2012 Euro Cup: Germany Thrashed Greece 4-2 and Moves to Semifinals
Saturday, June 23, 2012 Report by Rajarshi Ghosh
Germany thrashed Greece 4-2 to book a semi-final against England or Italy at Euro 2012.
Germany coach Joachim Loew spring a surprise with his team selection, replacing Mario Gomez, Thomas Mueller and Lukas Podolski in favour of Miroslav Klose, Andre Schurrle and Marco Reus. The incoming trio did not disappoint, with Klose and Reus scored goals, while Schurrle had a goal ruled out, as Germany moved into the last four.
Germany dominated possession for the majority of the first half at PGE Arena, Gdansk. They had the ball in the back of the net through Bayer Leverkusen forward Schurrle as early as the fourth minute, only for the goal to be ruled out for offside. In the 39’ captain Philipp Lahm finally broke through the Greece defense and gave the Germans the lead.
Germany were expected to go on and extend their advantage after the interval, but instead it was Greece who struck next, against the run of play. A fast break from the half-way line saw Dimitris Salpingidis whip in a delivery to the six-yard box, and Georgios Samaras got their first. His effort deflected off onrushing Germany keeper Manuel Neuer and into the back of the net to make it 1-1 on 55’.
Greece were only level for six minutes, before Sami Khedira met Jerome Boateng's cross with a dynamic volley inside the area to restore Germany's lead. In the 67th minute Germany doubled their advantage, with Klose climbing to head home from a corner kick and make it 3-1.
It was 34-year-old's 64th goal for his country, and he is now just four strikes off Gerd Mueller's all-time record. Germany killed with game off with 17 minutes still to go, when Marco Reus lashed home a volley from inside the area, with Sifakis stranded.
Greece claimed a consolation goal when Boateng gave away a penalty for handball with little over a minute remaining, Salpingidis sending Neuer the wrong way. And while the spot-kick added respectability to the scoreline for Greece, it was too late for the underdogs to mount what would have been an improbable comeback.
Germany will now meet the winner of Sunday's quarter-final between England and Italy, with the semi to be played at the National Stadium, Warsaw, on June 28.
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