Rio: Referee to blame for England exit
Rio Ferdinand is "sure" England would have beaten Germany if the officials had spotted Frank Lampard's shot crossed the line in Bloemfontein. Ferdinand, ruled out of the competition with a knee injury, watched Germany run rampant to secure a place in the World Cup quarter-finals yesterday. Joachim Low's side were 2-1 up when Lampard's shot hit the crossbar and landed a good yard over the line, only for the goal not to be given by the Uruguayan officials. In the second half a dominant Germany showing rendered that decision academic but Ferdinand believes it may have been a different story had the sides gone in 2-2 at the break. Speaking to The Sun, the Manchester United defender said: "If Lamps' goal had stood it would have been 2-2 and then the game would've turned on its head. We'd have been at full throttle. I'm sure we'd have gone on to win it. "I was sitting here with my mates and we were all screaming at the TV along with everyone else in the pubs going bananas. I'm a professional footballer but I'm also a fan so I know what it's like. "Your emotions get a grip of you and you think 'How's he not seen it?' "It wasn't like a counter-attack or something, he was up there with the run of play. He has to be able to see that." Ferdinand went on to say he sympathised with the fans' anger at the timid exit from the competition. The relationship between the squad and their followers hit the headlines earlier in the competition when misfiring striker Wayne Rooney was captured criticising the booing supporters following the 0-0 draw with Algeria. Ferdinand was more conciliatory than that. "I understand fans' anger," he said. "People pay good money to go and watch football. If people are angry you can't knock that. They pay their hard-earned money to watch us all over the world so that's part and parcel of it. "When you look at the names on our teamsheet, you'd have to say that not getting to the latter stages of the tournament that you've under-achieved. "To look at it as an under-achievement, given the players we've got to choose from, is a fair point." Ferdinand defended the man who made him England captain, albeit only after John Terry's personal indiscretions, and backed Fabio Capello to bounce back from the current calls for his head. "I believe he's the man to take us to being a successful team. His track record is nothing to be sniffed at," he said. "We've got the utmost respect for this manager. I've enjoyed every moment being around this manager. From the way he coaches to his professionalism, his experience - you can only learn from people like that." Michael Owen, meanwhile, has blamed tactical naivety for England's early departure from South Africa. Owen, who has not enjoyed favour with Capello since his appointment, thinks the rigid 4-4-2 employed against Germany was not fit for purpose. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, the Manchester United striker said: "There is no-one in the world who can convince me that the German players are better than ours, but after seeing our team line-up I knew we were going to lose. "I don't think it is down to our players so much; I just feel their formation has basically beaten ours. "We were outplayed due to being tactically beaten. "The days of 4-4-2 against a good team are going. I hoped the manager would revert to 4-5-1 as soon as we met stronger teams."
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