Germany reached the World Cup quarterfinals by beating England 4-1 in a match that will be remembered for the goal not awarded to Frank Lampard. Germany raced out to a early tow goal through Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski before Matthew Upson pulled a goal back for England in the 37th minute.
Then came the moment of controversy. One minute after Upson’s goal Frank Lampard’s shot from outside the box hit the cross-bar and fell a good yard behind the goal line. But the linesman was not in a position to see that and the referee waved play on.
The Lampard shot brought back memories of the 1966 World Cup final between England and Germany when Geoff Hurst’s shot came back off the crossbar and on that day the linesman said the ball had crossed the line.
But goal or no goal, England started the second half only a goal down and they were torn apart by the young Germans. Thomas Mueller finished two quick German counterattacks within four minutes in the second half to kill of this game and end England’s World Cup dreams.
The bottom line against Germany was that England were very poor. Matthew Upson, who is England’s fifth best center half, showed that he is not good enough to play at the international level and John Terry had one of the worst games I have ever seen him play.
In midfield Barry was terrible and Gerrard kept drifting into the middle of the park, depriving England of needed width and making it easy for the Germans to defend. Up frotn Defoe never got going and Rooney, who played better, still does not look fully fit.
This was an experienced England team that carried a lot of expectations, but they failed to live up to them in this tournament. In four games England played well for 45 mins against Slovenia and for 15 minutes against Germany. That is it. The rest of the time they looked slow, the ball movement was terrible as was the defending.
With many of the England players playing in their last World Cup game today, it will be interesting to see if Capello (or the new England manager) retools this England side with an eye on Brazil in four years.
As for Germany, they looked great going forward today. They still look a little suspect at the back which Argentina and Spain will probably test as this tournament progresses, but their young players are coming of age and they will be hard to beat.