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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

England's Shearer Helps Break German Jinx

CHARLEROI, Belgium -- Alan Shearer wasn't even born when England last celebrated a championship victory over Germany.

On Saturday, Shearer headed in the only goal in a 1-0 victory and ended 34 years of frustration for England and poured misery this time on the Germans.

The defeat could spell the end of Germany's reign as European champion and could mark its earliest exit from the competition since 1984.

Shearer powered in a far-post header from a David Beckham cross in the 53rd minute to revive England's chances of qualifying for the quarterfinal and spark celebrations not only in the stadium but in millions of homes back in England.

The result ended Germany's amazing domination over England in major championships since the 1966 World Cup final. The Germans had knocked the English out of the 1970 and 1990 World Cups and the 1996 Euros either in the quarters or the semis and twice after penalty shootouts.

"People back home have waited so long f so have I f this is magnificent," said coach Kevin Keegan.

"The character came through. It might carry us a long way through this tournament if we just believe in ourselves. I'm delighted for the fans."

Commenting on Shearer, Keegan said: "He's answered his critics again. The fans love him but the critics don't. I just think he's the best at what he does and he's done it again tonight."

Germany, three-time European champion, created plenty of shooting chances, but couldn't get the ball past David Seaman in the England goal.

The victory gives England three points from two games, three behind Group A winner Portugal. The Germans, who tied with Romania, have only one and must beat the Portuguese and hope for Romania to beat England to survive.

German defender Lothar Matth?us said his team paid the price for not making a breakthrough in the first half.

"We could not force our way through in the second half," he said. "England capitalized on its chance, that is the difference."

German coach Erich Ribbeck said one piece of defensive slackness and poor finishing cost them the game.

"We didn't deserve to lose. We were better in the first half," said Ribbeck.

"They scored and we didn't convert the chances we had in the second half. A little bit of inattention cost us the game."

Shearer's goal came as a result of a rare mistake by the German defense, which had played much better in its opening 1-1 draw with Romania.

Beckham fired in a well-weighted free kick that flashed past Michael Owen and Paul Scholes and their two markers, and Shearer, left unmarked by Markus Babble wide of the far post, planted a powerful header past goalkeeper Oliver Kahn to spark celebrations among the English fans.

After the final whistle, there were scenes of wild celebration to the drum beats that had pounded during the entire match.

The absence of captain Oliver Bierhoff, who injured his calf muscle in practice, could explain Germany's poor finishing.

The Germans almost leveled within a minute of Shearer's goal when Carsten Jancker neatly collected a cross from the right, and turned to fire a close range shot just too high from a tight angle.

But the Germans continued to create chances and, after goalkeeper Seaman had blocked a shot from Ulf Kirsten with his feet, the ball rolled clear to Jancker who shot wide from only 10 meters out.