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Germany beat Austria to enter Euro 2008 quarter finals
© dpa
Germany through to quarter finals

June 17, 2008

Thanks to Michael Ballack, "Cordoba II" was avoided against Austria, and the German international team is through to the quarter finals of a Euro tournament for the first time since they won the title 12 years ago.

After their 1-0 (0-0) win in Vienna against tournament host Austria, Germany will face Portugal, who are a favourite to win it all.

Rematch against Portugal

The rematch between the two teams who battled it out for third place in the 2006 World Cup will be played on Thursday on the freshly laid turf of St. Jakob Park in Basel (20:45 CET). But for the struggling three-time world and European champions to have success they will have to bring their game to a much higher level than was displayed against a less than spectacular Austrian team.

After a foul on Philipp Lahm and with Chancellor Angela Merkel looking on, Captain Michael Ballack scored what would be the winning goal off a free kick in the 48th minute from 20 metres out. In the 80th minute, Austrian defender György Garics nearly scored an own goal. Late in the match, the German team had luck when Andreas Ivanschitz (82nd min.) and Erwin Hoffer (84th min.) failed to score.

Relegated to the stands

German coach Joachim Löw had to follow the score and everything else on the pitch from the stands. He and his counterpart, Austrian coach Josef Hickesberger were banished to the stands in the 41st minute due to a heated discussion with the fourth official. Löw took in stride, shook hands with Germany's chancellor, Angela Merkel, and sat down between the suspended Bastian Schweinsteiger and team manager Oliver Bierhoff.

In the quarter finals, Germany will face a team that soundly defeated Turkey (2-0) and the Czech Republic (3-1). Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portugese teammates were the first team from Group A to qualify.

Gomez misses huge opportunity

With no goals in the tournament as of yet, strikers Miroslav Klose and Mario Gomez very nearly combined to put Germany ahead early in the match. After a brilliant set up by Klose, Gomez was only able to arc the ball to the goal line, where Garics headed the ball away with the back of his head. (4th min.). This would be the only scoring opportunity for Germany in the first half against an Austrian team ranked 92nd in the world.

Missed scoring opportunities were much less of a problem than poor passing and lacking coordination, evident on the part of the German team throughout the match. Despite displaying grit and determination, Ballack was also unable to make his presence known for much of the match. It wasn't until the 23rd minute before Lukas Podolski tested Austrian keeper Jürgen Macho with a long shot on goal.

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© 2008 DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga GmbH
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