It has been 50 years since England last won a major tournament, and it might have been this lingering thought that motivated the England Masters to reproduce the iconic result of a 4-2 win over the Germany Masters at the National Stadium this evening.
Kicking-off in front of a 10,700-strong crowd, the Battle Of Europe saw the longstanding international rivals pile the pressure on from within the first minute, with Darren Anderton putting a header past Perry Bräutigam. Getting back on their feet quickly, the Germany Masters pressed forward to make a few shots on target to keep David James busy between the posts. It was not enough though, as the England Masters took advantage of a slightly disorganised Germany Masters team to extend their lead to 2-0 with a screamer by Teddy Sheringham in the 28th minute. Agitated by the score-line, the Germans responded immediately to this with a classy chip by Fredi Bobic over David James’ shoulder at the 31st minute.
Rejuvenated from the half-time break, the Germany Masters broke even with another goal by Fredi Bobic, who took advantage of a slip by half-time substitute Michael Thomas. Visibly boosted by the equaliser, Lothar Matthäus commandeered his teammates to stay on the offence. Perhaps boosted by more players having experience playing in Singapore, the England Masters pulled ahead in the 53rd minute when Steve McManaman sent a cross to Teddy Sheringham for an easy finish. A controversial corner in the 55th minute then saw Emile Heskey deflect a shot from Lee Hendrie to extend the scoreline to the eventual 4-2.
The full-time whistle saw wins and losses set aside as the players returned the support they received from fans after the big battle. Taking a lap around the stadium, some players met with and signed autographs for fans in the stands well into the night, further ensuring it was an evening to remember for all. Reflecting on his second time in Singapore with Masters Football Asia, goal-scorer Emile Heskey shared, “It’s always nice to see the lads again. We are acres across England, so being able to come together and have some fun and be back on the pitch is great. It’s when we have the most memorable time.”