EURO 2008: Final*** Germany 0-1 Spain. ***

Germany 0-1 Spain. The scores showing a tight match. Yes, it was a tight match. But I think Spain played much better than Germany and the better team wins the match.

Even the presence of captain Michael Ballack could not help Germany contain a crafty Spanish team that exploited a slow-footed defence and dominated the European Championship final Sunday in every department.

Instead of Germany winning its record fourth title, it was Spain that captured its second championship after decades of trying with a 1-0 win at Ernst Happel Stadium. Luis Aragonés squad overcame a physical German side with a goal from Fernando Torres.

Fernando Torres was the hero for Spain by firing them to Euro 2008 glory against Germany in Vienna – and ending 44 years of underachievement with a 1-0 victory. Fernando Torres simply ran around Philipp Lahm when he scored the winning goal in the 33rd minute. Earlier, he had easily beat Per Mertesacker, Germany’s tallest player, to head against the post.

Spain had a chance to go 2-0 up soon after but the unmarked David Silva badly fluffed his volley after being picked out by Andres Iniesta inside the area.

After the break the Germans sparked into life, with Ballack hitting the side-netting of Iker Casillas’ goal with a volley from the edge of the box soon after, before the Chelsea man and Bastian Schweinsteiger both fired in dangerous crosses.

The match threatened to boil over in the 65th minute when Silva and Lukas Podolski went head-to-head, but despite the appearance of a butt from the Spain man, he escaped a card.

Spain very nearly doubled their lead in the 67th minute when Sergio Ramos broke the offside trap to power a Xavi free-kick goalwards with his head but Lehmann diverted the ball for a corner.

From the corner Iniesta saw his shot cleared off the line by Torsten Frings, before the Barcelona man was denied by Lehmann with another effort soon after.

Luis Aragones’ side still looked the more likely scorers over the closing stages and, with Germany producing nothing to worry Casillas in the Spain goal, the Iberian nation deservedly walked off with the Henri Delaunay trophy.

Heavyweights in European football who produce a constant stream of individual talents, Spain had not won a major tournament since 1964 but finally shook off their tag of being chokers, not able to cope with the pressure of the highest stage.

When Spain goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas accepted the trophy on a stage, the Spanish fans began chanting the melody to their national anthem, which has no words. Thousands of camera flashes went off as the players jumped in place, then headed onto the field to show off their prize.

Match Summary:
————–

0 – Germany: Lehmann; Fiedrich, Mertesacker, Metzelder, Lahm (Jansen, m.46); Frings, Hitzlsperger (Kuranyi, m.58); Schweinsteiger, Ballack, Podolski; Klose (Mario Gómez, m.79).

1 – Spain: Casillas; Sergio Ramos, Puyol, Marchena, Capdevila; Senna; Iniesta, Xavi, Cesc (Xabi Alonso, m.63), Silva (Cazorla, m.66); Torres (Güiza, m.78).

Goal: 0-1: m.33: Torres took advantage of a pass from Xavi, got past Lahm and kicked the ball over the goalkeeper Lehmann.

Referree: Roberto Rosetti (Italu). Yellow cards for the Germans Ballack (m.42), Kuranyi (m.87) and for the Spaniards Casillas (m.42), Torres (m.74).

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EURO 2008: Semi Final (2)*** Russia 0-3 Spain. ***

Spain beats Russia 3-0 to reach final. They will meet Germany in the Final of the EURO 2008.

The match started, Spain quickly got into their stride, and appeared to have the slight edge but the match hasn’t really sparked into life as expected, the first half ended goalless. The torrential rain that has continued throughout the first period may have contributed to the lack of scoring chances, but it was also a result of both defences tightly marking the strikers on each side.

The second half started, and early Spain made the breakthrough exactly at the 50th minute with a goal scored by Xavi Hernandez. after that goal, Xavi Hernandez, Iniesta and Fabregas became more creative and Spain began to look more dangerous.

At the 73rd minute, Guiza who substituted for Torres scored a second goal for Spain. No more than 9 minutes later and exactly at the 82nd minute, Silva added a third goal for Spain to ensure his team’s qualification to the final against Germany. The game ended on the score of 3-0 for Spain.

Spain have not won a major trophy since they landed the European title in 1964, when it was only open to four teams.

EURO 2008: Semi Final (1)*** Germany 3-2 Turkey. ***

Germany makes it to the final. Turkey’s dream end here.

Germany just beat Turkey by 3-2. Thrilling match! What a match!
A goal then ck and another goal then other team come back. At last Germany scored at the last time of the second half and won the match. But both the team played excellent football. What a match!

What a match! What a match! What a match!
That’s what I can only say.

Turkey did some things differently in this game. It took the lead. It controlled much of the play. Then the pattern of its earlier games appeared to reassert itself. Germany took the lead. Once again Turkey struck back very late. But after Semih Senturk scored in the 86th minute, the plot changed. Philipp Lahm scored the winner for Germany.

Turkey took the lead in the 22nd minute on Ugur Boral’s goal, and Germany responded five minutes later when Bastian Schweinsteiger scored.
After 79 minutes, just as the game seemed to be slipping into a lull, Lahm lofted a high, floating ball into the penalty area. As it dropped, goalkeeper Rustu Recber charged for a ball he would not reach, and defender Mehmet Topal did not react aggressively enough. Miroslav Klose beat both to the ball and headed into the empty goal.

Once again the Turks hit back. Defender Sabri Sarioglu left Lahm stranded with a quick sleight of foot, raced to the goal line and aimed a ball at the goalmouth. As goalkeeper Jens Lehmann knelt carefully to catch it, Senturk sprinted in and placed the ball delicately between him and the post in the 86th minute.

In the final minute, the Germans pressed. Lahm ran toward the goal and exchanged passes with Thomas Hitzlsperger. When the ball came back, he found himself running unchallenged at the Turkish goal. He smashed his shot high into the net.

EURO 2008: Quarter Final (4)*** Spain 0 (4)-0 (2) Italy. ***

So it is Spain, the fourth team qualified for the semifinals. They will face Russia in the Semifinal who beat Netherlands yesterday with style. But Spain will play Russia in Thursday’s semi-final, having already beaten them 4-1 in their opening Group D match.

Spain beat Italy by 4-2 in the penalty shootout. The match was ended as 0-0 at full time and after extra time the score was same.

The match took on a predictable pattern in the first half with Italy defending resolutely and Spain overplaying the passes and underplaying the urgency.

Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas saved penalties from Daniele De Rossi and Antonio Di Natale before Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas buried the winning spot-kick.

EURO 2008: Quarter Final (3)*** Netherlands -1-3 Russia. ***

So here is the end of Dutch dream in the EURO 2008. Russia beat Netherlands by 3-1 in the third quarter final. But Marco van Basten’s team failed to produce their captivating football of the group stages and could have absolutely no complaints with the outcome. It was not that Netherlands team which we see in the previous group matches. They failed to play there natural football. Russia were the more enterprising side from the start at the St. Jakob Park stadium.

It was ended as 1-1 after 90 minutes. Roman Pavlyuchenko put Guus Hiddink’s men ahead in the the 56th minute and they looked to be going through in normal time until Ruud van Nistelrooy stole an 86th minute equalizer for the Dutch.

But in the extra time, Russia put 2 goals in the Dutch net. So Russia win the match by 3-1. Extra time 2 goals came in the second half of the extra time. Goals in the second half of added time from substitute Dmitri Torbinski and the magical Andrei Arshavin capped a triumphant night for the Russians.

So Russia joined Germany and Turkey in the semifinals of Euro 2008 with a 3-1 upset win over the Netherlands after extra time in Basle on Saturday night.

Netherlands came into the match at St. Jakob Park as strong favourites after winning all three of their group stage matches. But failed to qualify for the semifinals.

Untill now all three quarterfinals have been won by group runners-up. Let’s see what happened in the last quarterfinal match.

EURO 2008: Quarter Final (2)-***Croatia 1(1)-1(3) Turkey.***

What a match! That what I can say about this match. What a dramatic finish of the match. What a display of attacking football. I really enjoyed the match very much. It is about 4 A.M. local time here in Bangladesh and I am still awake to see this match. And I think I am happy that I didn’t miss this match.

Turkey beat Croatia 3-1 on penalties after their Euro 2008 quarter-final finished 1-1 following thrilling extra time. Extra time had finished in dramatic fashion with two goals in the last minute.

Ivan Klasnic headed Croatia in front at the near post after a good run and cross by Luka Modric in the 119th minute. But the real drama was yet to show. Semih Senturk of Turkey equalize with the last kick of the game.

But in the penalty shoot out, Croatia was seems to be confused to me. As a result they lost they penalty shoot-out by 1-3.

Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic missing the target before Turkey’s victory was clinched when Rustu Recber saved from Mladen Petric. Turkey trio Arda Turan, Semih Senturk and Hamit Altintop were all successful with their spot kicks.

EURO 2008: Quarter Final (1)-***Germany 3-2 Portugal.***

Germany beat Portugal by 3-2 in the first quarter-final match. So Germany is the first team to qualify for the semi-finals.

Midfielder Bastian Schwienseiger and sriker Miroslav Klose scored in the first half while captain Michael Ballack regained the lead with a score in the second half to gift Germany of the surprising victory.

Portugal, which finished as winners of the Group A, found face back with two scores, one from captain Nuno Gomes in the 39th minute, the other from Helder Postiga’s header in the 87th minute.

In a sold-out St. Jakob Park Stadium, German and Portugal fans witnessed a full-fledged attacking football gala staged by the two teams, both were considered as favorites to the tournament.