Borderline – What if Lampard’s goal had been given in South Africa?

England welcome old foes Germany to Wembley on Tuesday evening in the first meeting of the two sides since the Three Lions’ memorable penalty shootout victory in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Mark Lovell recalls that remarkable occasion in Bloemfontein as Germany blew a comfortable two-goal lead from Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski before England hit back with venom through a Matthew Upson header and a sumptuous strike from Frank Lampard that sent the sides in level at the interval.

FIFA’s much-heralded new goal-line video technology (introduced by Sepp Blatter to huge acclaim at the tournament) instantly paid for itself from an England standpoint, showing that Lampard’s exquisite 39th minute hit landed comfortably over the goal-line behind Germany’s goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. Top Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda and his assistants were unsure and immediately requested a video replay of the incident as per the new FIFA guidelines. The evidence that the ball had clearly crossed the line off the crossbar sent 15,000 travelling England fans into raptures – as well as special envoy David Beckham and England coach Fabio Capello into a jig on the touchline. Blatter and football’s elite decision-makers can feel some pride that technology had ultimately ensured that the correct decision was made at such a pivotal moment.

After tieing up the game, the momentum was with an England eleven that rose in stature throughout the piece. No further goals ensued in the remainder of a tense normal and extra time. England’s defence was superbly marshalled by John Terry and tightened up considerably, allowing the potent German strike force no further clear attempts on goal.

The Germans were clearly shell-shocked after squandering a two-goal lead and appeared to want to take their chances in the lottery of penalties. And it did seem inevitable the longer the game progressed, that the drama of a penalty shootout would be needed to split the two sides.

England captain Steven Gerrard, Lampard and substitutes Emile Heskey and Joe Cole all kept their nerve from the spot to convert past Neuer, whilst German skipper Philipp Lahm, Podolski, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Gomez finished with aplomb for ‘Die Mannschaft’ to level the shootout.

Wayne Rooney was Capello’s fifth penalty taker whilst Bundesliga top scorer Stefan Kiessling (on as a late substitute for the tiring Mesut Özil) was German coach Jogi Löw’s banker. Under intense pressure, Rooney’s right-footed effort easily eluded Neuer’s despairing dive to put England 5-4 up. Kiessling’s knees visibly wobbled as he approached the spot to face the imposing figure of veteran keeper David James. The tension was palpable and the England goalkeeper gleefully pounced on Kiessling’s tame penalty to seal England’s progression into the quarter-finals on a famous afternoon in South Africa’s Free State.

England gained some semblance of revenge for the heart-breaking EURO 96 and World Cup 1990 penalty shootout defeats. The Germans were left smarting and rumoured to be retrospectively pondering an appeal of Sir Geoff Hurst’s 1966 World Cup winning goal.

However, this was as good as it got for Capello’s charges as England exited the tournament at the next stage, succumbing to a sublime Lionel Messi hat-trick against eventual tournament winners Argentina.

Germany 2-2 England

(HT 2-2) Klose, 20 Podolski, 32 Upson, 37 Lampard, 39

(England 5-4 pens) Gerrard, Lampard, Heskey, Cole, Rooney

Germany Podolski, Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Gomez, Kiessling (SAVED)

Germany Team:


Friedrich (yellow card)

Lahm (Captain)





Özil (Kiessling, 83)


Klose (Gomez, 72)

Müller (Trochowski, 72)

England Team:


G Johnson (yellow card) (Wright-Phillips, 87)

A Cole



Gerrard (Captain)



Milner (J Cole, 63)


Defoe (Heskey, 71)

Germany bench: Wiese, Butt, Jansen, Tasci, Badstuber, Aogo, Trochowski, Kroos, Marin, Kiessling, Cacau, Gomez

England bench: Green, Hart, Dawson, Warnock, Carragher, King, Lennon, J Cole, Wright-Phillips, Carrick, Crouch, Heskey

Previous meetings

Played: 28, Germany 10, Draws 6, England 12

1930: (Berlin, friendly): Germany 3 England 3

1935: (London, friendly): England 3 Germany 0

1938: (Berlin, friendly): Germany 3 England 6

1954: (London, friendly): England 3 West Germany 1

1956: (West Berlin, friendly): West Germany 1 England 3

1965: (Nuremburg, friendly): West Germany 0 England 1

1966: (London, friendly): England 1 West Germany 0

1966: (London, WC): England 4 W Germany 2 (aet)

1968: (Hanover, friendly): West Germany 1 England 0

1970: (Leon, WC): W Germany 3 England 2 (aet)

1972: (London, EC): England 1 West Germany 3

1972: (West Berlin, EC): West Germany 0 England 0

1975: (London, friendly): England 2 West Germany 0

1978: (Munich, friendly): West Germany 2 England 1

1982: (Madrid, WC): W Germany 0 England 0

1982: (London, friendly): England 1 West Germany 2

1985: (Mexico City, friendly): England 3 West Germany 0

1987: (Düsseldorf, friendly): West Germany 3 England 1

1990: (Turin, WC): W Germany 1 England 1 (West Germany 4-3 pens)

1991: (London, friendly): England 0 Germany 1

1993: (Detroit, friendly): Germany 2 England 1

1996: (London, EC): England 1 Germany 1 (Germany 5-6 pens)

2000: (Charleroi, EC): England 1 Germany 0

2000: (London, WCQ): England 0 Germany 1

2001: (Munich, WCQ): Germany 1 England 5

2007: (London, friendly): England 1 Germany 2

2008: (Berlin, friendly): Germany 1 England 2

2010: (Bloemfontein, WC) Germany 2 England 2 (England 5-4 pens)

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Mark Lovell

Mark is an English freelance bilingual writer, living and working in Germany since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Interact via Email or follow me on twitter @LovellLowdown and check out my site at

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