'I trust we're not going to whinge for 30 years'

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The Independent Football

England brought back memories of Geoff Hurst's second goal in the 1966 World Cup final as Howard Wilkinson's team came away with a draw against Finland last night.

England brought back memories of Geoff Hurst's second goal in the 1966 World Cup final as Howard Wilkinson's team came away with a draw against Finland last night.

An 87th-minute shot from Ray Parlour hit the underside of the crossbar and looked as if it had crossed the line. Paul Scholes immediately wheeled away in celebration - only for the effort to be ruled out.

It was similar to 1966 - when Geoff Hurst scored in similar circumstances against Germany for a goal that was eventually given after an agonising wait for Bobby Moore and co.

The England captain, Martin Keown, did not have a clear view, but said: "It shows we could have done with a bit of luck and we did not get it on the night. All credit to the lads. We had a go. It was a great run from Parlour - and he grew as the night went on."

Kenneth Wolstenholme, who was commentating at Wembley in 1966, is bracing himself for 30 years of controversy.

"I trust we're not going to whinge now for the next 30-odd years and show all the pictures of where it bounced over the line and where it didn't," Wolstenholme said. "If we are, thank God I won't be here to listen to it. It's a bore. You win some, you lose some and you've got to accept the decisions and move on. I didn't think we deserved to win anyway."

Wolstenholme had a stern warning for any England players complaining about their ill fortune.

"If they want to live in cloud cuckoo land they can sit in the dressing-room and moan about it," he said. "Some German papers moaned about Hurst's goal and showed pictures which showed the ball on the line but not in the air. They moaned for 34 years and it never changed anything."

In another twist, Teddy Sheringham was brought down by the Finland goalkeeper Antti Niemi outside the penalty area, but the referee showed only a yellow card rather than red .

"I think Teddy would have scored had the keeper not taken him out," Keown said. "We thought he might have been sent off but it wasn't to be. It is difficult away from home anywhere. But we passed the ball and looked like the best team out there.

He added: "I look back on the captaincy as a proud day for my family and friends but I would have liked a win."

The former England midfielder Ray Wilkins was sure Parlour had scored, saying, "It looked as if it had crossed the line to me. But England won back some pride. Had we played on a better surface we would have got the result we wanted."

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