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FOOTBALL

Germany bury England with 4-1 victory

Germany thrashed England 4-1 in Bloemfontein, South Africa on Sunday to reach the World Cup quarter-finals after England had a goal disallowed in the first half.

Germany bury England with 4-1 victory
Photo: DPA

Germany took a 2-0 lead with goals in the first half through Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski before Matthew Upson reduced the deficit with a headed goal. The game was tighter at the start of the second half, before Germany finished it with two lethal counter-attacks that exposed England’s aged, creaking defence.

The game’s turning point came in the first half, when England should have gone in level after a Frank Lampard shot crossed the line coming down off the underside of the crossbar, only for the linesman to wave play on.

The irony was not lost on fans who remembered the controversial goal that Geoff Hurst scored in the 1966 World Cup final in London, when England won 4-2. Unlike Lampard’s strike on Sunday, video evidence has never satisfactorily made clear whether Hurst’s shot crossed the line.

Referee Jorge Larrionda’s misjudgement was all the more inexplicable because he was well-placed to see the incident. Yet, after looking across at his linesman, he waved play on.

England coach Fabio Capello said that the Lampard moment changed the game. “The Lampard incident was one of the most important in the match,” said Capello.

“The referee made one of the biggest mistakes, but Germany are a great team, we were caught out on the counter-attack. This is football. Little things make all the difference.”

The controversy over the incident will rumble on but England will also have to ask themselves some hard questions after what was, at times, a shambolic display.

Needing to attack and pushing up the field in the second half, England’s defence was shown up by two brilliant counter-attacking strikes from Thomas Müller, which finished off a struggling England.

Three-times champions Germany, whose speed and guile frequently bewildered a statuesque England backline, will now meet either Argentina or Mexico, who were facing off later Sunday in Johannesburg.

Lukas Podolski, who scored Germany’s second goal, said after the match, “I think we deserved to win. Now we have to make sure we don’t sit back like we did after the game against Australia.”

Germany’s instrumental midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger said, “I’m really proud of the team. What we did over the 90 minutes was great. We were all pitching in at the back. Of course, we were lucky with Lampard’s goal, but we played really well.”

Criticizing his own team’s performance after taking the lead, Schweinsteiger said, “We should never have let a two-goal lead slip like that.”

Germany, a youthful side just coming to the boil under coach Joachim Löw, continue their record of having reached at least the last eight in every World Cup they have competed in since 1938.

“It was fun to watch,” Löw said after the match. “We played with so much spark and vigour against a really experienced team.”

England, having come to the tournament with high expectations under the experienced Capello, will head home with their reputations in shreds ahead of the customarily savage media post-mortem.

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FOOTBALL

British football teams allowed to skip Germany’s quarantine for Euro 2020

Germany's government announced on Tuesday it will allow England, Scotland and Wales to enter the country without quarantine to play at Euro 2020 despite a recent rise in cases linked to the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

British football teams allowed to skip Germany's quarantine for Euro 2020
One of the venues for Euro 2020 is in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

The three teams could potentially reach the quarter-final held in Munich on July 2nd.

If that were the case, they would be exempt from the rule that travellers from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland must currently observe a 14-day isolation period due to the virus strain of concern – Delta – first identified in India.

“The people accredited for the European football Championship are exempt from the quarantine obligation, even after arriving from an area impacted by a variant” Berlin said in a statement.

“This exemption concerns all the people who have been accredited by the organising committee for the preparation, participation, the holding and the follow-up of international sporting events,” it added.

The exemption does not include fans, who will be obliged to follow German government self-isolation rules.

Germany declared the UK a ‘virus variant area of concern’ on May 23rd due to rising cases linked to the Delta variant in parts of the country. 

READ ALSO: Germany makes UK ‘virus variant area of concern’: How does it affect you?

This reclassification came just seven days after the UK was put back on Germany’s list at the lowest risk level, and barely a month after it was taken off all risk lists completely.

The ban was put in place despite the UK’s relatively low Covid rates as a precautionary measure.

A general ban on entry is in place for people coming from countries on the ‘virus variant’ list – such as India and Brazil – the highest of Germany’s risk categories. 

There are some exceptions for entering from these countries – for example German residents and citizens. However, anyone who does enter from Germany is required to submit a Covid-19 test before boarding the flight and must quarantine for 14 days on arrival, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

READ ALSO: Germany’s new relaxed quarantine and testing rules after travel

Euro 2020 starts on Friday as Italy host Turkey in Rome with the Bavarian city hosting three group games as well as the last-eight match.

Around 14,000 fans will be allowed into the Allianz Arena for the fixtures.

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