The City forward has been superb as the Three Lions have cleared each hurdle put before them in the tournament and it was his dart into the box in extra time that earned England the penalty that Harry Kane profited from to score the winning goal at Wembley.
“It was a top performance,” said Sterling.
“We had to dig in deep. It was the first time we conceded but we responded well and showed good spirit.
"We knew it would be difficult. We stayed patient and we knew the legs and aggressiveness we have in the team we'd be okay.
"It's another step in the right direction. We have to focus on the weekend now.
“It's step-by-step. We know what football means to this country. The energy, the atmosphere...it was top.
"Now we have Italy. We will celebrate a little bit then focus on Italy.”
As for winning a penalty, Sterling explained: “I went into the box and he stabbed his right leg out. As long as it goes into the back of the net, that's all that matters."