Jubilant Germans see sweet justice in 4-1 win over England

June 28th, 2010 - 12:45 am ICT by IANS  

Berlin, June 27 (DPA) Central Berlin resounded Sunday with trumpeting vuvuzelas, whistles and honking car horns, as fans cheered a German 4-1 World Cup victory over England which, for many, righted wrongs committed in 1966.
In the 38th minute, when the score stood 2-1 for Germany, an English shot crossed the goal line but was overlooked by the referee and his assistants - reminiscent of a “ghost goal” during England’s victorious 1966 World Cup final against Germany in Wembley.

The Germans went on to score a further two goals in the second half, earning a place in the quarter finals.

In scenes replicated across Germany, fans danced through the centre of Berlin, Munich and Hamburg amidst a rain of confetti and firecrackers.

“It was an awesome game. We played well. Germany was simply too strong,” said Mariam and Zeinab, two young Berlin women sporting German team arm bands with their traditional Islamic head scarves.

“It was a great game, great goals. I think Germany could win the World Cup,” said Rodrigo, a Chilean national who favoured the chances of his adoptive home. “Germany has tradition in these things, we don’t.”

However he felt the outcome could have been different if England’s second goal attempt had been recognised.

“The mood would have been different, the players would have felt different, and 2-2 at half time would have meant that anything was still possible,” Rodrigo said.

At Checkpoint Charlie, a former border crossing between East and West Berlin, souvenir vendors suspended their work to follow the match.

“I never thought Germany would win 4-1,” said David Jackson, a mock officer offering tourists replica East German visa stamps.

“I don’t know why England made it so easy for us, but it’s good because Germany shot a goal in 1966 that was not recognised. This is the fair compensation,” Jackson added.

Across Germany, hundreds of thousands of fans had gathered in so-called public viewing areas to watch the game. The largest such area, in Berlin, reached its full capacity half an hour before kickoff, filled with an estimated 350,000 visitors.

German news websites celebrated the victory, with slogans such as “England’s going home”, on Berlin’s Tagesspiegel site, and “Youth humiliates experience”, on the website of Focus news magazine, in reference to the average German team age of 25, four years below their English opponents.

Amid references to a “payback” for Germany’s lost Wembley goal in 1966, news articles and fans alike expressed relief that the game was not decided by a nailbiting penalty shootout, as many had predicted.

The German scenes of jubilation, buoyed by balmy summer temperatures, were quick to reach the winning players in Bloemfontein.

“We are happy that everyone can celebrate in Germany,” said team captain Philipp Lahm.

“We had a beer or two in the changing room. No more than that, as we have the quarter final ahead of us. This victory has given us great courage for it,” Lahm added.

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