The Germans power on, but the English become the third of Europe’s big five soccer nations to depart the World Cup woefully short of living up to their billing.
Germany thrashed England, 4-1, here on Sunday. The score leaves little room for equivocation or excuse. Yet there was one: Before halftime, with Germany ahead, 2-1, and England seemingly in the ascendancy, the referee ruled out a clear tying goal.
It was not even a close call. Frank Lampard’s lob over the goalkeeper struck the crossbar and fell 18 inches behind the goal line. Neither the Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda, nor his linesman, was sufficiently up with the play to award it.
You can call it incompetent officiating. You can call as loud as you wish for goal-line technology. But as England Coach Fabio Capello complained moments after his team’s elimination, “The mistake of the linesman, and I have to say also the referee, is inexplicable because from the bench I saw the ball in the net.”
“I no understand this decision.”
WATCH Frank Lampard’s goal, “mistake of the linesman”: