England Crash Out

Woeful England suffer World Cup heartbreak

England suffered World Cup heartbreak today in a controversial but crushing 4-1 defeat to old rivals Germany.

Two goals from Thomas Muller, plus strikes from Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski, secured the Germans' passage into the World Cup quarter finals.

But the match in Bloemfontein was marred by Frank Lampard's goal that never was.

Shortly after Matthew Upson pulled one back for England, TV replays showed Lampard's shot, which hit the underside of the bar, was at least a yard over the goal-line.

The Chelsea midfielder's dipping strike would have levelled the scores - but Muller's second half goals ensured Germany romped to a convincing win.

Dejected England fans at home and in South Africa reacted furiously to the decision to disallow Lampard's effort.

Mark McGraw, 46, a ground worker from Eastwood in Nottingham, said: "It's a joke. The linesman was half way up the pitch. They're trying to get us back for '66."

Richard Carter, 37, a professional gambler from Shaw in Oldham, said: "I'm sitting a hundred yards away and it was definitely in.

"I would like to know what the referee and linesman were looking at. They clearly weren't watching the game."

Another fan in the 40,510 crowd chipped in: "We need a Russian linesman."

Bookmaker William Hill said it would pay out to their customers who bet on Lampard scoring against Germany.

"It will cost us a six figure sum," said William Hill's spokesman Graham Sharpe.

Distraught England fans left the stadium saying England just weren't good enough.

Darren Garner, 26, a digger driver from Peterborough, said: "They just don't seem to have the heart.

"We're supposed to be Three Lions.

"We looked old and useless. They looked young and fresh."

His friend, Damien Masham, 26, a window cleaner, from Peterborough, said: "I'm absolutely devastated. They perform at club level but when it comes to internationals they look like a Sunday league side.

"We paid a lot of money to come here, you just start to wonder if it's worth it.

Darren Fincham, 40, a drainage contractor from Banstead in Surrey, said the disallowed goal made no difference.

He said: "It was abject failure. We never showed up in this World Cup.

"They ripped us apart and went straight through us.

"I expected more from this rabble."

Paul Parra, 42, a brick layer from Epsom, added: "The England players are just not good enough. We should just get rid of 'em."

The pair said they were staying for three weeks more in South Africa with Mr Fincham adding: "At least we can watch some good football now."

Graham Langworthy, 24, from Margate, said: "Capello has bottled it. He hasn't made any good substitution decisions the whole tournament.

"We should have been playing in a better formation. We're trying to put square pegs in round holes. Rooney, Gerrard and Lampard - not one of them is playing in their natural position.

"What a disappointment. We should have won the group and we shouldn't even have been here."

Fiona Endley, 30, an environmental consultant from Huntingdon, said: "Awful. The defending was atrocious.

"When the players look like they're not trying very hard... it's just so disappointing."

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