2010 FIFA World Cup: England VS. Germany
Millions of football (soccer) fans held their breath as 32 qualifying national football teams battled it out in the preliminary Group stages of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. After the flung up dirt and cries had settled, 16 nations advanced into the next stage of the World Cup. The ever present pressure on the teams and fans only increased. This was no different for the second match of FIFA's Round of 16, as mighty England played mighty Germany on June 27, 2010 at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein, South Africa in a match that no one will ever forget.
The match was of considerable importance as it decided which nation, England or Germany, would advance from the Round of 16 into the Quarterfinals of the World Cup. Add in the fact that England and Germany are age-old rivals on the pitch, and it becomes clear that saying that "a lot of hype was built up for the match" would be a severe understatement. Track record-wise, Germany has a better record, having played 58 games, of which it won 37, tied 9, and lost 12. England can comparably attest to having played 55 games, of which it won 25, tied 17, and lost 13. So far in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, England's performance has been rather dodgy - with a tie against the USA and against Algeria - before showing a major improvement in their game against Slovenia. Germany, on the other hand, did somewhat well - winning against Australia and against Ghana - before showing an abysmal loss to Serbia.
England’s best performance was in 1966, when Geoff Hurst scored 3 goals in the last four minutes against West Germany, leaving the score 4:2 and England the winners of the World Cup. England’s worst performance was in 1950, when it lost 1:0 to the USA.
Germany's best performance was in 1974, when it beat Netherlands 2:1 on home turf. Germany's worst performance was losing 4:2 to England in 1966, when Geoff Hurst scored three goals against them.
England was favoured to win the match beforehand based on the statistics of its qualifying matches and based on its famous international players - like Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard, and Steven Gerrard (c). During the match, England played aggressively and put pressure on Germany, but Germany put on even more.
The England National Football Team, also known as the Three Lions. From top left: James Milner (Midfield), John Terry (Defense), David James (Goalkeeper), Matthew Upson (Defense), Gareth Barry (Defense), Frank Lampard (Midfield). From bottom left: Ashley Cole (Defense), Wayne Rooney (Forward), Steven Gerrard (c) (Midfield), Glen Johnson (Defense), Jermain Defoe (Forward). (Image Source)
The Germany National Football Team. From top left: Manuel Neuer (Goalkeeper), Sami Khedira (Midfield), Jerome Boateng (Defense), Per Mertesacker (Defense), Arne Friedrich (Defense), Miroslav Klose (Forward). From bottom left: Philipp Lahm (Defense), Lukas Podolski (Forward), Mesut Oezil (Midfield), Thomas Mueller (Midfield), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Midfield). (Image Source)
Germany's Goal 20 Minutes In
Top: Germany Striker Miroslav Klose making the shot that gave Germany its first goal of the match, and putting the score to 1:0 (Image Source). Bottom: Germany Striker Miroslav Klose celebrating his goal for Germany (Image Source). Klose had out-muscled England Defender Matthew Upson to make the shot.
Germany's Goal 32 Minutes In
Top: Germany Striker Lukas Podolski making the shot that brought Germany 2:0 to England (Image Source). Bottom: Germany Striker Lukas Podolski's shot going through England Goalkeeper David James' legs and into the net (Image Source).
England's Goal 37 Minutes In
Top: England Defender Matthew Upson (center red) heads the ball past Germany Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to give England its first goal of the match, making the score 2:1(Image Source). Bottom: The shot from England Defender Matthew Upson flies into the net (Image Source). England Midfielder Steven Gerrard (c) had shot a cross over to England Defender Matthew Upson, who had then headed in the ball.
England's Goal 38 Minutes In (Disallowed By Referee)
Top: England Midfielder Frank Lampard's shot passing the goal line and passing into the net (Image Source) - Labeled By Writer. Bottom: England Midfielder Frank Lampard and teammates look dejected as the goal is denied (Image Source). Less than a minute after Matthew Upson's head-butt had pushed England into 1:2 against Germany, Frank Lampard had made a shot that should have tied England with Germany. However, Head Referee Jorge Larrionda had said that he did not see the ball pass the goal line, and did not reward the goal. Watch the below video to see for yourself how the ball did pass the line.
Germany's Goal 67 Minutes In
Top: Germany Midfielder Thomas Mueller makes a shot (Image Source). Bottom: Germany Midfielder Thomas Mueller's shot hit the hand of England Goalkeeper David James and went into the net (Image Source). Germany Defender Jerome Boateng had made a long pass to Germany Midfielder Thomas Mueller, who had then passed to Germany Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, who ran up-field and then passed to an unguarded Mueller, who was able to shoot without any of the England Defense hampering him.
Germany's Goal 70 Minutes In
Top: Germany Midfielder Thomas Mueller making a shot after Germany Midfielder Mesut Oezil opened up the left wing for him (Image Source). Bottom: Germany Midfielder Thomas Mueller's shot goes past England Goalkeeper David James into the net (Image Source).
England Midfielder Frank Lampard's goal would have brought the score back to 2-2 before half-time, giving England a massive psychological boost. I'm not saying that England were not beaten pretty badly, but they might not have been. England Coach Fabio Capello initially celebrated what he thought was an equalizer by clenching his fists and shaking his arms. But his face quickly changed when he realized that the goal had not been given. In 1966, England and Germany were 2-2 in extra time when Geoff Hurst's shot struck the underside of the goalpost, bounced down, and spun back into play. That time, the referee consulted a linesman, and promptly awarded the goal (England then winning 4:2). The similarity between the two games led one commentator to exclaim, "Oh my goodness, shades of 1966" as Lampard scored during the match.
Of the match, Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports has said, "The decisive German margin of victory does not minimize the significance of the error. In soccer, the score completely dictates the way both teams can play. Germany maintaining a 2-1 lead allowed it to take a more defensive position. A 2-2 tie would’ve forced the Germans to open it up a little more. Conversely, the 2-1 deficit caused the English to press forward, leaving them open to the kind of counterattack that led to Germany’s third and fourth goals. You can’t argue that, due to the final score, the missed goal had no bearing on the game. There is simply no way to shake off a blown call like that and claim everything should carry on as usual. One event forever impacts the next event." (Source)
The hard-fought match ended in a 4:1 loss for England, although it could have been better, or at least 4:2. It was a severe reverse from when England beat Germany 5:1 back in 2001. Germany was ecstatic about winning the match, while England felt dejected and downtrodden. England now exits the World Cup having only reached the Round of 16, while Germany will face Argentina to advance any further in the World Cup - Argentina having beat Mexico 3:1 the same day (coincidentally also involving a controversial goal). It is a sad day for England, but perhaps we shall fare better in the future if we learn to play with more confidence and more cohesiveness.
Members of the England National Team: Striker Wayne Rooney, Striker Jermain Defoe, and Defender Gareth Barry look dejected after the match. (Image Source) - Cover Photo
Of the match, Germany Striker Miroslav Klose has said, "We were aggressive from the first minute and it was a deserved victory. Our target was to reach the semifinals and that's what we want to achieve."
Of England Midfielder Frank Lampard's disallowed goal, England Coach Fabio Capello has said, "From the bench, I saw the ball go over the line. It was one of the most important things in the game. The goal was very important. We could have played a different style. We made some mistakes when they played the counterattack. The referee made bigger mistakes. He later added, "It's incredible. We played with five referees and they can't decide if it's a goal or no goal. The game was different after this goal. It was the mistake of the linesman and I think the referee because from the bench I saw the ball go in."
Of the match, England Midfielder and Captain Steven Gerrard has said, "I think if you look back at the game as a whole, we've been beaten by the better team. At 2-1, if Frank's ball had stayed I think it would have been a nice turning point in the game."
As for myself, I can only nibble on a Terry's Chocolate Orange Bar and wonder of what could be. "England Till I Die! England Till I Die! England Till I Die!"
Read More About The 2010 FIFA World Cup Matches, Covered By The Same Author:
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© 2010 Gregory Markov