Posted: 3/31/2016
Title: THE THREE LIONS HOPEFULS

Blog:                                                                                                                         

         For a friendly match (if you can ever call Germany v England JUST a friendly) it caused quite a stir. A come from behind 3-2 victory in Berlin's iconic Olympiastadion as The Three Lions warm up with 5 matches prior to the competitive EURO 2016 opener in Marseilles' Stade Velodrome against Russia on June.11th at midday,

         In fact I was present at the last time England came from 0-2 down to win 3-2. against Italy.  That was 40 years ago in Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York during the Bicentennial Cup in 1976. I was sitting down on the grass behind the goal that day taking photos. Both the European teams had failed to qualify for the European Championships that summer and were joined by Brazil and Team America in the 4 team competition. Graziano scored after 14 and 19 minutes.

        Mick Channon scored twice and Phil Thompson once in a frantic 7 minute spell between the 46th and 53rd minute. Attendance was 40.660.,the highest in the tournament. Other matches were played in Seattle WA, Los Angeles CA, New Haven CT, Philadelphia PA and Washington DC. Brazil won all 3 matches to win the tournament with England in second place 2-1.

         Anyway, back in Berlin Roy Hodgson's young Lions caused quite a stir against the defending World Champions with three memorable goals. maybe not the 5-1 thrashing inflicted in Munich in September 01, 2001 including a Michael Owen hat-trick, but pretty awesome.  Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier responded in the second half after goals from Kreuss and Gomez.  It seems that England are firm favourites(at least in the English tabloid press) for lifting the trophy at the Stade de France next July 10th, and Roy booking an open top bus tour of London the next day. England played in a pretty horrible red and blue strip conjured up by Nike while the hosts looked strange in their 'Escape to Victory' movie black jerseys that the Wehrmarcht wore against the Alliied Prisoners of War in the popular 1981 movie. classic set in Stade Colombes in Paris but  actually filmed in Budapest.

         The team came down to earth a few days later at Wembley Stadium in front of 82,000 fans with a less than perfect 1-2  performance against a Dutch team that has not qualified for this summer's spectacle. Three more friendlies are in store. Sunday May 22nd v Turkey at Manchester' City's Etihad Stadium then Friday May 27th at Sunderland's Stadium of Light v Australia, and finally back to Wembley to host Portugal on Thursday  June 2nd. www.thefa.com for ticketing info.

         Meanwhile why not come out and support the Three Lionesses against Belgium at Rotherham United's New York Stadium next Friday April 8th with tickets starting at just £2.50, and a family of 4 for just £10.00.  Mark Sampson's side, third place finishers at the Women's World Cup in Canada, have already got two wins under their belt against Estonia and Bosnia in Group 7 qualification for UEFA Womens Championships July/August 2017 in Holland. England are now up to 4th worldwide in the FIFA rankings and this tournament has been expanded to 16 teams for the first time.

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