EURO 2012: Germany punish Greece and march into the semi finals

Germany were the favourites and they lived up to the expectations as they defeated Greece 4-2 in Gdansk. Captain Philipp Lahm opened the scoring six minutes before the interval, then Greece fought back and made it all square thanks to Samaras on 55 minutes but Germany replied with three more goals: Khedira scored one minute after the hour mark, then Miroslav Klose and then Marco Reus, who bagged his first ever goal for Germany in a competitive match. Greece reduced the arrears thanks to a Salpingidis penalty kick on 89 minutes but it was too late to make a difference.

Germany started the match with the clear intention of scoring as soon as possible and they even got the ball into the back of the net after just four minutes through Schweinsteiger. The goal was disallowed for offside though and it seemed a correct decision. Germany continued their domination but they were unable to create any clear cut chances other than a few hopeful shots from outside the penalty area from the likes of Reus, Schurrle and Ozil. Germany had 70% of the ball possession by the 39th minute and that finally paid off when captain Phillipp Lahm blitzed one in with a superb shot from 20 meters out.

Greece made a change at half time, Fotakis for Ninis, and the move paid off 10 minutes after the interval as a quick counter attack saw Salpingidis setting up Samaras inside the penalty area and the Celtic Glasgow striker was faster than Boateng to reach the ball and slide it past the goalkeeper. Their joy was short-lived though as Germany replied just six minutes later with a sensational goal from Kedira, who volleyed home a cross from Badstuber.

Miroslav Klose wrapped things up seven minutes later when he headed home a free kick cross from Ozil and another six minutes later Marco Reus ended the rampage with a fabulous volley that went in off the crossbar. Greece got another goal from a penalty kick after Boateng handled a cross from Salpingidis but, with only one minute remaining, it wasn't more than a consolation goal.

Germany go through to the semi finals and they will meet either Italy or England next Thursday in Warsaw.

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