In a very close game tonight in Basle, Switzerland, that had the TV feed interrupted by lightning a couple of times, the miracles that Turkey were able to weave in the tournament finally ran out.
Klose heads home Germany’s second goal to put them 2-1 up
But it was right at the end of the game, when Philipp Llam scored Germany’s winner in the 90th minute, to win the game 3-2, and take Germany through to the final on Sunday.
With Turkey missing 8 of their first team through either injury or suspensions, everybody had expected Germany to easily win this semi-final but nobody counted on the spirit and passion again shown by Turkey tonight.
Rather than going on the defensive as most teams would have done, certainly England would have done under McClaren, Turkey surprised everybody by immediately taking it to the Germans.
After 13 minutes Kazin had a half chance and almost broke the German crossbar, and it was no surprise when Turkey went ahead after just 22 minutes, when Kazin again hit the cross-bar and Ugur Boral, who played out of his skin tonight, mis-hit the ball past Jens Lehman.
Ball goes under Lehman for Turkey’s first goal from Boral
The former Arsenal goalkeeper should really have saved it, but the very fact the ball was mishit, sent it past the German goalkeeper.
So Turkey were ahead for the first time ever in the tournament in the first half, and they weren’t sure what to do.
They usually go ahead with a minutes or less to go but now they had 68 minutes left in the game. 😀
But after just 5 minutes Germany were level with a great goal by Schweinsteiger, who had replaced the disappointing Mario Gomez earlier in the tournament.
He was brilliantly set up by Podolski, via a fast beak that exposed the Turkey defense on the left hand side.
Germany were outplayed in the first half but in the second half started to come more into the game.
With just 11 minutes to go, a simple cross into the box was badly misjudged by Turkish goalkeeper Rustu and Klose, who like many of the German stars tonight looked out of sorts, headed Germany into the lead.
Had Turkey any miracles left?
With just 4 minutes to go the unbelievable happened again, when Turkey drew level and left-back Lahm was badly at fault for the Germans.
Semih scores Turkey’s second goal as he flicked the ball past Lehman
Brilliant play down the right by Sabri, got him past the bewildered Lahm, not for the first time in the game, and his low cross was deftly turned home by Semih, to send the Turks everywhere absolutely wild.
The two goalkeepers didn’t have a lot to do during the game, but both were responsible for conceding poor goals.
Rustu was badly at fault for Germany’s second goal by badly misjudging an easyÂ cross into the box, and Lehman was at fault for Turkey’s first goal, as he let the ball slide underneath him and across the line.
But you’ve got it to hand it to the Turks tonight, many of whom were reserves playing for the first time in the tournament, that they had stretched the Germans to the limits and with just 4 minutes to go were again all square. Would this be another extra time game?
Lahm smashed home Germany’s winner on 90 minutes
But then on 90 minutes, a beautiful ball by Frings played in Lahm, who had a poor game at left full back, but nevertheless brilliantly smashed the ball past Rustu, giving the Turkish captain no chance at all.
There was another break in the TV feed, but Germany played out the final 3 minutes of injury time and are now through to the final on Sunday.
This was another fabulous game to watch, and Turkey are one of the real star teams of the tournament.
When you play with the passion the Turks have done in this tournament, anything is possible, and that’s what they proved again and again.
And they deserve all the credit imaginable, for their wonderful displays of football and passion in these last two weeks.
Turkey’s great coach Fatih Terim can hold his head up high, as he never failed to spur on the Turks to attack, even when their team was so depleted.
In fact he reminded us of the way another certain manager, Kevin Keegan, prepares his players and team – to go out and attack the opposition – and always be positive and move forward.
There’s news that Fatih would like to manage in the Premier league next season, and it would be great to see this man on the touchline in PL games, with all his passion on display.
In the US Andy Gray was one of the TV commentators and said more than once “I love this man”, during the game. Andy’s quite passionate about football too.
When you have the passion shown by the Turks and by Fatih, it’s hard not to love them.
But after all the excitement of yet another great game in Euro 2008, Germany are through to the finals, and will meet either Russia or Spain, who serve up the next treat tomorrow evening.
Germany Lehmann, Friedrich, Mertesacker, Metzelder, Lahm, Hitzlsperger, Rolfes, Schweinsteiger, Ballack, Podolski, Klose. Subs: Enke, Adler, Jansen, Fritz, Westermann, Frings, Gomez, Neuville, Trochowski, Borowski, Odonkor, Kuranyi.
Turkey Rustu, Sarioglu, Topal, Zan, Balta, Aurelio, Kazim-Richards, Altintop, Akman, Boral, Senturk. Subs: Zengin, Cetin, Emre, Karadeniz, Metin, Gungor, Erdinc, Nihat.
Referee: Massimo Busacca (Switzerland)