It took awhile but the World Cup finally got its first major referee controversy. Germany’s 4-1 victory over England was marred by a goal that was not given.
At 2-1 down, England’s Frank Lampard fired a snapshot from the edge of the penalty area. After it hit the bar, the ball landed across the line before spinning out, back into the arms of Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. Lampard initially celebrated the goal before putting his hands on his head in disbelief when he realized the goal had not been given by the linesman.
In the second half, Germany scored on 2 counterattacks to make the final score 4-1. Everyone, including Germany coach Joachim Loew, agreed that the ball had crossed the line. As expected, the English are crying that they had been robbed of a result and England coach Fabio Capello furiously argued that he would have changed his tactics if the referee had rightfully allowed the goal.
I watched the game and I will say that the English can have no serious case about the result. Did the ball cross the line? Yes. Should the goal be given? Yes. Would the result had been different if the goal had been given? No.
England was clearly outplayed by Germany. The final score was 4-1! Even before the disallowed goal, the Germans were tearing the English defense apart with smart off-the-ball running, intelligent passing, and smart runs from midfield. Frankly, the Germans boss the game…by a wide margin!
England may feel better about themselves thinking that they had been robbed, but frankly the result was never in doubt. The Germans won the game and they deserved to. On the day, they were the better team.