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England beat Germany to end 55-year jinx and Loew era



England beat Germany to end 55-year jinx and Loew era

England beat Germany 2-0 in the last 16 of Euro 2020 on Tuesday to end 55 years of agony against their old foes.

The defeat also ended for Germany the tenure of coach Joachim Loew as well.

Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling scored in the 75th minute and captain Harry Kane finally found the net as well in the 86th minute.

This happened in front of 45,000 ecstatic fans at Wembley with “Football’s Coming Home” echoing around the iconic arena after the final whistle.

It was England’s first win over Germany at a big tournament since they beat them 4-2 in the 1966 World Cup final at the old Wembley.

Subsequent defeats included the Wembley penalty kicks shoot-out loss at Euro 1996, with England’s current manager Gareth Southgate missing from the spot.

“We have had passion and heart but we also had brains,” Southgate said in praise of his team.

“We found a nice balance to be brave with ball and keep possession and to go quickly and counter.”

Man-of-the-Match Harry Maguire said: “It means everything to beat them. They are an excellent team with great players. We wanted to be brave on and off the ball and wanted to be aggressive.”

England, who are yet to concede at Euro 2020, now leave Wembley for the first time to play in the quarter-finals on Saturday in Rome against Sweden or Ukraine.

They will return to London for the rest of the tournament if they win.

“It is an immense challenge from here on. The players know that. Their feet are on the ground,” Southgate said. “We came here with an intention and haven’t achieved that yet.”

Germany go home after another modest tournament with just one victory, after a group stage exit at the 2018 World Cup.

Loew’s era thus ended in disappointment after 15 years on the job highlighted by the 2014 World Cup title.

His former assistant and ex-Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick will be taking over.

Loew rued missed major chances from Timo Werner and Thomas Mueller, saying that at this level “every mistake and any not-taken chance is punished.

“The team may lack experience and maturity. We always had moments where we lacked final determination at the back and front.”

Germany kicked off after both teams took a knee and Leon Goretzka recorded a first shot on target which however was a tame effort into Jordan Pickford’s arms.

England hardly saw the ball early on.

But the hosts finally became adventurous and the crowd excited by a curling long-range effort in the 16th minute from Sterling palmed away by Manuel Neuer.

Werner had a golden chance to break the deadlock in the 32nd minute.

He was set up superbly by Chelsea team-mate Kai Havertz but denied by Pickford from short range, from a left angle.

England captain Harry Kane who had another quiet afternoon then almost snatched the lead on the stroke of half-time.

Mueller played a disastrous ball in midfield, with Sterling being stopped at the last instance by Matthias Ginter.

The ball then fell to Kane in the goalmouth but he failed to control it properly and Mats Hummels slid in well to clear.

The second half started like the first and Havertz’ stunning volley in the 48th minute was just tipped over the bar by Pickford.

Wembley finally erupted in the 75th minute when Sterling tapped in off Luke Shaw’s low cross from the left in a fluid move.

It was a move which also involved substitute Jack Grealish and Kane for his third goal of the tournament.

Sterling almost turned to villain six minutes later when he passed to Havertz who sent Mueller on his way.

But the recalled Bayern Munich forward aimed wide right with only Pickford to beat.

However, it was all over for Germany and Loew when Kane headed home off Grealish which set off incredible scenes as the dream of a first title since 1966 lives on.

Meanwhile, tears flowed on the German side this time around.

“We had a huge chance today to get past a strong team. We failed to take it and are massively disappointed,” Germany captain Manuel Neuer said.


– dpa


Foreign News

Israel Rejects Calls For Ceasefire Before UN Security Council



Israel at the United Nations Security Council in New York on Wednesday rejected calls for a permanent ceasefire in the Gaza war.

Israeli UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan told the most powerful UN body that with a ceasefire in place, Israel would not be able to protect its citizens.

“Anyone who supports a ceasefire, basically supports Hamas’ continued reign of terror in Gaza,” he said.

One could not demand a ceasefire and at the same time claim to be seeking a solution to the conflict, Erdan said further, noting that the militant Hamas is not a partner for reliable peace.

“Hamas has publicly stated – you all saw it – that it will repeat Oct. 7 over and over again until Israel is no more.

“How would you respond and defend your citizens from such a clear threat with a ceasefire?” he queried.

Erdan maintained that there could only be an end to the violence if Hamas handed over all its hostages and everyone else involved in the attack on Israel on Oct. 7.

  • dpa
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Report of Israeli hostage family’s deaths overshadows negotiations on Gaza truce



Negotiations between Israel and Hamas to extend the Gaza truce were overshadowed at the last minute on Wednesday by an unconfirmed claim by Hamas that a family of Israeli hostages including a 10-month-old baby had been killed.

Shortly before the final release of women and children hostages scheduled under the truce, the military wing of Hamas said in a statement that the youngest hostage, baby Kfir Bibas, had been killed in an earlier Israeli bombing, along with his four-year-old brother Ariel and their mother.

Their father, who has also been held, was not mentioned in the statement.

Israeli officials said they were checking the Hamas claim, a highly emotive issue in Israel where the family is among the highest-profile civilian hostages yet to be freed.

“The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) is assessing the accuracy of the information,” the military said in a statement which added that it held Hamas responsible for the safety of all the hostages in Gaza.

Relatives had issued a special appeal for the family’s freedom after the children and their parents were excluded from the penultimate group freed on Tuesday.

An Israeli official said it would be impossible to extend the ceasefire on Thursday morning, due to a lapse, without a commitment to release all women and children among the hostages.

The official said Israel believed militants were still holding enough women and children to prolong the truce by 2-3 days.

Egyptian security sources also said negotiators believed a two-day extension was possible.

Families of those Israeli hostages due to be released later on Wednesday had already been informed earlier of their names, the final group to be freed under the truce unless negotiators succeeded in extending it.

Officials did not say at the time whether that included the Bibas family.

Gaza’s Hamas rulers published a list of 15 women and 15 teenage Palestinians to be released from Israeli jails in return for the hostages released on Wednesday.

The hostages were seized by militants in their deadly raid on Israel on Oct. 7.

For the first time since the truce began, the list of Palestinians to be freed included Palestinian citizens of Israel, as well as residents of occupied territory.

So far, Gaza militants have freed 60 Israeli women and children from among 240 hostages, under the deal that secured the war’s first truce.

At least 21 foreigners, mainly Thai farmworkers, were also freed under separate parallel deals.

In return, Israel has released 180 Palestinian security detainees, all women and teenagers.

The initial four-day truce was extended by 48 hours from Tuesday, and Israel said it would be willing to prolong it further for as long as Hamas frees 10 hostages a day.

But with fewer women and children still in captivity, that could mean agreeing to terms governing the release of at least some Israeli men for the first time.

A Palestinian official said negotiators were hammering out whether Israeli men would be released on different terms than the exchange for three Palestinian detainees each that had previously applied to the women and children.

Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy said Israel would consider any serious proposal, though he declined to provide further details.

“We are doing everything we can in order to get those hostages out. Nothing is confirmed until it is confirmed,” Levy told reporters in Tel Aviv.

“We’re talking about very sensitive negotiations in which human lives hang in the balance,” he added.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated his earlier pledges to pursue the war to annihilate Hamas, once the ceasefire lapses.

“There is no way we are not going back to fighting until the end.

“This is my policy. The entire cabinet stands behind it. The entire government stands behind it. The soldiers stand behind it. The people stand behind it. This is exactly what we will do,” he said in a statement.

Tuesday’s release also included for the first time hostages held by Islamic Jihad, a separate militant group, as well as by Hamas itself.

“The ability of Hamas to secure the release of hostages held by other factions had been an issue in earlier talks.

The truce has brought the first respite to a war launched by Israel to annihilate Hamas after the “Black Shabbat” raid by gunmen who killed 1,200 people on the Jewish rest day, according to Israel’s tally.

Israeli bombardment has since reduced much of Gaza to a wasteland, with more than 15,000 people confirmed killed, 40 percent of them children, according to Palestinian health authorities deemed reliable by the United Nations.

Many more are feared buried under the ruins. The Palestinian health ministry said another 160 bodies had been pulled out of rubble during the past 24 hours of the truce, and around 6,500 people were still missing.

  • Reuters
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Israeli army says it has opened door leading to tunnel under hospital



The Israeli army says it has broken open the sealed blast door at the end of a suspected Hamas tunnel under the al-Shifa hospital in the Gaza Strip.

The military published two pictures on social media platform X, formerly called Twitter, Tuesday evening showing the open door in a tunnel.

What exactly is behind the door remained unclear at first.

“Just through this door, underneath the Shifa Hospital, are Hamas’ terrorists tunnels.

“Here’s the PROOF of Hamas’ terrorism festering underneath hospitals,” the Israel Defense Forces said in their post on X.

However, the photographs were published without context and could not be independently verified.

The military suspects a command centre of the Islamist Hamas under the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip.

Buildings in the vicinity of the hospital were also suspected.

According to the army, a shaft uncovered a few days ago in the grounds of the embattled hospital led to a tunnel, at the end of which there was a locked “explosion-proof door” after 55 metres.

Israel says the tunnel leads to a network of Hamas tunnels and bunkers.

In spite of international criticism, Israeli soldiers have been engaging in combat operations in and around the Shifa hospital for days.

Israel accuses Hamas of misusing the hospital for “terrorist purposes.”

But Hamas denies this.

  • dpa


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