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Referee wrongly decided not to allow Chelsea stars chip…

Germany 2-1 England

England go into the second half of their World Cup 2010 last 16 clash with Germany 2-1 down after an incident-packed first half in Bloemfontein.

Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski both benefited from poor defending from the Three Lions to give the German a 2-0 lead before Matthew Upson headed past Manuel Neuer to pull a goal back. Frank Lampard’s excellent chip from outside the area cannoned off the crossbar before crossing the line but the referee didn’t allow the goal.

Germany made just one change from their 1-0 win over Ghana on Wednesday. Miroslav Klose returned from suspension to lead the line, replacing the injured Cacau, while Jerome Boateng and Bastian Schweinsteiger started despite concerns over their fitness.

Despite hinting in his pre-match press conference that he may make one change, Fabio Capello stuck with the same starting line-up in successive matches for the first time during his reign as England boss, with Matthew Upson keeping his place at centre-back ahead of Jamie Carragher and Ledley King.

Oezil has been one of the stars of the World Cup so far, and he had the game’s first major chance. The Werder Bremen playmaker managed to race in front of Ashley Cole to latch onto a looping pass forward before trying to beat James at his near post with a sharp right-footed strike at goal, but the England keeper made himself big and turned the ball away.

Capello has been criticised for persistently selecting Gerrard to play on the left side of midfield, but he was at the heart of England’s attacks early on. He continued to come deep to receive the ball, dictate the tempo of the game and look to pick out Rooney and Defoe, who was almost found one-on-one with Neuer before the keeper raced out of his goal to claim the ball.

There were very little opportunities for either side in the opening 20 minutes but Khedira and Lampard both had half-chances to open the scoring. Khedira cut inside from the right past Barry and attempted an ambitious left-footed shot but it flew high and wide before Lampard was presented with a free-kick 25 yards out, but he could only smash the ball into the wall.

England had conceded just one goal in the tournament before the game, but that tally was doubled on 20 minutes. Neuer’s long goal-kick downfield caused unnecessary problems for England’s defence and neither Terry or Upson attacked the ball, leaving Klose to shrug off the challenge of Upson before sliding the ball into the bottom right-hand corner past the onrushing James.

Barry looked to get his side straight back into the game a couple of minutes after going behind. The Manchester City midfielder received a pass 25 yards out from goal and tested the palms of Neuer, who was able to catch the ball under pressure from Gerrard and Rooney looking to convert the follow up.

Poor defending from England was the tale of the first half and they were undone again. Klose played a terrific chip down the right wing to find Mueller who benefited from shocking defending once again to pick out the unmarked Podolski at the far post. The Cologne forward then fired the ball left-footed underneath James into the far corner.

Upson played a part in both of Germany’s goals but managed to pull a goal back for Capello’s men moments later. Gerrard was found in space on the edge of the area following a short corner to deliver a right-footed cross into the box and Upson climbed above everybody to header past a stranded Neuer into an empty net.

Goal-line technology has been the talk of football for years now and England should have benefited from it on 37 minutes. Lampard was left with plenty of space on the edge of the area to superbly chip the ball over Neuer, who had come off his line. The ball stuck the crossbar and clearly cross the line but the referee wrongly decided not to allow the goal.

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