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European Championship

  • 22 June 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • PGE Arena Gdańsk, Gdańsk
  • Referee: D. Skomina
  • • Attendance: 38751
4
FT
2

Live Commentary

  • If I was Italy or England, I would be very nervous about my semi-final prospects now. Joachim Low's side are here to lift the trophy, and I won't be betting against them. It's goodnight from me - thanks for your contributions everyone.
  • FULL TIME - GERMANY 4-2 GREECE. That brings an end to a thoroughly fun game of football. Maybe Greece didn't have a lot to give, but Germany showed just why they are favourites for this tournament tonight. A second choice frontline has absolutely hammered the Ethniki.
  • 90'
    Well maybe everyone can smile a little now. Greece have done splendidly to get this far, but in truth, they have been well and truly humbled tonight.
  • 89'
    Penalty Goal Dimitris Salpingidis
    GOAL GREECE! Well I'm not sure it was a penalty, but there you go. Boateng is adjudged to have handled Fotakis' cross, and were his team not coasting, there would have been some very angry words shared. As it is, nobody is too bothered, and Salpingidis gives the Greek fans something to cheer. GERMANY 4-2 GREECE.
  • 87'
    PENALTY TO GREECE.
  • 86'
    Philipp Lahm fancies another goal here, and the captain almost plays a genius one-two with Gomez on the edge of the box. The ball just skips away from him though. Greece, to their credit, are still throwing everything into their defending. Hasn't gone them much good, but fair play to them.
  • 84'
    Sifakis hasn't held a shot in the entire second half. Ozil's side-foot shot is straight at him, but he still contrives to let the ball slip from his grasp. Again, Gomez is inches away from smashing away the rebound.
  • 83'
    It's almost sad to see an international quarter-final played out like this. How long did Greece believe they could go through here? 3 minutes? Poor guys.
  • 82'
    Greece have a decent effort on goal, as Giorgos Fotakis takes the ball from Samaras and fires one from 35 yards. It dips just in front of Neuer, but the Bayern Munich keeper is still more than equal to it.
  • 80'
    Substitution Marco Reus Mario Götze
  • 80'
    Substitution Miroslav Klose Mario Gomez
  • 80'
    That was very nearly 5 for Germany. Ozil makes another glorious jinking run into the box and having a pop, and Sifakis is very lucky not to see his parry not be gobbled up by Gomez. The Greeks are gone now, I think it's safe to say.
  • 79'
    Huge ovation for Miroslav Klose as he is the first player to trudge off the field. Gomez is on in his place. Gotze follows close behind, with Marco Reus withdrawn.
  • 78'
    Looks like Joachim Low is going to throw on a couple of players to enjoy this now. Dortmund wonderkid Mario Gotze is among them...
  • 77'
    Not for long though. A desperate long ball is easily dealt with by the German defence, and here they come again. The pace of the game now is positively pedestrian.
  • 75'
    Yellow Card Sokratis Papastathopoulos
  • 75'
    It's Ole time for germany, and Greece look utterly defeated. Hummels ruins this particular passage of play by committing a cheap foul - gifting the ball back to the Greeks.
  • 74'
    Assist Miroslav Klose
  • 74'
    Goal Marco Reus
    GOOAL GERMANY! Party time here in Gdansk. Mesut Ozil plays in Klose, Sifakis is out to stop Klose, but from the rebound, it's smashed into the net by Marco Reus. Germany starting to get the goals their performance deserves. GERMANY 4-1 GREECE!
  • 72'
    Substitution Grigoris Makos Nikolaos Liberopoulos
  • 71'
    He's come close again you know. Muller and Klose are playing a game of their own inside the area, and only a sprawling Sifakis prevents goal numbr 65 for the Lazio man.
  • 68'
    Assist Mesut Özil
  • 68'
    Goal Miroslav Klose
    GOOALL GERMANY! MIROSLAV KLOSE! From the free-kick, the German legend rises for one of the easiest headers of his career. Sifakis comes and gets nowhere near it, and Mr 120 caps nods in his 64th international goal. GERMANY 3-1 GREECE.
  • 67'
    Substitution Andre Schürrle Thomas Müller
  • 66'
    Papastathopoulos brings down Ozil a little rashly, and Germany have a free-kick. But before that, Muller is going to come into the fray replacing Schurrle, who has been excellent tonight.
  • 65'
    ...the header is won by Kyriakos Papadopoulos, but it's just over the top. Germany will know not to sit on this lead now, having already been stung once. Time to go for the kill.
  • 64'
    As Thomas Muller makes ready to come on, Greece win a corner...
  • 63'
    Angela Merkel looked delighted with that one, by the way.
  • 61'
    Assist Jerome Boateng
  • 61'
    Goal Sami Khedira
    KHEDIRA! GERMANY BACK IN FRONT! What a hit this is. Jermoe Boateng sends over a clipped cross from the right, and it's absolutely leathered into the roof of the net by the Real Madrid man. Germany back in front. Being held by Greece didn't really suit them.
  • 60'
    And now, of course, Greece can go backs to the wall all over again...
  • 59'
    Schurrle curls another effort towards goal, but it's way over the top. The Germans suddenly look a little deflated. I can't believe this.
  • 57'
    That's what I call a sucker punch. The Greek fans look absolutely shocked. Delighted, but totally bemused.
  • 56'
    Corner for Germany...but it comes to nothing. What is going on here.
  • 55'
    Goal Georgios Samaras
    SAMARAS! GREECE HAVE FLIPPING LEVELED IT! That is the commentator's curse right there. Gekas plays a lovely ball to Salpingidis down the right, and his cross is an absolute peach. Giorgios Samaras, even Giorgios Samaras, couldn't miss from there, and out of NOTHING, we have a game on our hands. GERMANY 1-1 GREECE!
  • 55'
    Assist Dimitris Salpingidis
  • 54'
    The introduction of Gekas appears to be encouraging a lot more long-ball from Greece, but so far nobody is finding their target. Germany are incredibly comfortable in truth.
  • 52'
    ALMOST for Greece. It's that man Katsouranis AGAIN who creates it, feeding Samaras who has acres of room to run into. It's 2v2 temporarily, but Samaras decides to lay the ball off to Gekas, who tries a ridiculous backheel that was never going to work. Chance gone for Greece. And there won't be many.
  • 50'
    AWFUL clearance from Sifakis, who skews the ball straight to Schurrle on the edge of the box. But instead of shooting, the no.9 elects to pass to Klose, and Greece close him down. Should have punished the keeper there.
  • 49'
    That's a shame. From an Ozil free-kick, Grigoris Makos brings the ball away and, incredibly, he stumbles past three challenges as he breaks over half-way. But then the whistle goes, as the AEK Athens player is called for handball. I was starting to wonder how far he could get.
  • 48'
    Great play from Miroslav Klose, who makes absolute mincemeat of Papastathopoulos and breaking into the area, only to be tackled for a corner. Lovely turn of pace from the 34 year-old, who is winning his 120th cap tonight.
  • 47'
    Germany win an attacking throw-in after Schurrle goes on another excellent run down the left-wing, playing a super one-two with Klose in the process. Podolski who?
  • 46'
    Substitution Georgios Tzavellas Georgios Fotakis
  • 46'
    Substitution Sotiris Ninis Theofanis Gekas
  • 46'
    We're underway in the second half.
  • Good shout from Michael there. Gekas is indeed coming on in place of Ninis and Fotakis is replacing Tzavellas. Should add a bit more attacking threat from Greece.
  • From Michael Paterakis inside the stadium: "Fotakis and Gekas could be coming on at the beginning of the second half, as far I can see from the press galleries here at Gdansk Arena."
  • Cristian also has this to say on one negative point for Germany: "If there was one disappointment for Germany it was Bastian Schweinsteiger. He has been uncharacteristically sloppy in his passing and given the ball away numerous times. But it is not a big surprise considering he came into the game with a bandaged knee. He will likely stay on the pitch though but could come off if Germany get a second goal."
  • I'll definitely agree with that from Cristian. Superb performance from Ozil so far. Playing with ten defenders means nothing when you're up against a player who can ghost past challenges as easily as that.
  • From Cristian Nyari: "Low's three changes have been proven right so far, Reus and Schurrle have been especially terrific. Ozil, whose form was a hot topic before this game, might have been the pick of the bunch, one of the better individual performances of the tournament so far from the playmaker."
  • Goal.com's Michael Paterakis gives his half-time thoughts: "A deserved lead for Germany as Greece have totally failed to keep the ball in their midfield and away from their defence. Katsouranis and Samaras are trying to take advantage of Salpingidis' speed on counter-attacks, but Neuer plays too far away from his area to prevent any danger coming to his way. Ninis has a lot of problems on the left flank. He has completely failed to stop Lahm and thus Torosidis hasn't found any space to move up and be more aggressive."
  • Lionidas Lok - you might be on your own in predicting a Greek revival in the second half. Anyone care to join in?
  • Tranzy - you make a good point. After all those chances that the German forward missed, it's the left-back who comes up with the goods. Captain's example.
  • And JesseP is predicting a repeat of the 4-0 scoreline Spain achieved against Ireland. It's certainly as one-sided.
  • Saahil_parekh calls the Greeks sitting ducks, and I have to say I agree with him. They seem to be waiting to be beaten at times.
  • There's the half-time whistle. Save a few flashes of brilliance from Kostas Katsouranis, this has been an absolute mauling. Germany have clocked up 80% possession, and 5-0 would not flatter them at this stage. Greece need a total transformation to get anything out of this. Still, while it's only 1-0...
  • 45' + 1'
    SO CLOSE FROM SCHURRLE! It's another fabulous long-range effort from the no.9, and the ball flies inches past the post before rebounding off the hoardings to ripple the net. Half the crowd think it's in, but not quite. Germany could, and perhaps should, have had a hat full.
  • 45'
    Well, we're approaching half-time, and there is still not a Greek player prepared to get forward. All German passing on the half-way line, and when Greece do win it, there are no options.
  • 43'
    From Goal.com's Cristian Nyari: "Germany got what they wanted, albeit not as early as Low would have preferred, but a goal before the break will give them some breathing room to attack without having to worry. It will take some of the pressure off. Also this is the 20th consecutive game in which Germany have scored, a record in team history."
  • 42'
    You COULD argue that Sifakis could do better with that effort, as the keeper DID get a hand to Lahm's shot. But with the pace the ball was travelling at, I'm not one of them.
  • 40'
    There are sighs of relief everywhere you look for Germany. I think everyone was starting to think those Greek austerity measures would win through. Now Santos' team have no choice but to go for it...
  • 39'
    Assist Mesut Özil
  • 39'
    Goal Philipp Lahm
    NOT VERY LONG AT ALL! GLORIOUS GOAL FROM PHILIPP LAHM. Remember his opening goal of the 2006 world cup? Well this is almost a carbon copy, the captain hitting a swinging shot that whistles into the top corner of Sifakis' net. Super stuff. GERMANY 1 - 0 GREECE.
  • 38'
    I, for one, am very impressed with the Greek defending here. But with so much firepower on the Germany bench, how long can this possibly last?
  • 37'
    From Clark Whitney inside the ground: "The frustration is starting to show for Germany just a little bit. Greece are giving up very little space and the tempo has slowed significantly but with a decrease in tempo is more time for the Greeks to organise and subsequently less space for Germany. The vicious cycle of a bunkering team."
  • 35'
    Germany are looking to turn the screw, and Greece have brought back all 11 players in response. It's working a treat too, until Ozil finds an inch of space and lays on a chance for Khedira. The ball is well hit, but Sifakis makes a vital block, with Makos on hand to make the clearance.
  • 33'
    JUST WIDE FROM SCHURRLE. Wonderful curling effort from the 21 year-old, but the ball is just wide of Sifakis' far post. This game is brilliant.
  • 32'
    GOOD EFFORT FROM GREECE. This time Ninis hits a wicked shot that seems to take Neuer by surprise. Nobody following up the loose ball for the Greeks though. If they committed a few more men forward, could they actually do this?
  • 30'
    How many times am I going to say Kostas Katsouranis has played a superb pass. After winning the ball from Hummels, the Panathinaikos man finds Samaras from 45 yards. But Greece bring nobody up to support the former Man City man, and the chance fizzles out.
  • 29'
    Bastian Schweinsteiger has given the ball away, for possibly the first time in the tournament. The no.7 hits a sloppy pass out towards Schurrle, and Sotiris Ninis nips in to bring the ball away. Good defending all the same from the little forward.
  • 28'
    So you know I wrote Greece off a few minutes ago? I'm not so sure any more...
  • 26'
    And now Greece almost break! Katsouranis is playing some lovely passes from deep, and this time he spots Dimitris Salpingidis running behind Philipp Lahm. He would be in on goal, but Manuel Neuer comes haring out of his goal to hack the ball away. This is suddenly a very very good game.
  • 25'
    Well, one more at least. Marco Reus AGAIN is in the thick of it, but this time he blazes a bouncing ball over the top when going across the keeper looked a better option. Joachim Low is not looking best pleased.
  • 24'
    CLOSE AGAIN FROM GERMANY. It's Reus again who creates, as he sweeps a first time ball across the face of goal, and Miroslav Klose is inches away from connecting. How many more will they miss?
  • 23'
    GERMANY SHOULD LEAD. Mesut Ozil has missed a bit of a sitter. It's a wonderful passing move that leads to the chance, with Reus playing the Madrid man in with a lovely flick, but from 10 yards, he can't get the ball under Sifakis' body.
  • 21'
    That Greek 4-3-3, by the way, is playing a lot like a 4-5-1 at the moment. Samaras and Ninis are both doing a great deal of defending to block out the threat of the German full-backs. It's started to quieten down in terms of goalmouth action. Which will suit the Greeks fine.
  • 20'
    Kostas Katsouranis looks like he is stepping up to the plate tonight. It's another lovely ball from the midfielder, and he almost releases Ninis into acres of space. Fortunately, Badstuber is alive to the danger and comes across to clear for Germany.
  • 19'
    Off goes Samaras again, and this time he gains a little more ground before Boateng nicks the ball off him to concede the throw. Those possession statistics do not lie people. Germany are seeing a LOT of the ball.
  • 18'
    Schweinsteiger gets a little bit of retribution on Samaras, putting in a crunching tackle on the Greek forward as he looks to break forward. Have that.
  • 17'
    Excellent tackle from Katsouranis, who is winning his 95th cap tonight. The midfielder wins the ball on half-way, and immediately plays through Ninis, who promptly loses the ball on the far touchline. Greece will need to keep the ball better than that.
  • 15'
    Perhaps Greece are settling a bit better now. Jerome Boateng sends over a cross from the right, and Khedira is well marshalled by the Greek defence as he goes in for the ball. The Real Madrid player throws himself to the floor, but that is never, ever a penalty.
  • 14'
    Yellow Card Georgios Samaras
  • 13'
    Bastian Schweinsteiger goes down under a hefty challenge from Samaras, and the Celtic player earns the first booking of the night as a result. Looked a nasty one, that.
  • 10'
    Marco Reus is the latest player to have a pop at goal. Flies just wide of the post, but Germany are getting closer...
  • 8'
    So you know I was suggesting Greece could cause an upset... Well I might have been a tad wrong. After that Makos shot, it's back to 100% German attacking here.
  • 6'
    Greece have not been out of their half yet. The German passing is sharp as a tack, as Lahm feeds Klose on the edge of the box, who lays it off nicely for Khedira to fire at goal. It's just over, but the warning signs are everywhere for Greece.
  • 5'
    Sifakis took a knock during that incident, and is the latest player to receive a bit of medical treatment. Greece could do without another golkeeping casualty.
  • 4'
    GOAL GE... no. Khedira hits a shot from the edge of the box, and Sifakis can only palm the ball to Schurrle, who taps in. However, the goal is ruled out for offside. It looked SO close from here, but I think the Leverkusen player was just on.
  • 3'
    We have a temporary break in play here as Sami Khedira goes down holding an ankle. Think he'll be OK.
  • 2'
    Germany are actually on fire. Marco Reus plays a neat one-two with Ozil and sweeps over a delightful cross that is JUST behind Klose. Low's side mean business here.
  • 1'
    Blimey, Germany are in a hurry. Ozil slips the ball inside the area to Klose, but the veteran striker is flagged just offside. Papastathopoulos was across either way to cover.
  • GREECE HAVE HAD A SHOT. It's Grigoris Makos who has a go from range, but the ball isn't hit with any real power and it's an easy save for Neuer. Still, it's a start...
  • BRILLIANT. In fact Greece kicked off too early, and we are back in the centre circle. All that build up for nothing.
  • THREE…….TWO…….ONE……..FOOTBALL
  • Ready?
  • The predictions for Greece win are FLOODING in now. I hope you lot have some good money on this...
  • Two of the finer anthems going, I think you’ll agree. The coin toss is made and, contrary to popular rumour, the Greek captain Kostas Katsouranis does NOT try to swipe the coin while it’s in the air. Almost time for the beloved countdown….
  • Superbly sung. And now stay standing for Germany - “Deutschlandlied” (Song of Germany). Sing along if you know the words.
  • Here come the anthems. First from Greece is Ymnos is tin Eleftherian (Hymn to Liberty).
  • From Sylvester M: Greece 3-2 Germany
  • The teams are on their way out. Greeted by the cheers of over 40,000 mental fans. Is there any better feeling? It’s a beautiful evening out there, and I’m expecting some football to match. Tonight’s referee is Damir Skomina, or Slovenia.
  • Over in Berlin, Falko Bloeding reports crowds of over 400,000 in central Berlin. Turning out in expectation, I would wager...
  • You will already know this, but just in case you don’t – the team that goes through to the semi-finals tonight will play the winners of the last quarter-final between England and Italy. A very tasty game in store there, whoever is taking part.
  • Although, looking at your predictions, nobody fancies an upset here. Nobody going to back Greece?
  • And how have Greece got here, I hear you ask? After a pretty dreadful first two games, the Ethniki suddenly came to life with a marvellous counter-attacking performance against the much-fancied Russians. Raising themselves for the big games perhaps? Well they don’t come much bigger than this. It will take something special, but I’ll say it again, Greece won this thing in 2004, and know how to overcome the odds. Not to be underestimated.
  • Germany, don’t forget, are the only two team with a 100% record so far at these championships, and have won their last fourteen international games – equalling a national record. At times irresistible in possession, and often devastating on the counter-attack, this is the side to beat if you want to lift the trophy. But, no team is infallible, and Denmark’s display does at least show that concerted attacks will bring chances. The risk there, of course, is how open you then leave yourself at the back.
  • From inside the stadium, Clark Whitney notes: "Interesting from the German camp - Schurrle is warming up with the player he's replacing in the starting line-up, Podolski. Might be just a little awkward..."
  • Here’s what Goal.com’s Germany expert Cristian Nyari makes of that team: “The reports were right, Klose, Schurrle and Reus are indeed starting. While it might be a surprise to many it is one that has been coming. Low admitted that he focused more on defense in the group stages, hence a lot of the young attackers not getting minutes, but this game comes at the perfect time to let all their offensive talent loose. Reus and Schurrle are both more technical and quick than Muller and Podolski and Klose loves to combine outside the box. It's just what the doctor ordered.”
  • Doni Pivaral, we're all set for a 7.45 kick off. And I will be using as many of your comments as possible...
  • What do we make of that then? Sensible squad rotation from the Germans, or a touch of complacency from Joachim Low? It’s by no means a weak side, but you can’t help but feel Greek spirits will have been lifted a touch by seeing that team sheet.
  • GREECE (4-3-3): Sifakis; Torossidis, K. Papadopoulos, Papastathopoulos, Tzavellas; Maniatis, Makos, Katsouranis; Ninis, Salpingidis, Samaras
  • GERMANY (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Boateng, Hummels, Badstuber, Lahm; Khedira, Schweinsteiger; Reus, Ozil, Schurrle; Klose
  • Point well made from Anonymous: "I think it would be better if the person writing the stream would select certain comments we make and enter them onto the stream..."
  • Greece will have to make do tonight without their influential captain Giorgos Karagounis, who picked up a totally undeserved booking in that dramatic Russia game. The no.10 will be replaced by Grigoris Makos, while the lively Sotiris Ninis comes into attack in place of Theofanis Gekas. Centre-back pairing of Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Sokratis Papastathopoulos both play their club football in Germany, so will be relying on some local experience to keep out the inevitable threat of the German attack.
  • Onto some football, shall we? Here’s your TEAM NEWS for tonight’s match. First the Germans, who make four changes from the side that overcame Denmark in the final group game. Intriguingly, Low has chosen to drop forward trio of Mario Gomez, Lukas Podolski and Thomas Muller, with Miroslav Klose, Andre Schurrle and Marco Reus coming in respectively. Jerome Boateng, returning from a suspension, reclaims his place Lars Bender, who will feel aggrieved having scored the winner against the Danish.
  • Falko Bloeding, from Goal.com Deutschland, reports this quote from Merkel said before the game: "In Greece the people are sitting down to look at their great team. And I am here to see my team and hope it wins. I wish for an exciting game. Greece belongs to the best eight teams in this competition. We play against each other, and everybody wants to win. But we live happily together in Europe and that is the main point.“
  • Look. If you can’t laugh at an international economic crisis and the imminent demise of an entire monetary system, what can you laugh at? Honestly.
  • German chancellor Angela Merkel is in the stands tonight. Just to add an extra bit of spice to every Greek the world over. How ironic it would be if they were to win here in front of the woman who is at the heart of their austerity measures. It would be like borrowing your mum’s car, taking her for a test drive, and smashing it.
  • The Greeks, of course, have been the subject of a great many Eurozone-themed jokes during this tournament. Too many to go into here. Frankly, I was getting tired of it. Until, that is, they were drawn to play the country that was responsible for its economic bailout and subsequent austerity measures. So I say, for one night only, let the jokes come. I’m all ears.
  • So here we are, with the three-time European champions taking on the surprise winners of the 2004 tournament. Greece may have tasted Euro glory more recently than their opponents tonight, but you wonder how useful that experience will be against what is becoming a footballing juggernaut. Still, these are the Euros, and I for one am ruling absolutely nothing out.
  • Here’s your first update from Goal.com’s Clark Whitney, inside the stadium for us tonight. “As the Germans completed their usual pre-match rendition of "Schwarz und Weiss," the Greeks lifted a massive flag behind their goal... unfortunately for them, it was upside-down! After about a minute, they realised the mistake and flipped it, much to the amusement of the Steinhausen fans to my left.”
  • I’m Tom Woods, and I’ll be bringing you all the action from the PGE Arena in Gdansk. But I can’t do it alone. I’ll be joined by a host of Goal.com experts and roving reporters as the game goes on. And, of course, I’ll be wanting to hear from YOU. To your right is the chat box, your chance to shine. Let’s be having you.
  • Welcome to Goal.com - and our LIVE match coverage of the second Euro 2012 quarter-final between the MIGHTY Germany and, ummm… Greece. The team everybody expects to make the final against the team most people think were lucky just to afford the plane ticket. If form is anything to go by, this one is a dead cert. But then, form never put on a pair of boots and did it on a wet Tuesday night in Stoke, did he?
  • It’s time everybody. Time for some serious football.