Germany crashed out of the 2020 European Championship on Tuesday after losing 2-0 to England at Wembley Stadium.
Die Mannschaft were vastly anonymous and mostly unimaginative in their performance – with the exception of Kai Havertz who was their only beacon of light throughout the game.
The 22-year old Havertz had arguably been the Germans’ best player in the tournament, as the Chelsea forward had scored two goals in the build-up to the Round of 16 encounter.
Havertz also proved to be Germany’s best creator on the afternoon, as he created two chances – the second of which put Thomas Müller through on goal, a chance that Müller frustratingly sent wide of the target.
But Germany came closest to scoring via an absolute screamer of a volleyed shot by Havertz.
Germany were enjoying a long spell of possession in the 49th minute, and the ball was put into the box by Robin Gosens from the left flank.
Müller contested to win an aerial tussle but could not, and the loose ball bounced towards the edge of the area. Havertz was ready to pounce, and he sweetly connected with an incredible left-footed volley that had both power and precision and was headed straight into the roof of the English net if not for a flying Jordan Pickford in goal.
Pickford reacted quickly to tip the ball over the crossbar and made a fantastic reflex save as Havertz was left frustrated after letting loose a strike that powerful and precise from his left foot.
It proved to be the closest that Germany came to finding the breakthrough on the afternoon, as Sterling and Kane’s strikes later in the half secured progress for England.
A disappointed Germany will board their returning flights early, but Havertz – fresh off scoring the winner in the Champions League final – can hold his head up high after being the sole German spark throughout their run.