English and German newspapers unanimously condemned the referee for failing to allow Frank Lampard's goal. But the shadow of the 1966 final gave the match an historic dimension.
England's Rooney was only one of many disappointments of the match
After Germany defeated England 4-1, the three lions have to pack their bags and end their World Cup ambitions. Newspapers in both countries left no doubt that the referee missed what should have been the crucial equalizer by Frank Lampard - and called on FIFA to introduce technology to avoid such blunders in the future.
But English papers were quick to admitt that their side's defeat was down to a poor performance rather than one mistake by the ref. For the Germans, the game set the record straight - in the 1966 World Cup final a similar refereeing blunder led to an England victory.
"Victims of a cruel injustice, but ultimately well beaten"
Mass circulation daily The Sun is in no doubt as to who is to blame for England's defeat. "Time to go Fabio. Clear off - and take your players with you," it wrote, referring to the team coach Fabio Capello.
The broadsheet Daily Telegraph warns that the controversy over Lampard's goal must not serve as an excuse for the English side's defeat. "Don't be be fooled by Fabio Capello's smokescreen over Frank Lampard's 'goal'. Even if the midfielder's exceptional shot had stood, as it should, England cannot escape the brutal reality that Germany were superior in every department.
Broadsheet The Guardian takes a look back at the long history of the England-Germany rivalry. Since the World Cup final in 1966, the three lions are still waiting for a major victory over Germany. "Only the details and the venues change in the story of how England impersonate a serious international power. In the last 10 years alone that conceit has been exposed in Charleroi, Shizuoka, Lisbon, Gelsenkirchen and now Bloemfontein. The men of 1966 can pack their diaries with yet more heroes' dinners and brand-ambassador spin-offs because 44 years of waiting could be just the start."
For Germany's Bild it was a perfect revenge for Wembley
For the tabloid Daily Mirror, the performance of the English side was beyond compare. "There have been many shameful England performances in the 44 years since we lifted the World Cup. But none more shameful than our humiliation by the German side yesterday. Yes, England were robbed of a goal in the first half. But that decision cannot excuse an appalling performance by our national side. These spoiled young men, who enjoy privileges and riches beyond most people's dreams, had neither passion nor heart."
"Awful performance leaves Fabio Capello with no excuses," writes the Daily Mail. "The ball was over the line but a disallowed goal is not why this World Cup is now over for England."
The daily broadsheet The Independent sees England as "Victims of a cruel injustice, but ultimately well beaten." But the paper also pointed out that the referee's error just proved the point that video replays for referees were long overdue. "We should have technology in football 10 years into the 21st century, just as we have running water and antibiotics."
"What a great revenge for Wembley!"
"Thanks guys! This was incredible!" is what Germany's mass circulation Bild has to say. "What a World Cup battle - what a great revenge for Wembley! Germany humiliates England 4-1 and deserved it's luck when the ref Larrionda failed to give the clear goal by Lampard. His shot deflected off the bar just like at Wembley in 1966. It was clearly behind the line - and it would have been the equalizer …"
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily describes the game as "a match that will go down in collective memory. 44 years after the Wembley goal in the World Cup final of 1966, Sunday's match was a strange resemblence of what happened back then - but this time things went in favor of the Germans. And the English have the right to complain as the ball was clearly in. It's hard to believe how these things can be avoided in football as long as FIFA refuses to allow video replays."
For the daily Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, the parallels with Wembley marked the evening. "It's unbelievable. After 44 years we're finally even with the English. But this is not about payback time. If the English - despite all electronic evidence - still refuse to admit that in '66 the goal was not in, then we don't have the slightest problem saying that this time - 'yes, the ball was in.'"
Germany's press hail Loew for having built a real team
Online paper Spiegel Online describes the victory as a "Summer fairytale. Joachim Loew has achieved what hardly anyone thought he would: The German coach has built up fantastic players for this World Cup. After the sensational victory against England it's plain to see - Thomas Mueller and Miroslav Klose are the players of the day. How far will they get?
"Wembley is now called Bloemfontein," daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung writes. "Everything would have been different if the referee had given the goal which would have made it 2-2," the paper recognized.
The weekly soccer magazine Kicker sees the game as once again illustrating the need for better refereeing. "Bring on the computer chip in the ball! This is not about diminishing the top performance of the great German side. But such a refereeing mistake in the year 2010 - incredible! If you talk about Fair Play in sports, then you finally have to allow the technological aids like the chip in the ball or a goal-line camera."
Compiled by Andreas Illmer
Editor: Rob Turner