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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 July 2006, 12:18 GMT 13:18 UK
England were too tired - Crouch
Peter Crouch
They had been going in well in practice - but we were fresh then

Crouch on England's penalty preparations
Liverpool striker Peter Crouch has blamed exhaustion for the dismal penalty shoot-out performance that ended England's World Cup campaign.

He said Wayne Rooney's sending off left the players too tired for the spot-kicks, which they lost 3-1.

"I honestly felt exhaustion set in at the end against Portugal," said Crouch, who was not one of the penalty-takers.

"We had played quite a lot of the game with 10 men and I think we took the penalties in a tired way."

England missed three of their four penalties after Saturday's quarter-final had finished scoreless.

The side had played for an hour with 10 men after Rooney's red card for a stamp on Portugal defender Ricardo Carvalho.

Crouch's club team-mates Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, plus Frank Lampard, all failed to net from the spot in Gelsenkirchen. Owen Hargreaves was the only scorer.

"Everyone worked so hard and I genuinely feel everyone had given everything by the time we had to take the penalties. That definitely showed in the penalties we had to take," added Crouch.

Everyone of us felt we could go all the way this time

Peter Crouch
It was England's fifth defeat on penalties in a major competition in the past 16 years.

But Crouch, 25, who came on as a substitute after Rooney's dismissal, insisted England could have done no more to prepare for the penalties.

He said: "We have come in for criticism in the past for not practising penalties but I can assure you, we had been practising them all the time after going to Germany in early June - and before that.

"They had been going well in practice - but we were fresh then. We were in an empty stadium as well, which is a different ball game to Saturday.

"When it goes to penalties it is a lottery and we came unstuck again on Saturday. It was a bitter blow to go out of the World Cup the way we did and afterwards a few of the lads were inconsolable.

"Every one of us felt we could go all the way this time. We really felt we had the team to achieve that goal and it is such a shame it ended like it did."

England beaten on penalties again
01 Jul 06 |  World Cup 2006
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03 Jul 06 |  England
Rooney's dismissal stuns England
01 Jul 06 |  England

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