Germany were the clear favorites for this game, and the fact that Turkey had nine players out through suspensions and injuries just boosted the Germans’ confidence. Germany got through by coming second in their group and beating Portugal convincingly in the quarter final, with Turkey crowned as comeback kings after winning their last two games in the final minutes of the match.
Much to everyone’s surprise, Turkey dominated the first twenty minutes, with lots of shots and crosses, and the German defense looked shaky, especially goal keeper Jens Lehmann who is usually very impressive.
Turkey got their just rewards when on the twenty second minute Ugur Boral scrambled the ball over the line after a Turkish shot had looped over Lehmann and hit the cross bar. It didn’t take long for the Germans to get back in the game though, a rapid counter attack found it’s way to Podolski who played a brilliant ball in to the box for Schweinsteiger to equalize just four minutes after the Turks’ goal.
The first half continued in the same way, with Turkey dominating, and they should have gone in to the changing rooms at half time leading by at least two or three goals, but German luck had kept them in the game.
In the second half, the game wasn’t quite as exciting, but on the seventy ninth minute, Germany looked like they had won it when a goal keeping error from Rustu allowed Klose to head Germany in to the lead. But, it didn’t really surprise anyone when Turkey scored on the eighty sixth minute to come back in the last five minutes for the third time in three games.
There was nothing the Turks could do to stop Phillip Lahm’s final minute effort though. A brilliant German move and a dinky one two in the box meant that the German left back could smash the ball in to the roof of the net for the Germans.
Overall, a very exciting game, and tournament over achievers Turkey are out, with Germany making it through to the final where they will play either Spain or Russia, depending on tomorrow’s result.
Germany 3 – 2 Turkey
Watch the five GOALS:
June 26th, 2008
After both teams won their first game, the pressure was on here, the winner almost definitely getting a place in the knock out stages. Croatia’s last game was less than inspiring; winning 1-0 against Austria, where as Germany looked a lot more convincing, beating Poland 2-0 with ease.
As the game kicked off, there was no clear dominator with end to end football being played. Surprisingly, Croatia began to take control, playing some fluent football and getting in a couple of shots. Germany had their fair share of chances too though, including a smashing Ballack free kick startling the Croatian goal keeper.
Then, a Croatian cross in to the box bounced awkwardly for German defender Marcell Jansen, and Darijo Srna managed to prod the ball past German and Arsenal keeper Jens Lehmann. Croatia began to look much more confident after this, crossing the ball in regularly, and Niko Kranjcar missed two extremely good chances, which could have put Germany effectively out of the game.
Unfortunately for Croatia though, this was not the case, and as the half drew to an end the Germans started to press more and more, and it was a relief for Croatia when the half time whistle was blown.
The second half brought some entertaining football, Germany leading though, playing fast football, and it was against the run of play when on the sixty third minute a long shot was deflected on to the German post, falling kindly for Ivica Olic to tap the ball into an open goal.
This really wound Germany up, understandably, and they started pressurizing and getting even more worked up when the game wasn’t going their way, but their prayers were answered when on the seventy third minute a Croatian clearance fell to Podolski for him to smash the ball home from the edge of the box.
Germany then looked very likely to equalize, playing some amazing crosses into the box, but unfortunately for them, it just wasn’t working. Then, in stoppage time, a Croatian attack and a bad tackle makes German substitute Bastian Schweinsteiger lash out, pushing Jerko Leko to the ground and getting a straight red.
This game was very entertaining, both teams really going for it, and, against all predictions, Croatia emerged victors and now lead the group with the probability of getting through to the knock out stages.
Croatia 2 – 1 Germany
Watch the three GOALS:
June 13th, 2008