ERASMIA, South Africa (AP) — England's failure to play as a team and match Germany's spirit were behind its 4-1 loss in the round of 16 at the World Cup, German striker Miroslav Klose said Monday.
Klose scored to give Germany a 1-0 lead in Bloemfontein on Sunday, tying him with Pele in fourth place on the career World Cup list with 12 goals. Two more goals by Thomas Mueller and another by Lukas Podolski inflicted England's worst World Cup loss.
"We came out with confidence and as a unit and we were present in the game from the opening whistle. I did not have the impression that England came out as a team," Klose said. "I expected them to come with the bit between their teeth, but after five or seven minutes it was clear to me that it wasn't the case."
Klose showed Germany's determination when he outraced and outmuscled England defender Matt Upson to connect with a long goal kick from Manuel Neuer and shoot the ball into the net with his first touch.
It was Klose's 50th goal in 99 games for Germany, and left him trailing only Ronaldo of Brazil (15), countryman Gerd Mueller (14), and Just Fontaine of France (13) on the World Cup scorers list.
"I signaled to him to give it a strong kick, and I saw that the ball had changed its trajectory and I watched it closely," Klose said of Neuer. "It is extraordinary to have reached this (12th World Cup goal), but I am not yet finished — there could be a goal or two more.
"It helps to have a good team behind me. If I don't get the passes or the crosses, I won't score."
The 32-year-old Klose has put a difficult season behind him. He spent much of it on Bayern Munich's bench, scoring only three Bundesliga goals. But he hit the second goal in Germany's opening 4-0 rout of Australia after coach Joachim Loew kept faith in him.
That faith was tested after being sent off in Germany's 1-0 loss to Serbia, missing the 1-0 win over Ghana in the last group game. But he was back in the starting lineup after his suspension.
"It is very important to have a coach who believes in you. And my strength is to peak at the right time, to get fit when I need to be fit," Klose said.
Klose is the oldest starter on Germany's team — the country's second youngest squad at a World Cup — but the striker believes it has the right blend to repeat its 2006 quarterfinal victory over Argentina on Saturday in Cape Town.
Germany knocked out Argentina on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw in regulation time. Klose equalized in the 80th minute to cancel out Roberto Ayala's second-half goal. Germany won when goalkeeper Jens Lehmann stopped shots by Ayala and Esteban Cambiasso.
"We have a good balance between young and experienced, and we have the quality to beat Argentina," Klose said. "I know they can take revenge for 2006, but it's a different team now. Lionel Messi was on the bench then.
"On paper, they have better individuals. But it's what happens on the field that matters, as you saw yesterday. It's how you come out as a team."