GERMANY HUMILIATES ENGLAND OUT OF WORLD CUP
England's World Cup ended in a mixture of humiliation and controversy as she was thrashed by Germany in Bloemfontein. Germany's deserved win and convincing victory margin will be overshadowed forever in the minds of Fabio Capello and his squad by a moment they believed robbed them of the hope of reaching the last eight.
Matthew Upson had thrown England a lifeline just before half-time after a vastly superior Germany had taken a stranglehold on the game with goals from Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski.
But moments after Upson's header, in a grim echo of Geoff Hurst's goal that helped England to victory over West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final, Frank Lampard's superb lofted finish landed feet over the line behind German keeper, Manuel Neuer, an incident obvious to almost everyone inside the Free State Stadium.
Capello was leading the England celebrations in his technical area, only to be stunned as Uruguayan referee, Jorge Larrionda, and his officials waved play on. England's players and coaching team, including David Beckham, led vehement protests as the teams went off at half-time, but all to no avail and Germany made the most of their reprieve.
The Germans will feel a measure of justice has been restored 44 years on, but this was of no consolation to the modern-day England as insult was added to injury by Joachim Loew's gifted young side.
Lampard struck the bar as England dominated the early stages of the second half, but stunning counter-attacks saw Thomas Mueller score twice in the space of three minutes midway through the second half to send Germany into the last eight.
England, with some justifications, will bemoan her luck but nothing must disguise the manner in which the team was outclassed by Germany in stages of this game and also what has been an ultimately bitterly disappointing World Cup campaign in South Africa.
The brief hope of revival offered by victory against Slovenia that saw England advance to the knockout phase was snuffed out emphatically by her old World Cup adversary as she suffered her heaviest defeat at a major championship.