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Loew salutes his side

BLOEMFONTEIN, June 27 – Germany coach Joachim Loew hailed his team on Sunday after they had inflicted bitter rival's England's worst ever World Cup defeat, 4-1 in their Last 16 match here.Whilst the match was overshadowed by a dreadful howler by the match officials in not ruling that England midfielder Frank Lampard’s long range effort had crossed the line inside a minute of England reducing the deficit to 2-1, Loew understandably basked in the glory.

"I said to my team at the half-time break, we need to try and score the third goal," said the 50-year-old, who will have done his prospects of securing a new contract.

"We knew we could hit England on the counter-attack because they were open. Our players carried it off brilliantly."

Thomas Mueller – scorer of the two German goals in the second-half – said that they could go all the way even if they could well face two-time winners Argentina in the last eight. The South Americans play Mexico later on Sunday.

"Now anything is possible, even if there is a tough nut waiting for us (in Argentina)," said the Bayern Munich youngster.

"But that doesn’t matter, we just have to clear the way."

German midfield anchor man Bastian Schweinsteiger was outstanding given that he had only been cleared to play hours before the match after suffering a back muscle complaint in the 1-0 win over Ghana last Wednesday.

"I am very proud of the team and what we have achieved over the 90 minutes," said the 25-year-old Bayern Munich star.

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"We played very well tactically, we were compact and our forwards put in some good movement. Of course, we had some luck with Lampard’s effort."

Schweinsteiger, who came to the fore as Germany with Loew as assistant to then coach Jurgen Klinsmann reached the 2006 semi-finals in Germany, admitted that they could not relax as they did almost fatally in the first-half against the English when they were 2-0 up.

"We can’t afford to give up a 2-0 lead so frivolously again," he said.

"We respect both Mexico and Argentina, but there is no fear from us. We are a good team with lots of quality and we can look forward to the quarter-final."

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