After a beginning of the competition that did not generate much enthusiasm, Euro 2020 is more and more interesting for the fans in Morocco. In Casablanca, the England vs Germany clash was keenly followed. The success of the Three Lions is well received by the fans.
We had to take a little walk in the city center of Casablanca in order to relax before the England vs Germany match on Tuesday 29th June. The famous "Café de France" was the usual place to watch football matches in the area, but it was not broadcasting the match. At least not the beginning. But a few blocks away, another café had already welcomed a few football fans for this Euro Round of 16 clash.
Football and diplomacy closely linked
As soon as we settle down to sip a Moroccan mint tea, the waiter comes forward to discuss football. He is hoping for an English victory. Although not a big Three Lions fan, Rachid (not his real name) wants to see Germany lose. "Allemania or Inglaterra?" he asks. When told that we're more in favor of the Mannschaft, he laughs with a dejected look on his face. For him, "Moroccans have to support the English, because Germany is their enemy". The cause? The Sahara issue, which has recently soured relations between Rabat and Berlin. This is a diplomatic issue that is important in a football match. Once the discussion is over, it becomes clear that the majority of the coffee is in favor of the Three Lions.
Werner misses, much to the delight of the fans
The match, however, had trouble getting off the ground. Both teams were very cautious. The English looked the better side, but it was the Germans who had the better chance in the first half. Werner was set up by Havertz and missed a one-on-one with Pickford. A sigh of relief for an English fan sitting nearby. He was wary of the Germans, but said the Three Lions would have to "raise their game" to win. "England are a very good team, but they need to create chances," he said. Kane got a one-on-one with Hummels just minutes before the break, but Hummels stepped in. The England fans believed it.
In the second half, the game remained fairly quiet until Kai Havertz's volley brought more excitement. Jordan Pickford's beautiful tap-in was applauded by the fans for a long time. But the fans were still wary of the Three Lions' chaotic play and lack of finishing.
One of Germany's worst game
Just as it looked as though the game was heading for extra time, Raheem Sterling opened the scoring with 15 minutes to go. The crowd goes wild. Almost everyone applauds the breakthrough in this fairly close contest. One German fan stood up to leave. He hopes for an equalizer, however, and still stands for the last few minutes of the game. Unfortunately for this Germany fan, Harry Kane seals the Germans' fate. Fair play, this fan regretted "the huge chance Thomas Muller had squandered a few minutes earlier". "But England deserved to win, they were better in this match," he said.
He said that "Germany didn't play their football like they did against Portugal and France". They played "their worst game". When asked about the players put on the pitch by Joachim Low, this fan was critical. "Muller and Hummels are finished and should retire," he said.
The waiter, who favors the English, is happy and has a big smile on his face. For him, the main thing is done: the "enemy" Germany is leaving Euro 2020 prematurely. It doesn't matter what the outcome of the competition is for the English.