Sunday, June 27, 2010
Three Lions Caged
England is the third team out of the World Cup in the knockout stages, falling to European rivals Germany, 4-1. The Germans wait to see the winner of the Argentina-Mexico game, in the middle of the first half now.
Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski put England in a headlock with 2 goals in the 20th and 32th minute respectively. However, Matthew Upson headed on a ball crossed by Steven Gerrard and scored 5 minutes later. And it wouldn't be a World Cup game without some referee controversy.
Frank Lampard played a loose ball at the top of the box, and dropped one over the head of German keeper Manuel Neuer, off the crossbar and in. Or was it? The ball clearly bounced a foot or two past the goal line, but popped back out into the hands on the keeper, and the call on the field was no goal. Unbelievably tough break for England.
"The goal was very important. We could have played a different style," said England coach Fabio Capello. And that's absolutely true. Game tied or not, in the second half, the English defense looked very similar to the US defense last night, very slow and possibly asleep. Two counterstrike goals were scored, pushing this game out of reach, 4-1.
Germany played an extremely good game, and for all of England's struggles in the group stage, this comes as no surprise. England is the 8th European team to get knocked out of the Cup.