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Germany v Turkey match report

26 June 2008 by

Germany 3 Turkey 2

With only four minutes remaining in the match, Turkey looked to have come back from the dead yet again with an equaliser from Semih Senturk. Unfortunately for them though they didn’t manage to see the game into extra time. A Philip Lahm goal in the final minute of the match restored Germany’s lead and made sure they would line-up in the final of the tournament in Vienna on Sunday.

Many expected the Turks to deploy similar tactics that saw them frustrate Croatia, however, they came at Germany from the off and when they took the lead in the twenty-second minute it was well deserved. Full-back Sabri’s cross found its way to Kazim-Richards, who’s looping shot came back off the bar. Ugur Boral reacted quicker than Friedrich to force the ball underneath Lehmann. The goal followed a period of sustained pressure and two or three decent chances for Turkey to take the lead. A mistake from Lahm inside ten minutes put Ayhan Akman through on Lehmann, who managed to save the midfielder’s effort with his right leg. Shortly after Kazim-Richards’ twelve yard strike rattled the cross bar.

Despite their dominance Turkey found themselves level again, just four minutes after taking the lead. With what was Germany’s first real opportunity of the match, Lukas Podolski found himself with the ball on the left wing. Sabri opted to show the Bayern Munich forward onto his stronger foot and a lack of any challenge allowed him to find Bastian Schweinsteiger, who had made a great run from the right wing, at the edge of the six yard box and he managed to direct the ball into the net with the outside of his boot.

The remained rather open for the rest of the first period but it was the Turks who looked more dangerous in possession and created the better chances. Lehmann almost had a ‘Rustu’ moment when he was caught out of position for a Hamit Altintop free kick. Although Hamit was attempting to cross the ball his free kick seemed to be heading over Lehmann’s head, and into the net, but the German goalkeeper managed to palm the ball over the bar. Podolski then came close when he was sent through into space down the left-hand side. If he had been quicker he would have been through on the goalkeeper but he seemed to get the ball stuck under his feet slightly and by the time he reached the edge of the box he had been closed down by Mehmet Topal. In the end he shot over the bar but he may have been better picking out Klose, who had made a run into the box.

An action packed first half, in which Germany managed to come out of level even though they had failed to really get going, came to a close. Simon Rolfes, who was replaced at half time by Torsten Frings, was especially poor. He was caught in possession several times and failed to complete several simple passes.

Joachim Löw’s side came out rejuvenated in the second half and took the game to Turkey. They were denied a penalty in the fiftieth minute when Lahm was clearly hacked down by Sabri. The television replays showed that, while it was a definite foul, the contact took place outside the box. Despite more possession in the opening stages of the second half, Germany failed to create any clear cut chances. The closest they came was a strike from Hitzlsperger but he could only guide his long range effort wide of the post.

The match then sparked into life with twelve minutes remaining on the clock. The Turkey goalkeeper, Rustu Recber, decided to come for a Lahm cross deep from the left and for the second time in two matches Miroslav Klose was gifted a the chance to knock the ball into an empty net. The goal was a carbon copy of Kolse’s only other goal of the competition, which came against Portugal in the quarter final when Ricardo came for a free kick and failed to collect the ball.

With four minutes remaining, Semih Senturk appeared to have sent the match into extra time when he nipped in at the front post to guide the ball past Lehmann after great work from Sabri on the right wing. Yet again Turkey had managed to claw back from the brink of elimination, something they are now renowned for but it was to be short lived as the Germans restored their lead in the final minute of the match.

Philip Lahm, who’s failure to deal with Sabri had lead to Turkey’s equaliser, redeemed himself by starting and ending the move which eventually won the match for Germany. The Bayern Munich defender picked up the ball on the left and came inside. He passed the ball to Hitzlsperger then continued his run into the box, receiving the ball back. The left back took a touch before guiding the ball past the on-rushing Rustu, producing a finish that any striker would have been proud of.

It will be the third time in the last five competitions that Germany have reached this stage of the competition. This match summed up Germany’s tournament so far. They failed to really get going in the first half but managed to produce a piece of magic to go in level at the break. Throughout the match their defensive frailties were exposed but, like they normally seem to do, they found a way through, just.

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