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5-1…. `Day of England`

Posted September. 03, 2001 08:11,   


`Thrilling Revenge, Shocking Defeat.`

In the midst of the staggering world`s attention, the qualifying game between England and Germany was just like a drama in a European preliminary contest of the 2002 World Cup, which was held yesterday in Munich, Germany.

The glorious hero was England that came from behind for a history 5-1 victory. Michael Owen (Liverpool), who bagged a hat-trick, and head coach Swen Goran Eriksson from Sweden felt the greatest joy in their entire life as if they won the World Cup title.

However, German Head Coach Rudi Voeller had to suffer adverse fortunes that his team not only lost the game, but also his father had a heart attack. As Germans allowed the reversing goal just before the end of the first half, he fell down and was moved to the hospital.

With this victory of biggest goal difference, England took revenge for the 0-1 loss at Wembley home stadium, and almost grabbed the final round ticket of the World Cup. If England beat rather weak opponents Greece and Albania in remaining games, and Germany beat, the group will be decided on goal difference as both teams will finish with 19 points. Currently, England have a better goal difference, up 4 goals compared with Germany`s.

It was Germany`s worst defeat since a 6-0 defeat by Austria in 1931, and it was the first defeat in the World Cup qualifying games in 16 years since a 0-1 defeat by Portugal in 1986.

From the beginning, it was a war without firing sound. Germany was leading the game with the sixth minute strike by Carsten Jancker, as Oliver Neuville, who was in a penalty area, dropped a ball, passed from the midfield. But the frenzy of home fans could no longer last. It is because England began the unparalleled reversing drama with Owen`s 14-minute equalizer.

As England took an initiative, it turned the table with Steven Gerrard`s superb 22-meter drive. And it actually decided the victory with Owen`s consecutive goals in 3rd minute and 21st minute of the second half. England finished the reversing drama as Heskey completed the rout in the 29 minute.

Meanwhile, Poland (20 win points) defeated 3-0 Norway thanks to the outstanding performance of Emmanuel Olisadebe from Nigeria, and reached the World Cup finals over the second place Croatia (16 win points) in 16 years since the 1986 Mexico World Cup, irrespective of the results of the remaining games.

As Poland firstly acquired the ticket in Europe, the tickets for the 2002 World Cup finalists increased to 10 including 5 in Africa.

Spain won 4-0 over the second place Austria, and have all but wrapped the group 7, exceeding the second place Israel (11 win points) by 6 points.

The Republic of Ireland secured a fantastic 1-0 victory over Holland by a deciding goal of McAteer in an inferior situation with just 10 players on the ground, and maintained the first place.

On the other hand, in group 8, Italy have to wait for the final game to secure the ticket, drawing with a relatively weak opponent Lithuania.

Bae Keuk-In bae2150@donga.com