Reuters Soccer Blog

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England defence crumble in German masterclass



England coach Fabio Capello would do well to take a transcript copy of Germany coach Joachim Loew’s post-match press conference – because in it he would find all the simple reasons why his side were trounced 4-1 and sent packing from the World Cup on Sunday.

In it, Loew rather clinically explained to the international press sat before him that his side were instructed to target John Terry, pull him out of position and pretty much walk into the huge gaps created in England’s snail-paced central rearguard.

It worked. England will forever talk about the Frank Lampard ‘goal’ that, quite incredibly, was not given despite bouncing a full yard over the German goal line with the score balanced at 2-1, but even if they had equalised, the final result would not have waivered.

Germany were breathtaking at times, able to break at will with electrifying pace and switch the play seamlessly from left to right to leave the England defenders in a state of dizziness and goalkeeper David James no chance between the sticks.

World Cup hopefuls head up for air


World Cup organisers had plans to spread the 32 finalists for the 2010 tournament across South Africa, giving every corner of the country a chance to feel a little of the fever close at hand.

While the matches are only being played at 10 venues in nine cities, the team bases would have allowed for a wider spread, with the opportunity to watch a training session becoming almost as valuable a commodity as a match ticket for star-starved supporters away from the World Cup mainstream.