Germany crush England
England bowed out of the World Cup in humiliating fashion as they were comfortably beaten 4-1 by Germany in Bloemfontein.
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 27/06/10 9:57pm
England bowed out of the World Cup in the second round in humiliating fashion as they were comfortably beaten 4-1 by Germany in Bloemfontein.
Despite the comprehensive scoreline, there was only one moment anyone could be left talking about, and that was a disallowed goal for England just before half-time with the match at 2-1.
Germany deservedly led with goals from Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski after just half-an-hour, but just before the break Matthew Upson headed home to give England some hope.
Less than 60 seconds after Upson's goal - Frank Lampard volleyed a shot post Manuel Neuer and off the bar into the goal, but the German keeper played on and Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda played on.
Replays almost instantly showed the ball was over a foot over the line, and England had been denied a clear goal.
After the break England pushed on and looked the more likely to score, but then with 20 minutes remaining, two devastating counter-attacks - both finished by Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller - sealed in the end a thoroughly deserved win for Germany.
Germany had received a boost prior to kick-off as both their injury doubts, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Jerome Boateng, were passed fit and the former's presence proved crucial as he dominated the midfield.
Joachim Low's men started the more impressively, creating the first real opening on five minutes and they should have gone ahead.
A long ball from the back saw Mesut Ozil get behind the England defence, but he fired straight at David James with Ashley Cole frantically looking to get back.
England's first chance was from a free-kick as Lampard was brought down by Schweinsteiger. But the Chelsea man fired straight at the wall.
Just moments later and the breakthrough came for Germany, as England's defence was beaten by a long ball over the top.
Neuer's goal-kick was allowed to bounce and that took it over John Terry, then Upson was out-muscled by Klose and he poked the ball past a helpless James.
England showed some spirit with Wayne Rooney's first attempt at goal, which was well wide, while Gareth Barry had the Three Lions' first shot on target but it was straight at Neuer.
But Germany always looked dangerous and on the half-hour James was forced into a wonderful save as Muller played through a lovely ball for Klose, but the Portsmouth man blocked a certain goal with his feet.
Like earlier, though, England did not heed their warning as just a minute later it was 2-0 to Germany.
Muller again was involved as he played a one-two with Klose, but instead of shooting - he squared the ball for an unmarked Podolski who, despite the tight angle, fired under James and in off the far post.
England suddenly realised the task ahead of them and began to attack Germany. Lampard forced Neuer into a great reflex save after a wonderful cross from Milner into the six-yard box.
A memorable few moments followed as England scored two goals in two minutes - but unfortunately only one was allowed to stand.
On 37 minutes, Upson - who had been given a torrid time by the German attack - made some amends as he headed home a Steven Gerrard cross as England took a short corner and caught Germany napping at the back.
Then less than 60 seconds later, England thought they had levelled. Jermain Defoe held the ball up, but was tackled and the ball fell for Lampard to volley over Neuer and in off the bar.
But the ball bounced up off the line, and with Lampard and the England bench celebrating, Neuer played on and even went close to a third with Podolski firing just wide from the resulting attack.
Goal that wasn't
Television replays instantly showed Lampard's goal was comfortably over the line and England had been denied a clear goal.
Boos rang out at half-time with Larrionda surrounded by the likes of Rooney - as the realisation of what he had done was surely sinking in.
After the break and England began the second half how they finished the first, on top.
Milner and Gerrard both saw efforts fly wide before Lampard almost levelled as he thundered a free-kick from all of 40 yards, if not more, against the crossbar with Neuer nothing but a spectator.
Just before the hour and Neuer was called upon to make a crucial intervention as Philip Lahm's pass back almost presented the ball for Defoe but the German keeper was quick off his line and slid the ball out.
Then the game was won by Germany as they grabbed two goals in three minutes.
The first goal actually came from an England free-kick as Rooney was brought down 30 yards from goal. Lampard's effort was blocked - Barry picked it up, only to be dispossessed on the edge of the box and Germany raced clear with a three-on-two.
Schweinsteiger led the charge and as he sucked in the England defenders, he squared for Bayern Munich team-mate Muller and he steered it past James - who was almost diving the wrong way.
Just two minutes later and the game was well and truly put to bed as Ozil got the better of Barry and almost a carbon-copy of the previous goal, he waited for the remaining defenders to come across before sliding it to Muller to fire home his second.
There was still time for England captain Gerrard to see a goal-bound effort well saved by Neuer, before the full-time whistle came and sealed Germany's place in next week's quarter-finals.England will rightfully feel hugely aggrieved by the injustice that was Lampard's disallowed goal, but their overall performance was not good enough as Germany looked on a different level to Fabio Capello's men.
|2||1st Half Goals||1|
|6||Shots on Target||7|
|7||Shots off Target||6|