UCOG Blog Logo
News and views from the German-language region of Europe

June 27, 2010

The ghost of Wembley

Filed under Life in Europe

One German newspaper described today’s World Cup match between England and Germany as the "ghost of Wembley".

Germany defeated England 4-1 to advance to the quarterfinals, but the game was closer for a while than the score indicates. 2010 World Cup Germany had gone up 2-0 in the first half, but before halftime, with the score 2-1, an English goal was not recognized by the referee or the linesman. Television angles clearly showed the ball the landing about two feet behind the goal line, but it bounced high and German goalie Neuer grabbed it in the air and play continued. English players and their team bench thought they had tied the score. Football’s international governing body, FIFA, does not permit the use of instant replay for appeals, so the score remained at 2-1 going into halftime. The brief period of English momentum was over and the unrecognized goal was demoralizing for them, understandably. After the halftime break Germany scored two more goals for an unassailable 4-1 lead and final score. While commentators generally agreed that Germany outplayed England in the game, the course of the game might have been different had the score been tied at halftime.

The disallowed goal did seem to be a bit of the World Cup final played in 1966 at Wembley stadium. 1966 World Cup West Germany and England were tied at 2-2 at the end of regulation play, so an overtime of two 15 minute halftimes had to be played. England’s Geoff Hurst hit the crossbar with a shot that appeared to land behind the goal line – or did it? The referee ran over to the linesman for a conference, and then the goal was awarded to England, giving them the lead at 3-2. They added another goal during the overtime, winning the final 4-2 (the only time that England has won the World Cup). The effect of Geoff Hurst’s disputed go-ahead goal was the same on the German team as today’s unrecognized goal for the English. Later analysis of photos and film footage from various angles seem to show that the entire ball had not crossed the goal line. In that case it wasn’t a goal after all. "What goes around, comes around," was the British announcer’s comment as the game was carried in the USA by ESPN. With the "ghost of Wembley" Germany and England are now even as far as disputed goals go. By the way, England has not won a major tournament game against Germany since the 1966 World Cup final.

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


internal links:


search blog: