LILLE, France — Germany produced its best performance yet at the European Championship to book a place in the quarterfinals with a comprehensive 3-0 defeat of Slovakia.
Jerome Boateng put the world champions in the lead in its round of 16-match Sunday as soon as the eighth minute when his shot from outside the area took a slight deflection into the corner of the Slovakia goal.
Mesut Ozil had the chance to make it 2-0 six minutes later after Martin Skrtel conceded a penalty for a shove on Mario Gomez, but goalkeeper Matus Kozacik guessed the right way and palmed away his spot kick.
Germany had further chances to double its lead in the first half — Thomas Mueller had a host of opportunities. Eventually its pressure paid off, and Mario Gomez scored Germany’s second in the 43rd after the impressive Julian Draxler eluded Juraj Kucka to set up the simple finish.
Kucka had moments earlier come close to levelling for Slovakia only to be thwarted by a fine reflex save from Manuel Neuer.
Draxler killed off any lingering hopes of a Slovakia comeback with a 63rd-minute volley from close range.
With the game settled, Germany coach Joachim Loew introduced some players, including Lukas Podolski for his first appearance in the tournament, and rested others, such as Boateng and Drexler, ahead of the quarterfinal match against Spain or Italy in Bordeaux on Saturday.
Loew’s side is the only team remaining at Euro 2016 that has yet to concede a goal. Germany hasn’t conceded a goal since it lost 3-1 to Slovakia in a pre-tournament friendly in Augsburg on May 29.