Jerome Boateng made an incredible goal line save against Ukraine during Germany’s first game in Euro 2016.
Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was beaten on a rare Ukranian counterattack and it looked as though Ukraine would tie the game 1-1 until Boateng cleared the ball off the goal line while falling into his own net.
The play kept Germany squarely in the driver’s seat until Bastian Schweinsteiger’s goal sealed the deal for Germany by putting them up 2-0 in stoppage time.
Boateng’s helter-skelter clearance was reminiscent of the tragic incident that ended German great Ditmar Jakobs’ career in 1989 when he was impaled by an exposed hook used to secure the goal to the ground:
A doctor ended up cutting the hook from Jakobs’ back with a scalpel after 20 excruciating minutes and the nerve damage he sustained forced him to retire from soccer.
Though the accident ended his career, Jakobs considers himself lucky because the hook missed spinal cord by two inches.
26 years later, Germany is looking like the team to beat in Euro 2016.
If they can win the Euro this year after winning the World Cup in 2014, they’ll be poised to challenge 2008-2012 Spanish squad for the greatest run in international football in modern history.