Pearce unhappy as beaten England pay double price

Germany Under-21s 2 England Under-21s 0
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The Independent Football

Stuart Pearce questioned the game's rulemakers after seeing goalkeeper Jason Steele sent off on his England Under-21 debut in Wiesbaden last night.

The substitute goalkeeper was dismissed just 13 minutes after coming on at half-time when he brought down Boris Vukcevic as the Germany striker tried to go around him. Referee Christof Virant stuck to the letter of the law by awarding a penalty and dismissing Steele, but the England head coach felt a double punishment in such circumstances was too harsh.

"I think it was one of those scenarios where a penalty will suffice for ourselves and the Germans," Pearce said. "The game was probably finished when the ball hit the net from the penalty spot, but whether it was a penalty or not, I have no idea."

Pearce had no complaints with the overall outcome, which saw his depleted side fall 1-0 behind in the first half when Watford goalkeeper Scott Loach failed to keep out a speculative effort from Konstantin Rausch. "We were disappointed with the first goal we conceded, but it was an interesting game," Pearce said.

England were forced to play the final 32 minutes with 10 men and with Henri Lansbury as a makeshift goalkeeper. Making his full debut, the Arsenal midfielder pulled off some more than competent saves to prevent Germany adding to their score.

Pearce said: "Henri put himself forward and I thought he was outstanding. Everything that went to him he handled very well. We might have found another goalkeeper tonight."