Jerome Boateng bagged his first international goal and Julian Draxler made the engine churn as Germany poured the pressure on Slovakia and moved onto the quarterfinals with a 3-0 win, their most comprehensive performance of the tournament thus far.
The German attack had been mediocre through the Euro 2016 group stage, but they got out in front early thanks to an eighth minute goal by Jerome Boateng, his first international goal for Germany. Off a corner, the ball was cleared by the head of Milan Skirnir high up into the air. Before it could come back down, Boateng struck it viciously on net, and with Matus Kozacik shielded by three poor block attempts, the ball slid into the back of the net.
It looked to get even worse for Slovakia five minutes later as Martin Skrtel conceded a penalty with a two-handed shove on Mario Gomez in the box, but the penalty by Mesut Ozil was saved well by Kozacik to the goalkeeper’s left.
Germany continued to pummel Slovakia with pressure, with Thomas Muller unable to head home on a good Ozil cross before the half-hour mark. Manuel Neuer was required for the first time in the 41st minute when he acrobatically saved a quality header from Peter Pekarik.
Struggling to finish since the opener, Germany would break through for its second goal just before the break. Julian Draxler smoked Juraj Kucka on the end line one-on-one, and the 22-year-old fed Mario Gomez who slammed it home from point-blank range for a 2-0 lead.
With Germany flying, Draxler bagged a deserved goal just past the hour mark to make it 3-0. A corner was headed into the air by Mats Hummels, and as the ball came down, Draxler flung his leg to meet it, powering it into the back of the net. Nothing changed as the game wound down, with Lukas Podolski coming on in the 72nd minute and proving dangerous the rest of the way. Toni Kroos nearly bagged Germany’s fourth in added time on a pull-back by Muller, but it was shot straight at Kozacik.
With the win, Germany advances to the quarterfinals where they will face either Italy or Spain in a truly exciting early knockout round matchup.