Germany blasts England to advance
Thomas Mueller finished two quick counterattacks within four minutes in the second half to sink England's hopes of beating Germany at the World Cup for the first time since the 1966 final and send the English to their worst ever defeat at a final tournament.
"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 big 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 over the (line)."
That England win at Wembley 44 years ago included a similar goal off the crossbar that is still disputed to this day, with many Germans believing the ball never crossed the line. Now, England fans will have something to complain about for decades to come.
"We heard that the ball was behind the line, that we were fortunate," said Mueller, a 20-year-old Bayern Munich forward who has had a breakthrough season. "Before the last two goals, the game hung in balance, England was putting on the pressure.
"It's an incredible feeling to score the goal that takes the pressure off your team."
Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski gave Germany a 2-0 lead before Matthew Upson pulled a goal back for England in the 37th minute. Lampard then had his legitimate goal not awarded in the 38th.
Lampard sent a hard shot from outside the area off the underside of the crossbar. The ball bounced down, and television replays showed it had crossed the goal line.
The ball then bounced back up off the crossbar again and landed outside the goal area. Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer collected the ball as England shouted for a goal, but Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda motioned for play to continue.
"We clearly controlled the game until England's goal, then there was a short critical phase," Germany coach Joachim Loew said. "What I saw in the television this ball was behind the line, it must have been given as goal."
Had the goal been awarded, it could have changed the course of the match.
"It was one of the most important things in the game," Capello said. "The goal was very important. We could have played a different style. We played I think well at 2-1, but after the third goal it was a little bit disappointing."
In extra time of the 1966 World Cup final, Geoff Hurst sent a shot off the underside of the crossbar that also bounced down and spun back into play. That time, the goal was awarded, giving England 3-2 lead over Germany. Hurst then scored another to make the final 4-2.
Klose scored his 50th goal in 99 games for Germany in the 20th minute, his 12th World Cup goal, by outmuscling Upson to a bouncing ball off a goal kick. Podolski struck Germany's second 12 minutes later, slotting the ball through James' legs and exposing the weak England defense yet again.
"We were aggressive from the first minute and it was a deserved victory," Klose said. "Our target was to reach the semifinals and that's what we want to achieve."
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Germany will play either Argentina or Mexico in the quarterfinals.
Upson brought England back into the match, heading in a cross from Steven Gerrard to make it 2-1.
Mueller then scored on the counterattack in the 67th minute, having started the move after a long clearance by Jerome Boateng. His shot hit the hand of England goalkeeper David James and went inside the post.
"They played a good game," Capello said. "We made some mistakes when they played the counterattack. The referee made bigger mistakes. Little things decide the result always."
Three minutes later, Mueller scored again after a break on the left side by Mesut Oezil.
"At this World Cup, everything is possible," Mueller said. "It's a very difficult opponent waiting for us, either Argentina or Mexico. In the end, it doesn't matter. You've got to beat them all."
Germany: Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm, Per Mertesacker, Arne Friedrich, Jerome Boateng, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sami Khedira, Thomas Mueller (Piotr Trochowski, 72), Mesut Oezil (Stefa Kiessling, 83), Lukas Podolski, Miroslav Klose (Mario Gomez, 72).
England: David James, Glen Johnson (Shaun Wright-Phillips, 87) John Terry, Matthew Upson, Ashley Cole, James Milner (Joe Cole, 64), Gareth Barry, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, Jermain Defoe (Emile Heskey, 71).