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England melt in World Cup pressure cooker

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SOCCER-WORLD/After England treated their fans to a second excruciatingly dull World Cup performance in South Africa on Friday, those wanting answers were left with a bemused looking Fabio Capello and an irate Wayne Rooney rant to television cameras.

England 0 Algeria 0 was not what anyone had in mind for Friday’s Group C showdown in Cape Town and Three Lions’ fans certainly were not expecting to wake up to British tabloid headlines such as ‘Roo-boo-zela’ and ‘Cape Clowns’ the next morning.

England, who waltzed to World Cup qualification with two games to spare, were widely expected to put their opening (and for Rob Green, embarrassing) 1-1 draw with the United States behind them and take hold of the group with a straightforward victory over Algeria.

From kick-off it was painfully apparent that was not going to happen. Gareth Barry, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard appeared never to have played together before in England’s central midfield, while Aaron Lennon struggled to make an impact once more.

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