Germany vs. Greece  4 - 2

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Euro 2012 quarter-final: Germany 4 Greece 2

23 June 2012 03:46

Germany brushed Greece aside with a 4-2 win on Friday to book a semi-final against England or Italy at Euro 2012.

Germany coach Joachim Loew spring a surprise with his team selection, omitting Mario Gomez, Thomas Mueller and Lukas Podolski in favour of Miroslav Klose, Andre Schurrle and Marco Reus.

The incoming trio did not disappoint, with Lazio striker Klose and Borussia Dortmund's Reus getting on the scoresheet, while Schurrle had a goal ruled out, as Germany romped into the last four.

The pre-tournament favourites, beaten finalists against Spain in Austria and Switzerland four years ago, 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.

With six minutes remaining until the half-time break, captain Philipp Lahm finally broke through the stubborn Greek resistance, the Bayern Munich fullback cutting in from the left and firing a dipping, right-footed strike beyond Michalis Sifakis in the Greece goal.

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 minutes.

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.

They eased past England in the round of 16 at the 2010 World Cup, but lost to eventual winners Italy in the last four at the previous FIFA showcase on home soil in 2006.

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Euro 2012 quarter-final preview: Germany v Greece

22 June 2012 20:12

Germany have shown they have the patience required to break down defensive-minded Greece in their Euro 2012 quarter-final on Friday.

But coach Joachim Loew may need to consider some changes on the flanks to get the win against a stubborn Greek side.

Germany have been criticised for abandoning the attacking football that impressed fans at the 2010 World Cup but Loew hit back in the lead-up to Friday's quarter-final by blaming the opposition.

Loew claimed the teams they have played have not allowed Germany the space to attack at Euro 2012 and argued three wins and five goals in Group B was an impressive result.

"Look at these opponents, even the Dutch retreated against us," Loew said.

"You can't always play as vertically as you want, it can be a consequence of the opponent playing deep."

Germany's patience has been crucial in their victories over Portugal, the Netherlands and Denmark but while Loew would be wary of tinkering with a winning side, he may need to play some different wingers to get past Greece.

Greece progressed from Group A by playing their typical defensive style, which earned them a European title in 2004.

Loew has selected Lukas Podolski and Thomas Mueller as the wide players in his 4-2-3-1 formation so far at Euro 2012.

But Podolski and Mueller are more suited to the fast, counter-attacking style Germany showed in South Africa two years ago and Loew may need to bring in one of either Mario Goetze, Toni Kroos or Marco Reus to provide some more creativity.

Mesut Oezil, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lars Bender, who all started in Germany's 2-1 win over Denmark, are expected to be fit for the quarter-final despite missing training on Tuesday.

Greece will be without captain Giorgos Karagounis who is suspended and scored the winner against Russia in their final group match.

Coach Fernando Santos will likely send his team out to frustrate the Germans and hope to score from a corner or free-kick.

Defenders Vasilis Torosidis and Kyriakos Papadopoulos could therefore be crucial for Greece as goal-scoring options.

Torosidis has scored six goals for his country in 47 matches, while Papadopoulos has hit the back of the net three times in 11 appearances.