Match 5: England vs Germany, Division B, Saturday, July 18
FINAL SCORE: England 4 x 3 Germany
England had a days break on Day 1 which meant that they had plenty of time to prepare for their first match against rivals Germany. Last time England faced Germany, the Germans came out on top on penalties, which gave this game a great atmosphere.
The first period started off very evenly matched and it wasn’t until the Germans received a free kick on the half way line that Da Silva, who hit the ball fiercely, made England goalkeeper Webb make a save. England had a reply though, Iain Seabrook chesting down for player manager Jamie O’Rourke who hit the post. It was O’Rourke again who found himself in the right position, Germany’s Soko gave away possession very cheaply and O’Rourke was there to tap past Klon.
With the game being played mostly in the middle of the pitch it was Rene who tried to boost his team by shooting hard at goal only for the ball to narrowly miss the right goal post. Germany sensed a goal was coming and pressure mounted up on England. The hosts found themselves on level terms after good distribution from the German keeper Koln who found Da Silva to slot past Webb.
The second period was a very tight affair which saw fantastic defending from both teams but it was England who again found themselves ahead again after lovely link up play from Steve Black to find Mark Mitchell who found the back of the net. It was England who pressed on with decent shots from Mitch Day and a spectacular overhead kick from Black that just went over the crossbar.
England could sense victory but with only one goal in it, the Germans were not going down easy. Webb who had been having a great game commanding his box made a great diving save from Olli and was on call again to make a catching save from Rene’s free kick. It was England’s turn to have a free kick and Seabrook smashed the ball in the top left corner of the goal to give England a bit of breathing space, but the game was far from over. Rene, who was Germany’s best player on the day scored with a low volley from a corner to take the game into a tense final few minutes.
It was Gracholski of Germany who levelled things up after England had a mix-up in defence and gave the ball away. It was the simplest of goals for the German to score.
The Butlins National Stadium crowd could feel the pressure and they were doing their best to lift the England team. With just 13 seconds on the clock, England received a free kick. Seabrook, England dead ball specialist, stepped up and to England’s delight smashed the ball from the half way line in the bottom right of the goal. The crowd went crazy.
1st Ergene (TUR)
2nd Sofien Benchabane (FRA)
3rd Carlos Frazao (POR)
4th Juan Lopez (ESP)
Quotes Jamie O’Rourke (England Player/Coach)
“It feels absolutely superb. We haven’t been able to beat them before and it’s a big relief that it didn’t go to penalties!”
“We’ve got to get our heads together tonight because we have a very important game against Azerbaijan and it’s basically a cup final as whoever wins the game will qualify for promotion play off which if we also win would mean the opportunity to play in Group A and play top teams like France and Portugal”