changed much in recent weeks. “
Mueller was certainly in the right place on Tuesday for his chance and missed it.