Germany eliminates England in World Cup with a 4-1 win amid controversy

BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa — Germany's latest World Cup victory over England will be remembered not for any of the brilliant goals but for the one that didn't count.

Ask anyone — players, coaches, thousands of fans in the stadium and millions watching on television — and there's little question that Frank Lampard put a shot in the net late in the first half that would have tied the score.

But referee Jorge Larrionda waved play on, and Germany used two second-half goals by Thomas Mueller for a 4-1 victory Sunday.

The Germans are headed to the quarterfinals against Argentina. The English are shaking their heads in disbelief.

"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 I think the referee, because from the bench I saw the ball go (in)."

Germany coach Joachim Loew couldn't argue that point: "What I saw on the television, this ball was behind the line. It must have been given as goal."

It wasn't.

"The goal was very important," Capello said. "We could have played a different style. We made some mistakes when they played the counterattack. The referee made bigger mistakes."

Larrionda and assistant referee Mauricio Espinosa were not made available to comment. FIFA said it "will not make any comments on decisions of the referee on the field of play."

Soccer's rules-making panel agreed in March not to pursue experiments with technology that could help referees judge goal-line decisions.

Germany went up on goals by Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski before England's Matthew Upson made it 2-1 in the 37th minute.

Lampard's nongoal came a minute later. After the ball landed across the line, it spun back into the arms of Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

Capello initially celebrated what he thought was an equalizer by clenching his fists and shaking his arms. But his face changed when he realized the goal had not been given.

As the players headed off the field at halftime, England's Wayne Rooney walked over to a linesman and gestured with his hands how far he thought the ball crossed the goal line.

In 1966, England and Germany were 2-2 in extra time in the World Cup final when Geoff Hurst's shot struck the underside of the crossbar, bounced down and spun back into play. That time, the referee consulted his linesman, who awarded the goal.

Hurst went on to score a third goal in England's 4-2 win at Wembley.

This time, it was Mueller getting two goals.

"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."

The German forward finished two quick counterattacks within three minutes to sink England's hopes. It was the most lopsided England loss in a World Cup.

"I think if you look back at the game as a whole, we've been beaten by the better team," England captain Steven Gerrard said. "At 2-1, if Frank's ball had stayed, I think it would have been a nice turning point in the game."

Notable: British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel apparently had bigger concerns than just the world economy at the G-20 summit of world leaders in Toronto. The pair ducked out of formal economic talks to watch the second half of the match.

Germany 4

England 1

Germany eliminates England in World Cup with a 4-1 win amid controversy 06/27/10 [Last modified: Sunday, June 27, 2010 11:09pm]

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