German Flair against Greek Grit
Quarter Final: Germany vs Greece
Friday, 22 June 2012
2045 (local time); 1445(EST); 0015(IST)
PGE Arena, Gdansk
The EURO quarterfinals are upon us and Germany take on Greece in the second of them. Nothing could contrast the routes that these two nations have taken to reach this stage. The Germans outperformed the Dutch and the Portuguese and then came 1 goal away from being eliminated by Denmark in the 3rd match, only to win it in the final 10 minutes. Germany thus remained the only team with a 100% record in the European championships. That they managed it in the so called “Group of Death” outlines their credentials quite clearly. It is a team full of confidence in their ability and one that thinks their time has come. The decision of Joachim Löw to bench Miroslav Klose and start with Mario Gomez has paid fruits as the striker has scored 3 goals. Klose though is expected to start this match. Bastian Schweinsteiger has had a wonderful tournament guiding the midfield and Mats Hummels and Holger Badstuber has been rocks in the defense.
The Greeks have played with ‘so-called German’ tenacity in this tournament. Down a man and a goal, they almost won their opener and only a penalty miss would stop them. They lost to the Czechs, but in an improbable display, beat Russia, one of the most enterprising teams of the tournament. They have shown spunk and their attitude has been commendable in coming back from the brink. The team spirit has been exemplary and it would be another match where they have to overreach themselves, if they are to advance to the semifinals. They will be without their captain Karagounis, but expect someone else to fill in for him and do that job.
The Germans are overwhelming favourites for the match and with the personnel at their disposal, should win this. Only the Greeks have shown how they can withstand the severest pressure and then win it when you least expect them – a very classical German feature.
One would expect, the match to have goals, however if there is only one goal, it very well be from a Greek player (as was in this ‘match’ )
Teams & Formations
Greece XI: Sifakis, Torosidis, Sokratis, Papadopoulos, Tzavellas, Makos, Katsouranis, Maniatis, Ninis, Samaras, Salpingidis
Germany XI: Neuer, Boateng, Hummels, Badstuber, Lahm, Khedira, Schweinsteiger, Reus, Ozil, Schurrle, Klose
Manager: Joachim Löw
” Playing Greece will be akin to colliding with a rock.”
Joachim Low, Germany manager.
” David won that battle against an opponent who was never expected to lose so I’m OK with that.”
Fernando Santos, Greece manager