England Left 'Exposed' In World Cup

The much-hyped England side has crashed out of the 2010 World Cup after suffering a humiliating defeat to old rivals Germany.

Despite being nicknamed "the Golden Generation" by the British press, Fabio Capello's squad yesterday failed to deliver any of the form associated with their Premier and Champion's League past performances.

Their four games played during World Cup were each far from convincing, with draws against USA and Algeria, and their only win coming against Europe's smallest nation, Slovenia.

Yesterday's game began poorly, as England found themselves two goals down after crude defensive errors before half-time. However, the momentum had briefly shifted their way just before the break as Matthew Upson headed in a well executed cross from Frank Lampard.

England's World Cup history has been fraught with controversies and drama, and the South African competition was to be no different.

In the few minutes after Upson's goal, as Germany gathered themselves, a midfield ball was scrambled to Lampard who shot from the edge of box, smashing the ball off the crossbar and bouncing approximately a foot over the line with it's reverse spin taking it back out of the goal.

To the disbelief of almost everyone in the ground and millions watching, the celebrations of players, management and commentators was shot down moments later as the referee awarded no goal.

Germany broke again as the English players and fans clutched their heads in amazement before the move's concluding strike grazed David James's left post and went out.

England's second half began with an early period of new found intent but it was short lived as a Lampard free kick struck a precarious four-man wall, allowing Germany to break and impressive striker Thomas Müller to strike past James at his near post.

Germany soon claimed a fourth nail in the coffin again on the break, where they had flummoxed England throughout the game.

Lampard and Gerard both came close to scoring before the end, but by that stage it was clear that England had been fortunate to concede only four goals to a dynamic and well organised Germany who made the Premiership stars look very ordinary.

The fall-out from the defeat has led to speculation about England's approach to its football youth programmes and press calls for Capello's resignation, only weeks after he signed a renewed contract for £6 million.

Capello took the reigns in 2008 and currently has the highest success record in the English international team's history, with a win average of almost 70%.

German newspapers today claimed the victory was not without a hint of irony, with the disallowed goal mirroring Geoff Hurst's 1966 goal that similarly hit the crossbar, and was only recently found to have not crossed the line.

The contentious decision led to further calls for the introduction of goal-line and replay technology, both of which had been ruled out by the game's official body earlier this year.

The call was further galvanised in yesterday's thrilling clash between Argentina and Chile, when a Carlos Tevez goal was awarded despite the player being clearly offside.


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