Germany exact revenge on England
Germany got revenge on England and piled the pressure on their manager Steve McClaren with a 2-1 friendly win at Wembley on Wednesday.sports Updated: Aug 23, 2007 05:03 IST
Germany got revenge on England and piled the pressure on their manager Steve McClaren with a 2-1 friendly win at Wembley on Wednesday.
Germany, the last team to beat England at the old Wembley, became the first to beat them at the rebuilt stadium and avenged the 5-1 home thrashing of 2001.
But though England were not outplayed, the result means England have now won just two out of their last nine games -- against minnows Estonia and Andorra -- and does not bode well for their faltering qualifying campaign for the 2008 European Championships.
Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard put England ahead in the ninth minute but a bad mistake by England goalkeeper Paul Robinson gifted Schalke striker Kevin Kuranyi an equaliser in the 26th minute.
Schalke left-back Christian Pander, making his Germany debut, scored the winner in the 40th minute, blasting past Robinson from distance after a skilful build-up.
Germany were hunting revenge after the last clash in 2001 produced one of England's greatest away performances -- a 5-1 romp in Munich.
Germany won the last match at the old stadium 1-0 in October 2000.
And they completed a memorable double by being the first team to beat them at the new Wembley in England's second game at the rebuilt national stadium, before 86,133 fans.
"Needless to say I'm absolutely delighted," said Germany coach Joachim Loew.
"There are very few places in the world where winning is such a nice experience. We had a very young team and they are dancing and singing in the locker room.
"After the equaliser I think all of my players suddenly realised: 'Hey, we can score goals here!'"
McClaren was upset about both Germany's goals -- especially Kuranyi's gift.
"I haven't had a real good chance to study it and to look at it in detail," he said of Robinson's blunder.
"I'm disappointed to have conceded that goal. There may have been a mistake but there were two or three mistakes before that which we shouldn't have allowed, so I'm disappointed with the goals overall.
"With performances you have to reflect on them and then make decisions later on," he said on Robinson's future.
Both squads were depleted by injuries to key players.
Former England captain David Beckham won his 97th cap, a day before he was scheduled to play for Galaxy in the Los Angeles derby against Chivas USA.
The game was a warm-up for the round of Euro 2008 qualifiers next month.
Struggling England, fourth in Group E, face Israel on September 8 and Russia on September 12, both at Wembley. Germany lead Group D and play away to Wales on September 8.
England started the brighter and Lampard soon scored thanks to fine work from versatile Manchester City defender Micah Richards.
The 19-year-old, making his fifth international appearance, charged down the right wing, beating Pander and captain Bernd Schneider before playing in Lampard.
The midfielder, who had burst forward, turned and shot past Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann, who was not helped by a slight deflection off Christoph Metzelder.
Lampard has been criticised for failing to reproduce his club form for England, including his goalscoring. The strike was his first England goal for a year and six days.
Germany went in search of an equaliser and were gifted it by Robinson, who notoriously miskicked to let in Gary Neville's backpass in the 2-0 defeat in Croatia in October.
Instead of tipping Schneider's cross over the bar, he weakly palmed it straight to a stunned Kuranyi to tap in his 19th international goal.
It was a splendid move which brought Germany their second.
Pander played the ball to Thomas Hitzlsperger and got it back via Phillip Lahm, before blasting a rising shot across Robinson from 25 yards out.
England were rattled but nonetheless, Michael Owen twice went close before half-time.
McClaren replaced Robinson with Portsmouth's David James for the second half, which he insisted afterwards was a pre-planned change. James had not been seen in England colours since his own disastrous performance in a 4-1 friendly defeat in Denmark just over two years ago.
England went on the attack and substitute Kieron Dyer, playing as a forward, twice went close, poking a Beckham cross just wide in the 66th minute.
The sprightly Shaun Wright-Phillips replaced Cole and his cross, straight after coming on in the 70th minute, was diverted just over by Lampard.
The Chelsea left winger had a shot deflected over the crossbar six minutes later. From the resulting Beckham corner, Lahm cleared a John Terry header off the line as England failed to prevent defeat.
First Published: Aug 23, 2007 05:02 IST