English dreams for a World Cup title were dashed by the Germans Sunday morning. The match will perhaps not be remembered for the many memorable goals score, but the one disallowed by referees.
The Germans opened the scoring early when Miroslav Klose broke through the lack-luster English defense in the 20th minute, sliding a low ball past England goalkeeper David James.
Lukas Podolski doubled the lead in the 32nd when Thomas Muller sent him a pass that he fit between the legs of James. The English defense looked stunned under duress form the Germans. It was the first time any English team had trailed by two goals at a World Cup.
“In the knockout stages, Germany is always there,” Podolski said. “We fought and ran a lot, just fantastic today.”
Matthew Upson made up for his defensive gaffe by putting England on the scoreboard in the 37th minute. He headed in a cross from Steven Gerrard to bring the English within a point. Then the controversy began.
Lampard spun around defenders at the top of the penalty area and fired a shot past German keeper Manuel Neuer that seemed to bring the English level. There was no signal from Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda, and Lampard held his head in disbelief. The replays showed soccer fans around the world that the goal should have been allowed.
“It’s incredible,” England coach Fabio Capello said. “We played with five referees and they can’t decide if it’s a goal or no goal. The game was different after this goal. It was the mistake of the linesman and
German coach Joachim Loew couldn’t argue with Capello.
“What I saw on the television, this ball was behind the line,” Loew said. “It must have been given as goal.”
In the second half, England fell victim to the counter attack and let Muller get behind their lines twice. The first came in the 67th minute off an England free kick, and the second an almost identical run. Muller said the Germans were feeling the pressure from the English after being disallowed an obvious goal.
“We heard that the ball was behind the line, that we were fortunate,” Mueller said of Lampard’s shot. “Before the last two goals, the game hung in the balance, England was putting on the pressure.”
Soccer sportsbooks have set the German’s chances to win the 2010 FIFA World Cup at 7/1. Their next opponent Ghana is an underdog to win the tournament at 25/1.