Stuart Dye at the World Cup
Stuart Dye blogs from the Fifa World Cup

Stuart Dye: England against Germany. Penalties anyone?


Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans win.

Strangely, that quote comes from England centre forward-turned TV presenter Gary Lineker, but is there any greater, more accurate quote in football?

Somehow we knew it was always going to happen. England v Germany.

The Three Lions like to toy with emotions. But of course they would qualify in the end.

Now, after a 1-0 defeat of Slovenia, they go through in second place to face the German team who defeated Ghana to win their place at the top of the qualifying group.

I think it's called Sod's Law.

There is a difference this time, however, because England have already secured the title; dullest team in the tournament

Having laboured to a draw against the US they produced one of the most appalling 90 minutes of football against Algeria.

This morning they fumbled their way past a Slovenia team that looked a shadow of the one that stood top of the group before the game.

Of course, in a knock-out tournament the manner of victory really isn't that important.

It was unthinkable that England should fail to get past the group stage for the first time in years.

And let's give them their dues - this performance was head and shoulders above what they've offered so far.

But it was a case where Slovenia were poor more than England showed quality.

Meanwhile, the Germans were always going to top their group...because that's what they do.

Usually you can rely on a German performance of Teutonic efficiency but they are a different and unpredictable team these days.

England, on the other hand, have become fairly predictable. They will try to bore the opposition to death.

So on Monday morning these to great old foes will meet in what is a classic 2010 World Cup match before a ball has even been kicked.

Penalities anyone?

- NZ Herald

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