WORLD CUP: Germany dispose of England with a whiff of controversy
Germany made light of defeating England 4-1, and despite the Three Lions having a perfectly good equaliser chalked off, their opponents were good value for the victory. GER: 4 ENG: 1
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein Crowd: 40,510 Officials Referee:Jorge Larrionda (Uruguay) Assistants:Pablo Fandino & Mauricio Espinosa (Uruguay) Fourth official:Martin Vazquez (Uruguay) Yellow cards:GER - Friedrich ENG - Johnson G
Red cards: none MATCH REPORT England were comprehensively outplayed by Germany and their poor defensive performance ensured the Three Lions suffered their worst ever World Cup Final defeat.
Germany were good value for their two goal lead by the half hour as England looked ponderous and defensively suspect. The opening effort was an embarrassment for England central defenders Matthew Upson and John Terry as a route one kick from the German keeper Manuel Neuer evaded both of them allowing Miroslav Klose to slide in his 50th international goal.
England's vulnerability at the back was exposed again as Lukas Podolski ended a fine passing move by firing past David James.
Then on 36 minutes England were handed a lifeline as from a Steven Gerrard short corner Upson headed home. For a brief moment Fabio Capello's team began to threaten as Germany looked unsure and Frank Lampard seemed to have levelled a minute later.
The Chelsea midfielder hit a dipping shot over Neuer which hit the underside of the crossbar and clearly crossed the line but none of the officials saw the 'goal' and waved play on. England ended the half with more urgency and a sense of grievance against the Uruguayan linesman Mauricio Espinosa.
Certainly England had more purpose in the second half and Lampard struck the crossbar with a free kick, but Germany always looked capable of taking advantage of the Three Lions rearguard.
Then two goals in three minutes clinched a deserved quarter final place for the Germans, ruthlessly exposing England with quick counter attacks.
On 66 minutes a Lampard free kick was blocked on the edge of the German penalty area and Joachim Low's team broke quickly which Thomas Muller ended by smashing the ball past James.
Almost immediately Germany had a carbon copy of their third goal and again Muller was the scorer. England gave away possession from a throw-in deep inside the German half, and with men committed forward Mesut Ozil outpaced Gareth Barry and squared the ball for Muller to dispatch with ease.
The remainder of the game passed with England intent on damage limitation as the Germans easily retained possession although Gerrard did bring a good save from Neuer.
For Germany this was their fourth win over England in the World Cup and yet again they progress to the quarter finals, a feat they have only failed to achieve once.
England will be on the plane back home knowing that on their return the inquests on their disappointing showing at yet another World Cup will have begun in earnest. Starting Line-Ups
1. Manuel Neuer 16. Philip Lahm 3. Arne Friedrich 17. Per Mertesacker 20. Jerome Boateng 7. Bastian Schweinsteiger 6. Sami Khedira 13. Thomas Muller (Trochowski, 72) 8. Mesut Ozil (Kiessling, 83) 10. Lukas Podolski 11. Miroslav Klose (Gomez, 72) SUBS
12. Tim Wiese (GK) 2. Marcell Jansen 4. Dennis Aogo 5. Serdar Tasci 9. Stefan Kiessling 14. Holger Badstuber 15. Piotr Trochowski 19. Jeronimo Baretto Cacau 18. Toni Kroos 21. Marko Marin 23. Mario Gomez 22. Jorg Butt (GK) ENG
1. David James 2. Glen Johnson (Wright-Phillips, 86) 6. John Terry 15. Matthew Upson 3. Ashley Cole 16. James Milner (Cole J, 63) 8. Frank Lampard 14. Gareth Barry 4. Steven Gerrard 19. Jermain Defoe (Heskey, 71) 10. Wayne Rooney
12. Robert Green (GK) 5. Michael Dawson 7. Aaron Lennon 9. Peter Crouch 11. Joe Cole 13. Stephen Warnock 17. Shaun Wright-Phillips 18. Jamie Carragher 21. Emile Heskey 20. Ledley King 22. Michael Carrick 23. Joe Hart (GK)