Germany booked their place in the last four of Euro 2012 as Joachim Loew’s side hammered Greece 4-2 on Friday night after dominating their quarter-final. Germany ran riot as captain Philipp Lahm, Sami Khedira, veteran striker Miroslav Klose and Marco Reus all got on the score-sheet to cancel out Giorgos Samaras’ and Dimitris Salpingidis’ second-half strikes for the Greeks. The Germans will now play England or Italy, who meet in Sunday’s Kiev quarter-final.
Greece under pressure
“The Germans were really good. We should have had a few more chances, but they had more possession and put us under pressure,” said Greece coach Fernando Santos. German coach Loew was proud of his team. “We can be proud of the team, it was clear that the Greeks could make something out of nothing. We failed to take an early lead, but we did not panic. There were a few changes and I thought I had to change things after three wins,” said Loew.
Loew’s surprise move
Loew pulled off a pre-match triple surprise when he decided to leave out star striker Mario Gomez, besides forwards Lukas Podolski and Thomas Mueller in a bold move. Klose won his 120th cap to come in for Gomez to claim his 64th international goal leaving him just four short of Gerd Mueller’s all-time Germany record.
Borussia Dortmund-bound Reus capped his first Euro 2012 appearance with a goal at Mueller’s expense to win only his seventh cap while Bayer Leverkusen’s Andre Schuerrle took Lukas Podolski’s place on the left wing. The Germans had the ball in the net after only four minutes as Khedira’s shot was only parried by Greek goalkeeper Michaelis Sifakis, who was soon beaten, but Schuerrle was flagged for offside.
With the Germans in control, the goal they had been threatening came on 39 minutes when Lahm burst through the left and fired home from the edge of the area. Giorgos Samaras then slipped his marker Jerome Boateng to bundle the ball home from the cross of Salpingidis. But Germany reclaimed the lead thanks to a volley from Khedira who connected Boateng’s cross.
Klose, Reus stretch lead
Klose added to his impressive tally with a header from a Ozil free-kick on 68 minutes after which Reus scored the fourth. Klose latched onto Ozil’s pass, forcing Sifakis into a save, but the ball fell Reus, who hit the net on 74 minutes. Salpingidis then converted a penalty after Boateng’s foul