Ruthless Germany stun England
27 Jun 2010 - 17:02:58
England's World Cup campaign ended in total humiliation in the first knockout round as they suffered their worst-ever finals defeat, being comprehensively beaten 4-1 by Germany in Bloemfontein.
Fabio Capello named the same side that started in the 1-0 win over Slovenia which edged England through to the knockout stages.
Striker Miroslav Klose started for Germany in place of the injured Cacau, while Jerome Boateng and Bastian Schweinsteiger recovered from knocks to feature.
The first chance of the game fell to Germany five minutes in as Mesut Ozil got clear on the right and under pressure from Ashley Cole saw his shot blocked away for a corner by David James.
Soon after a long ball through the middle almost caught England out and a similar move led to the opening goal with 20 minutes played.
John Terry and Matthew Upson were sleeping as Manuel Neuer's long goal-kick bounced through and the predatory Klose pounced to slide a right-foot shot past the exposed James.
Just past the half-hour mark it was almost 2-0 as a fluent passing involving Sami Khedira and Per Mertesacker move played Klose through on goal, but James was out quickly to block with his legs.
Within a minute Germany did get a second, as Thomas Muller got in on the left and lifted the ball out to Lukas Podolski at the far post and he smashed a left-foot shot through the legs of the advancing James.
Five minutes later England were back in the game, as Steven Gerrard crossed into the area from the right and Upson made up for his earlier error by heading home past a hesitant Neuer.
Inside a minute it should have been 2-2 when Lampard's exquisite chip from 20 yards beat Neuer and hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced down well over the line. However, no goal was given and Germany survived to take a slender lead into the interval.
The second half got off the a slow start, before seven minutes in Lampard lashed a long-range free-kick against the crossbar with Neuer grasping at thin air.
Just before the hour mark Philipp Lahm's weak backpass almost let in Defoe, but Neuer got there just in time to hack the ball clear, as England turned up the heat and went in search of an equaliser.
However, midway through the half, England were caught on the break yet again and Germany restored their two-goal cushion.
A quick counter ended with Schweinsteiger calmly taking the right option, playing in Muller on the right side and he blasted a shot past James at his near post.
Three minutes later and it was 4-1 as Germany's quickfire attacks paid off yet again. Ozil ran clear down the left and sidefooted the ball across the area for Muller to power home his second of the game.
Muller's double extinguished the fight in the England team, with their only late chance coming nine minutes from time when Neuer made a fine save as Gerrard broke into the area on to an accurate Rooney lay-off.
The final whistle sounded after two minutes of added time, with England a sorry and well beaten outfit and Germany looking forward to yet another quarter-final.
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