A new season is underway and England have their work cut out if they want to qualify for next summer's European Championships. On this occasion though, this was a friendly in the run-up to crucial qualifiers next month. England were missing a couple of key players in Steven Gerrard (fractured toe) and Wayne Rooney (broken foot), the latter will likely be still missing from the next England squad due to his injury. That said, there was the return to action of Michael Owen, and former England captain, David Beckham, had made the journey from the US to take part in this match against an old enemy.
England took an early lead in the nineth minute when Micah Richards made a nice run down the right side of the field, played the ball to Frank Lampard who struck the ball with accuracy to put the ball in Germany's net at the near-side post. It was a good start from the home side.
Unfortunately the match will be remembered by England fans and critics for Robinson's error in the 26th minute when he came out to save a cross from Schneider, only to push the ball into the path of Kuranyi who couldn't believe his luck as he tapped the ball into England's net, as Terry and Ferdinand watched. Germany's winning goal, fourteen minutes later, was unstoppable when Pander, on his debut, unleashed a left-foot shot. It was a stunning goal from the opposition to the delight of their travelling fans.
In the final few minutes of the opening period, Michael Owen had a couple of good chances to score, but his first chance, a header, was saved by Lehmann, and his second opportunity came when Smith flicked on the ball to him. Lehmann came out to get he ball which bobbled up to Owen, but the Newcastle United striker somehow managed to put the ball over an open net.
During the interval, McClaren sent on David James in place of Paul Robinson. The England coach must be pondering which of these to goalkeepers will feature in the upcoming Euro 2008 qualifiers. There is a bit for time for him to figure it out.
As is becoming the norm in England friendlies, the Three Lions, made their usual numerous substitutions during the second half, which affects the flow of the game. Of the fresh legs sent on, none were able to get the equaliser. The visitors went away from Wembley the victors, but on the plus side for England, Beckham completed the match despite his ankle not being fully healed following twisting it playing for England on 6 June against Estonia.
Robinson #1 (James 46 mins - #13), Richards #2, Ferdinand #5 (Brown 46 mins - #12), Terry #6 - Captain, Shorey #3, Beckham #7, Carrick #4 (Barry 55 mins - #15), Lampard #8, J Cole #11 (Wright-Phillips 70 mins - #18), Smith #9 (Crouch 57 mins - #21), Owen #10 (Dyer 57 mins - #17).
Subs Not Used: Carson #22, P Neville #16, S Taylor #14, Downing #19, Defoe #20. (Full Squad)
Lehmann #1, Friedrich #3, Lahm #16, Mertesacker #2, Metzelder #21, Pander #6, Hitzlsperger #15, Schneider #19 (Castro 90 mins - #35), Trochowski #28 (Rolfes 72 mins - #38), Kuranyi #31, Odonkor #22 (Hilbert 54 mins - #34).
Subs Not Used: Hildebrand #12, Tasci #40, Helmes #37, Kiessling #33.
England Goal: Lampard (9 mins)
Germany Goals: Kuranyi (26 mins), Pander (40 mins).
England Caution: J Cole (34 mins)
Germany Cautions: None
Referee: Massimo Puscaba (Switzerland)