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 By Gabriel Tan

Sheringham stars as England Masters beat Germany in Singapore

The Battle of Europe 2016 produced the same final score from the famous World Cup final of 1966 as England Masters recorded a 4-2 triumph over Germany Masters at Singapore National Stadium on Saturday evening.

Manchester United cult hero Teddy Sheringham was in inspirational form as he netted a brace, along with further strikes by Darren Anderton and Emile Heskey. Germany's consolation efforts came courtesy of a double by Fredi Bobic.

While many of the players on show were over 40 years old, they still produced a spectacle in front of 10,700 fans, despite the late withdrawal of Red Devils' legend Paul Scholes through illness.

Fittingly, the England Masters were kitted out in red jerseys and white shorts, just as they were in the World Cup final of July 1966. It took them just two minutes to get off to a dream start.

Moments earlier, straight from kickoff, Heskey broke free and had a shot cleared off the line by Jens Nowotny before Sheringham send a follow-up effort smashing off the woodwork.

The nearest I could get with this legend. #battleofeurope2016

A photo posted by Widya Isnin (@iamwidyaisnin) on

But the English managed to keep the attack alive. Sheringham floated a dangerous ball back into the box to pick out Anderton, whose firm header deflected past Perry Brautigam.

Germany attempted to respond with Alexander Zickler looming as their dangerous threat. The former Bayern Munich forward was denied one-on-one by David James after breaking through before sending a diving header wide, having been found by Mario Basler.

Just when it looked as though an equaliser might be on the cards, England doubled their lead in the 28th minute. Heskey received possession from Anderton, and played a sublime backheel into the path of Sheringham, who made no mistake in rifling his shot into the back of the net.

By now, the wind was fully in England's sail. Brautigam had to come to the rescue to prevent Germany from falling further behind, producing a couple of outstanding stops to deny Darius Vassell and Michael Gray.

Less than a minute after the second, his intervention proved crucial as Zickler played a fantastic 30-yard pass to find Bobic's run in behind the opposition defence. The ex-Stuttgart and Borussia Dortmund striker calmly finished past the onrushing James.

The Germans were now back in the contest. Immediately after the restart, a mistake from Michael Thomas saw him lose the ball inside his own box under pressure from Zickler, paving the way for Bobic to pounce on the loose ball, and stab a shot home.

Having seen a comfortable two-goal lead vanish before their eyes, England effectively had to start all over again. To their credit, they refused to be deterred, and half-time substitute Lee Hendrie was proving a real threat.

They duly reclaimed the lead in the 54th minute when McManaman latched onto the rebound after Heskey's initial effort had been saved by Buchwald. He laid it off for Sheringham, whose firm strike deflected off Jorg Albertz, and looped over the hapless German custodian.

Two minutes later, the English added a fourth in slightly controversial circumstances after being awarded a corner, even though Gray's cross-shot from the left did not appear to have been touched wide by any opponents.

With Germany Masters protesting with the referee, the set piece was quickly taken short. It was played to Hendrie, whose low cross was diverted into the back of the net.

The goal was officially credited to Heskey, even though replays suggested the crucial touch came from Nowotny. But it mattered little as it proved to be enough to wrap up the victory for the English.

The scoreline could have been even bigger when Hendrie danced through the opposition defence and was denied by Brautigam from point-blank range before Vassell had a goal disallowed for offside right at the death.

Nonetheless, the 4-2 scoreline will be remembered as a fitting tribute to what remains English football's finest hour on the international stage, and the year that the evergreen Sheringham was born.

But the oldest player to start the match was 55-year-old Lothar Matthaus, who captained Germany to victory at the 1990 World Cup in Italy, having beaten England on penalties in the semifinals.

England Masters: David James, Luke Young, Steve Howey, Des Walker, Michael Gray, Darius Vassell, Carlton Palmer, Darren Anderton, Steve McManaman, Teddy Sheringham, Emile Heskey

Substitutes: Paul Parker, Lee Hendrie, Danny Murphy, Michael Thomas

Germany Masters: Perry Brautigam, Marko Rehmer, Guido Buchwald, Jens Nowotny, Jorg Albertz, Dietmar Hamann, Carsten Ramelow, Lothar Matthaus, Mario Basler, Oliver Neuville, Alexander Zickler

Substitutes: Fredi Bobic, Karl-Heinz Riedle, Jorg Heinrich, Patrick Owomoyela

Gabriel Tan is a TV and radio pundit who writes for ESPN FC and The New Paper on Southeast Asian football. Twitter: @gabetan13.

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