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England vs. Germany: 1966 reversed as Three Lions slain by four goals

A shockingly disallowed goal for England will make all the news. But for the most part, England was played off the pitch by a young, energetic Germany in the England vs. Germany round of the World Cup.

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On Sunday, perhaps the only two people in the world who didn't see England midfielder Frank Lampard's lob clip the crossbar and bounce a clear yard beyond the goal line were the linesman and the referee. No slow motion or multiple camera angles were needed. Yet when Neuer scooped up the ball and played on, the referee, too, carried on in perhaps the most shocking bit of officiating in a poorly officiated World Cup so far.

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The incident will surely bring the calls for soccer's governing body, FIFA, to incorporate instant reply to a crescendo. But it did not inspire England to take retribution upon the Germans.

England came out in the second half surprisingly timid, but began to find some nice offense.

They started to pick apart the German defense with some crisp passing. Lampard continued his love affair with the crossbar, hitting it again on a nice free kick in the 55th minute. And the Three Lions began licking their chops.

But in their hungry pursuit of the goal, England lost sight of Germany's speed and passing. And, with typical German precision, England was made to pay for it.

In the 67th minute, Bastian Schweinsteiger keyed a masterful German counterattack. Drawing the English defense infield with him, he laid a simple pass to the charging Thomas Müller on the wing, who blasted the ball past James, who had guessed the wrong way.

A couple minutes later, the lightning-quick German counterattack struck again.

The ball was played deep to Mesut Özil, who sprinted with the ball down the flank, waiting for English wingback Ashley Cole to commit. When Cole did, Özil slipped a lovely ball through Cole's legs and across the face of goal to a waiting Müller who side footed it into the back of the net.

Another gift from England’s haphazard defense. Another gift from Germany’s calm attackers to Müller. Another goal.

It was the dagger to the heart. England was done.

The refs, had they been merciful, might have ended the game there. But rules are rules and the players dutifully played through the final whistle; England like zombies, Germany like deserving quarterfinalists.

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