2001 Germany v England football match

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2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
Event2002 FIFA World Cup qualification – UEFA Group 9
Date1 September 2001 (2001-09-01)
VenueOlympic Stadium, Munich
RefereePierluigi Collina (Italy)
14 °C (57 °F)[1]

On 1 September 2001 Germany met England during the qualifying stages of the 2002 World Cup, at the Olympiastadion in Munich. England won the game 5–1, helped by a hat-trick from Michael Owen.[2]

The two teams had met most recently in 2000, in the final match at the old Wembley stadium.[3] The match ended with a 1–0 victory for Germany, with a goal from Dietmar Hamann. The last time that England had beaten Germany had been during the Euro 2000 competition in June 2000, with a 1–0 win at the Stade du Pays de Charleroi in Belgium.[4] Alan Shearer had scored the winning goal in the twilight of his international career. Before that match, England had not beaten Germany in competitive football since the 1966 FIFA World Cup Final.


The two sides have met on a number of important occasions in their footballing histories.

They had played in the 1966 World Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, in which England had beaten West Germany 4–2 after extra time. Revenge came just four years later, in the quarter-final of the 1970 World Cup in Mexico when the English side forfeited a 2–0 lead, losing 3–2 after extra time.[5] West Germany then defeated England in the semi-final of the 1990 competition, this time on penalties. In Euro 1996, Germany again defeated England in a semi-final on penalties. Germany was then beaten by England in the same tournament four years later, a goal by courtesy of Alan Shearer. In the last match at Wembley before it was closed for redevelopment in October 2000, Germany won 1–0, causing England's manager Kevin Keegan to resign.[6]

Germany were the clear group leaders in the qualifying tournament before the game. With only the group winners advancing directly to the 2002 World Cup, the qualifying group table was:

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Germany 6 5 1 0 13 5 +8 16
 England 5 3 1 1 7 3 +4 10
 Greece 6 2 0 4 4 10 −6 6
 Finland 5 1 2 2 5 6 −1 5
 Albania 6 1 0 5 5 10 −5 3

A German victory would have confirmed their qualification and seen England competing with Greece and Finland for a place in the play-offs. A draw would have resulted in Germany requiring just another draw from their final game, and England requiring two victories, a German loss and an improvement in their goal difference. Germany had lost just one of their previous sixty qualification games, in qualification for the 1986 World Cup, and had been unbeaten at the Munich Olympic stadium since 1973. Indeed, the German Football Association were so confident that Germany would finish at the top of the qualifying table that they had arranged friendlies on the dates of the play-offs.[7]

England named four strikers in their squad, with Robbie Fowler and Andy Cole having started the recent friendly with the Netherlands. However, Sven-Göran Eriksson recalled the in-form Michael Owen and his strike partner Emile Heskey in an attacking line-up for the match in Munich.[8]


First half[edit]

The match was an evening game, and began nervously, with both teams attempting to maintain possession. However, after just six minutes, Germany scored when Oliver Neuville headed down a lofted pass into England's penalty area, and Carsten Jancker tapped the ball past the England goalkeeper David Seaman.

The lead did not last long, and after Michael Owen was fouled outside the German penalty area in the 12th minute, England were given a free kick. England's captain David Beckham took the kick, which neither the attacking nor defending players managed to touch. However, Gary Neville headed the ball back into the penalty area, where Nick Barmby headed it down to Owen, who volleyed the ball past Oliver Kahn.

Both teams then had chances during the rest of the first half, notably Sebastian Deisler for Germany; Seaman and Kahn both made some good saves. Just before the half-time, England won another free kick on the edge of the German penalty area, which was again taken by Beckham. Though he failed to beat the German wall, he crossed the ball back into the penalty area. Rio Ferdinand headed it back to Steven Gerrard, who shot the ball into the bottom-left corner of the goal from 25 yards out, putting England 2–1 up.

Second half[edit]

Three minutes after the kick-off, a cross from Beckham found Emile Heskey, who headed the ball down to Owen, who was unmarked. Owen hit the ball into right-hand corner of the net. Kahn managed to get a hand to the ball, but was unable to stop England claiming a 3–1 lead.

Although Germany were able to create further chances, it was England who struck again in the 65th minute. Gerrard's successful tackle gave him possession, and he played a through ball to Owen, who sprinted into the box and fired the ball over Kahn's head to give England a 4–1 lead. This made Owen the first England player since Geoff Hurst in the 1966 World Cup Final to score a hat-trick against Germany or West Germany.

England began to defend their heavy lead. However, in the 73rd minute, they extended it further following a counter-attack. Ferdinand won the ball in defence and gave it to Paul Scholes, who progressed up the pitch through a one-two passing move with Beckham. Scholes passed the ball to Heskey, who ran past the German defender Marko Rehmer and hit the ball low past Kahn to make it 5–1.

The final twenty minutes were quiet, with Germany beaten and England not needing to create any more chances. Some German fans left the game early in disgust, whilst the English fans celebrated their biggest victory since a 6–0 win over Luxembourg in 1999. It was England's biggest away win since 1993, when they had beaten San Marino 7–1. It was the first time that Germany had conceded five goals or more since West Germany's 6–3 defeat by France in 1958, and only the third time in their history that they had lost by four goals or more. Germany went on to lose 5–1 again, against Romania, in 2004.


Germany 1–5 England
Jancker Goal 6' Report Owen Goal 12'48'66'
Gerrard Goal 45+4'
Heskey Goal 74'
Attendance: 63,000
GK 1 Oliver Kahn (Bayern Munich) (c)
CB 2 Christian Wörns (Borussia Dortmund) Substituted off 45'
LWB 3 Jörg Böhme (Schalke 04)
CB 4 Thomas Linke (Bayern Munich)
CB 5 Jens Nowotny (Bayer Leverkusen)
CM 6 Dietmar Hamann (Liverpool) Yellow card 79'
RWB 7 Marko Rehmer (Hertha Berlin)
CM 8 Michael Ballack (Bayer Leverkusen) Substituted off 65'
CF 9 Carsten Jancker (Bayern Munich)
AM 10 Sebastian Deisler (Hertha Berlin)
CF 11 Oliver Neuville (Bayer Leverkusen) Substituted off 78'
GK 12 Jens Lehmann (Borussia Dortmund)
FW 13 Oliver Bierhoff (AS Monaco)
MF 14 Gerald Asamoah (Schalke 04) Substituted in 45'
DF 15 Sebastian Kehl (SC Freiburg) Substituted in 78'
DF 16 Frank Baumann (Werder Bremen)
MF 17 Christian Ziege (Tottenham Hotspur)
FW 18 Miroslav Klose (Kaiserslautern) Substituted in 65'
Germany Rudi Völler
GK 1 David Seaman (Arsenal)
RB 2 Gary Neville (Manchester United)
LB 3 Ashley Cole (Arsenal)
CM 4 Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) Substituted off 78'
CB 5 Rio Ferdinand (Leeds United)
CB 6 Sol Campbell (Arsenal)
RM 7 David Beckham (Manchester United) (c)
CM 8 Paul Scholes (Manchester United) Substituted off 83'
CF 9 Emile Heskey (Liverpool) Yellow card 54'
CF 10 Michael Owen (Liverpool)
LM 11 Nicky Barmby (Liverpool) Substituted off 64'
DF 12 Gareth Southgate (Middlesbrough)
GK 13 Nigel Martyn (Leeds United)
MF 14 Owen Hargreaves (Bayern Munich) Substituted in 78'
DF 15 Jamie Carragher (Liverpool) Substituted in 83'
MF 16 Steve McManaman (Real Madrid) Substituted in 64'
FW 17 Andrew Cole (Manchester United)
FW 18 Robbie Fowler (Liverpool)
Sweden Sven-Göran Eriksson


Germany England
Goals scored 1 5
Total shots 14 10
Shots on target 3 6
Ball possession 61% 39%
Corner kicks 9 2
Fouls committed 19 16
Offsides 3 1
Yellow cards 1 1
Red cards 0 0


The game provided a boost for the England squad's morale, and greatly increased the popularity of their manager, Sven-Göran Eriksson.[9] It was a low point for the German national team, whose performances had been worsening after the mid-1990s. It spawned two hit records: "England 5 – Germany 1" by The Business and "Sven Sven Sven" by Bell & Spurling. German manager Rudi Völler's father was reported to have suffered a heart attack watching the game.[10]

England beat Albania 2 – 0 in their next match, four days later.[11] This meant that England and Germany entered the final qualifying game with an equal number of points, though England now had a better goal difference. Neither team managed to win their final group game, with a last minute Beckham free kick earning England a 2–2 draw with Greece.[12][13] This sent England directly through, whilst Germany went into the play-offs, in which they defeated Ukraine to qualify for the World Cup.

At the World Cup finals in South Korea and Japan, Germany enjoyed more success, finishing second, which made them the most successful European team in that year's cup. They also scored the tournament's biggest win that year, an 8–0 rout of Saudi Arabia.[14] Their goalkeeper Oliver Kahn won FIFA's Golden Ball, becoming the first goalkeeper to do so. England were only able to reach the quarter-finals, where they were knocked out by Brazil, who went on to beat Germany 2–0 in the final.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "History for Munich, Germany". wunderground.com. 1 September 2001. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Awesome England thrash Germany". BBC Sport. 1 September 2001.
  3. ^ "England Match No. 773 - Germany". England Football Online. 7 October 2000.
  4. ^ "UEFA Euro 2000 - Matches - England-Germany". UEFA.com. 17 June 2000.
  5. ^ "1970 FIFA World Cup - Matches - West Germany-England". FIFA.com. 14 June 1970.
  6. ^ Harrison, David (8 October 2000). "Keegan quits after England lose to Germany". The Telegraph.
  7. ^ Walker, Michael (24 August 2001). "Don't mention play-offs, say the Germans". The Guardian.
  8. ^ Webster, Rupert. "Eriksson Ponders Options". Sky Sports.
  9. ^ Burnton, Simon (1 September 2016). "Germany 1-5 England: 15 years on World Cup qualifier is still music to ears of many". The Guardian.
  10. ^ Hyde, Marina (24 June 2010). "World Cup 2010: One-sided rivalry remains football's grand illusion - Marina Hyde". The Guardian.
  11. ^ "England edge out Albania". BBC Sport. 5 September 2001.
  12. ^ Malam, Colin (6 October 2001). "Brilliant Beckham averts Greek tragedy". The Telegraph.
  13. ^ "Germany 0-0 Finland". Sky Sports. 6 October 2001.
  14. ^ "Germany vs. Saudi Arabia". ESPN. 1 June 2002.
  15. ^ "2002 FIFA World Cup - Matches - Germany-Brazil". FIFA.com. 30 June 2002.

External links[edit]