England to face Germany in World Cup Once Again

Despite their best performance so far at the 2010 World Cup, England were only good enough for a 1-0 victory against Slovenia today. Jermain Defoe had put England in the lead halfway through the first half. A John Terry header from a corner and Wayne Rooney’s one on one were both well saved by Samir Handanovic in the second half as England failed to score a second goal that would have won them Group C.

Instead it was USA who won Group C thanks to Landon Donovan’s goal in the second minute of stoppage time, eliminating Slovenia in the process. Slovenia had chances themselves towards the end, denied by a tackle from Matthew Upson and then a block by Glen Johnson.

England Need to Improve

Grateful for England’s performance and victory today, they must improve further if they are to progress further than the second round. Set piece deliveries need to improve. And when England played the ball down the wings each time today, it often resulted in nothing more than a throw in. The build up was slow and won’t put much feat into the German defence on Sunday. The German attack should also fancy their chances against this English defence. Although David James caught every ball fired at him today, he wasn’t tested on crosses, England fans will no doubt have their hearts in their mouths when the Germans put the oldest player in the tournament under pressure on Sunday.

The Same Old Story

Yes, it’s Germany in the World Cup once again after they beat Ghana 1-0 thanks to a great strike from Mesut Ozil to top Group D. Germany themselves weren’t great, but I would expect them to be much improved when the suspended Miroslav Klose returns to replace Cacau on Sunday. The Brazilian-born striker’s first touch was lacking as he moved himself out of position from shooting opportunities on several occasions this evening. Mesut Ozil was limping at the end of the game as the German’s looked very tired in the final 20 minutes. Ghana were not to pay for failing to equalise as they qualify as runners up, ahead of Australia on goal difference. Ghana meet USA in the last 16 on Saturday.

England’s record versus Germany (including West Germany) in competitive matches is as follows:

England 4-2 West Germany 1966 World Cup Final
England 2-3 West Germany 1970 World Cup Quarter Final
England 1-3 West Germany Euro 1972 Second Round First Leg
England 0-0 West Germany Euro 1972 Second Round Second Leg
England 0-0 West Germany Euro 1982 Group Stage
England 1-1P West Germany 1990 World Cup Semi Final
England 1-1P Germany Euro 1996 Semi Final
England 1-0 Germany Euro 2000 Group Stage
England 0-1 Germany 2002 World Cup Qualifying
England 5-1 Germany 2002 World Cup Qualifying