Germany 4-2 Greece
The Euro Zone, har har, debt, har har, single currency, har har. The masters vs the servants, heh. Austerity vs punishing the banks, mmhmmm.
Now that all of the clichés about this match are out of the way, it can be said that Germany just absolutely owned Greece… on the pitch (oh.) The 4-2 scoreline flattered a Greek team who saw little of the ball in the first half and who literally scored with their first two touches in the German box. Down 4-1, a late penalty made the numbers look respectable, but the match was anything but.
Greece came out of the box and invited the Germans forward, hoping to press them into a mistake and launch a counter. The problem? Whenever the Greeks touched the ball, they immediately gave it back. The first 45 minutes were all Germany and it was completely tactical; unable to match the Germans in skill, the Greeks tried to lock the door with defense. It worked until it didn’t; when Philip Lahm got on the end of a cross field pass from Mesu Özil and lashed the ball into the Greek net in the 39th minute, things had to change.
And in the 55th minute, they did; a four pass move saw the Greeks break on a counter attack and score, a shocking moment that was a stark reminder of the cruelty of the game; you can run the show and still get caught out with lightning speed. When Giorgios Samaras tapped in a perfect cross with a slide into the mouth of the German goal, it was 1-1.
Hey, lookie there, it’s Samaras
It didn’t take long for Germany to respond; three quick goals from Sami Khedira (61st minute) and Miroslav Klose (68th minute) and Marco Reus (74th minute) put Germany up 4-1 as they ripped Greece apart. When Jerome Boateng completed the amazing task of jumping with his back to the ball and still intentionally (cough) handling it*, Dimitirs Salpingidis took a lovely penalty and made it 4-2 in the 89th minute, Too little, too late, Toodle-oo.
The goals? Nope. UEFA are locking down video highlights, because who wants to be able to review the game online? Who wants an official, linkable set of highlights to share around the world? How do you make money on that? Assholes.
* Try this, turn your back to your friend and have him kick soccer balls at you and see how many you can get a hand on. Ahem.