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- England v Germany
skysports.com's Chris Burton looks at past encounters between the old adversaries
Few rivalries in sport capture the imagination quite as much as encounters between England and Germany on the football field.
Events away from the pitch may have added to the feud over the years, but these two old adversaries having been locking horns in sporting circles for well over 100 years.
The origins of this iconic clash can be traced all the way back to 1899, when England faced German opposition for the very first time.
Back then the Three Lions ruled the roost and were able to bask in the glory of numerous comprehensive victories - including a 13-2 win in that first encounter.
Since then the two sides have drawn closer together in terms of ability, with both nations enjoying their moments in the sun down the years.
Another chapter in this long-running rivalry is now set to be written on Sunday, when England and Germany do battle in the last 16 of the 2010 World Cup.
Both will admit that they would have preferred to avoid each other in South Africa, at least until the latter stages, but fate has pulled them together once again.
Recent form suggests the game will be as close as ever, with two evenly-matched sides set to slug it out for international bragging rights and a place in the last eight of a major tournament.
Whatever happens, the fixture in Bloemfontein is sure to offer top drawer entertainment - so to get you in mood skysports.com has trawled the archives to offer up a selection of memorable England versus Germany contests from years gone by.
Germany 3 England 6 (Berlin, May 14, 1938)
A match made infamous by the England players' shameful Nazi salute during the pre-match national anthems. Consequently, the thumping England dished out to their hosts over the 90 minutes that followed is often overlooked. Cliff Bastin, Jackie Robinson (two), Frank Broome, Stanley Matthews and Len Goulden were England's scorers that day in what was the final meeting between the two countries prior to the outbreak of war 16 months later.
England 4 West Germany 2 (London, July 30, 1966)
Undoubtedly England's finest hour as they lifted the World Cup on home soil. Alf Ramsey's side entered the game as firm favourites, but were made to sweat before clinching the crown. They almost had the game wrapped up inside 90 minutes, but a late effort from Wolfgang Weber sent the game to extra-time. England got a helping hand from the infamous 'Russian linesman', who ruled a Geoff Hurst effort which cannoned off the underside of the crossbar had crossed the line, before wrapping up the win. Hurst completed his hat-trick in the dying seconds, leading to mass celebration across the country and one of the most memorable lines of commentary to have ever been spoken.
England 2 West Germany 3 (Leon, June 14, 1970)
Four years on from the joys of Wembley, West Germany got their own back in the sweltering heat of Mexico. England, the defending champions, led 2-0 at one stage, but pressed the self destruct button in the second half allowing Franz Beckenbauer and Uwe Seeler to haul the tie level. Losing Gordon Banks to illness and substituting the talismanic Bobby Charlton hardly helped their cause, and led to much criticism of the once revered Ramsey, and England duly went on to lose the game. Gerd Muller pounced in extra-time to ensure England's reign would last no longer than four years.
West Germany 1 England 1 (Turin, July 4, 1990)
The day England's penalty nightmare started. Before the 1990 World Cup, the Three Lions had no issue with spot kicks, having never suffered the heartache of crushing defeat in the cruellest of manners. All that changed in Italy as they fell at the semi-final stage to West Germany. The two sides could not be separated over the course of 120 minutes of enthralling entertainment and the match was settled from 12 yards. Germany, as ever, kept their cool to grind out the win, with Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle the unfortunate men to miss for England.
England 1 Germany 1 (London, June 26, 1996)
Six years on and penalty groundhog day struck England in front of an expectant home support. Euro 96 looked all set to be the event that ended England's 30-year wait for an international trophy, but Germany again crushed their dreams. As in Italia 90, a 1-1 draw failed to produce a winner, despite both sides going close. Unfortunately for England the resulting shootout also produced a similar outcome. On this occasion Gareth Southgate failed to convert from the spot, allowing Andreas Moller to send Germany into the final - which they later won.
England 1 Germany 0 (Charleroi, June 17, 2000)
The last time England and Germany went head-to-head at a major tournament was at the 2000 European Championships in Holland and Belgium. Both teams were far from world beaters at this time and it came as no surprise that they played out a rather drab affair in Charleroi. It was, however, England supporters who were celebrating at the end, as a trademark header from Alan Shearer ensured nobody cared what the performance had been like.
England 0 Germany 1 (London, October 7, 2000)
Having been paired together in qualification for the 2002 World Cup, it was fitting that the last game at the old Wembley was played out between these two arch-enemies. Germany, though, would spoil the day as a Dietmar Hamann free-kick skidded through the torrential rain, through David Seaman's hands and into the back of the net. England were unable to find a leveller, meaning the Twin Towers were denied one last hurrah. After the final whistle, a dejected Kevin Keegan resigned from his post as national coach in the dressing room toilets.
Germany 1 England 5 (Munich, September 1, 2001)
What a night! England travelled to Germany under the guidance of Sven-Goran Eriksson with revenge in mind, and exacted it in jaw-dropping fashion. England supporters feared the worst when Carsten Jancker fired Germany in front inside six minutes, but they need not have worried. A Michael Owen hat-trick, a spectacular drive from Steven Gerrard and a late fifth for Emile Heskey had England in dreamland. The Three Lions may not have gone on to win the 2002 World Cup, but that night in Munich allowed them to feel on top of the world for a very long time!
England 1 Germany 2 (London, August 22, 2007)
Germany completed a remarkable double in 2007 as their penchant for crashing the party continued. Not content with being the last side to beat England at the old Wembley, they then became the first side to see off the Three Lions when the new and improved stadium opened its doors. England took an early lead through Frank Lampard, but the Germans bounced back courtesy of an error by Paul Robinson, who flapped at Bernd Schneider's cross, allowing Kevin Kuranyi to level. Christian Pander marked his international debut with a thunderous winner five minutes before the break.
Germany 1 England 2 (Berlin, November 19, 2008)
Quite whether a match which took place over 18 months ago can be regarded as form in this fixture is debateable, but England will head into Sunday's World Cup clash buoyed by the knowledge that they came out on top the last time the two countries met. Not quite as spectacular as the famous 5-1 win behind enemy lines in 2001, but a win on German soil will always live long in the memory. A John Terry header six minutes from time proved to be the winner. His fellow centre-half on that day, Matthew Upson, scored the opener. That pair could well line up alongside each other again this weekend - anybody fancy a repeat?
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