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Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger celebrates win against Turkey
© dpa - Bildfunk
Germany beat Turkey to Euro 2008 finals

June 26, 2008

Germany are in the final of Euro 2008 after a dramatic semi-final against Turkey in Basel. The lead changed hands twice in a nerve-wracking game, and it was left to Philipp Lahm to seal the win with an 90th minute goal.

Defender Lahm's late strike put three-times European champions Germany in Sunday's Euro 2008 final and sealed a 3-2 win to knock out injury-ravaged Turkey on Wednesday, June 24.

Lahm's 89th minute goal made sure Vienna will be Germany's final destination after Turkey's Semih Senturk had forced an equalizer just four minutes from time to make it 2-2 to set up another dramatic finish.

Germany striker Miroslav Klose had nudged his side into the lead on 79 minutes after Bastian Schweinsteiger's first-half goal had cancelled out Ugur Boral's early strike as Turkey had taken a shock lead.

This was Germany's first win over Turkey since May 1992 and Fatih Terim's battered side used their never-say-die spirit forced the Germans to work hard.

Having reached Basel's St Jakob-Park semi-final by forging a reputation as the tournament's come-back kings with last-gasp wins over Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Croatia, Turkey threatened Germany with the same treatment.

Turkey were without the banned quartet of keeper Volkan Demirel, Tuncay Sanli, Arda Turan who scored their last gasp winner against the Swiss, and Emre Asik.

And captain Nihat Kahveci, whose pair of late goals sank the Czech Republic, was missing with a thigh injury.

In contrast, Germany had all 23-men fit and ready to go having responded to their shock 2-1 defeat by Croatia in the group stages by knocking-out much-fancied Portugal with an impressive 3-2 defeat here last Thursday.

Germany coach Joachim Loew played the same line-up and 4-5-1 formation he had used against Portugal for the semi-final, but it was the Turks who dominated the first-half chances with Kazim Kazim driving a shot against the bar on 14 minutes.

Turkey shock favourites with early lead

And Turkey took a deserved lead when Kazim again hit the cross-bar before Fenerbahce's Ugur Boral fired at Jens Lehmann who watched helplessly as the ball trickled over the line on 22 minutes.

Germany's reply was immediate as attacking midfielder Lukas Podolski slid in a cross which Portugal's tormentor Bastian Schweinsteiger flicked into the net on 26 minutes for his second goal in two games.

Lehmann was in action again as he punched clear Hamit Altintop's free-kick just after the half-hour mark one of nine first-half chances Turkey created compared to Germany's one.

At the break Simon Rolfes made way for Torsten Frings in Germany's midfield and match-winner Lahm was unlucky not to have won a penalty when he was brought down on the edge of the area by Sabri Sarioglu on 52 minutes.

In a much-tighter second half, Turkey kept the pressure on with Altintop bossing the midfield against his Bayern Munich colleagues in Germany's ranks.

Klose heads Germany towards final...or so he thought

But the break through came in the 79th minute when Bayern striker Klose rose above three Turkish defenders and goalkeeper Recber Rustu to score his second goal in two games.

Turkey pulled a late goal out of the bag for the fourth time in succession when Semih slipped marker Per Mertesacker to stab home Sabri Sarioglu's cross on 86 minutes to equalise.

But Lahm put German fans in seventh heaven with his 90th minute strike to send his side to Vienna.

Jogi goes one step further than Klinsi

Despite Loew's side becoming the first side to qualify for Euro 2008, he has spent the last two years labouring under the popular misconception he was simply carrying on his predecessor's 'revolution'.

During his two-year reign, Germany's former coach Juergen Klinsmann changed the way Germany's national side prepared and moved them away from a defense-orientated style to fast-attacking soccer.

After Loew's team saw off Poland with a 2-0 win to begin their Euro 2008 campaign in style, Loew was left fuming when his side slumped to a shock 2-1 group stage defeat by Croatia, before they rallied with a 1-0 win over Austria.

He promised to "give each and every player a piece of my mind" after the Croat defeat, but showed his tactical mettle in the quarter-final against Portugal here at the St Jakob-Park stadium.

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© Deutsche Welle / German Information Centre New Delhi
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