Thursday, June 26, 2008

Euro Final 3

One of the best matches in a while was played out last night in Basel, Switzerland as the world tried to watch.

VIENNA, June 26 (Reuters) - A thunderstorm that cut power supplies interrupted coverage for millions of television viewers watching Germany's thrilling 3-2 semi-final win over Turkey at Euro 2008 on Wednesday.
I have to admit it was pretty frustrating, but it made for some additional drama in what was already an exciting match. Turkey have been the surprise of the tournament so far. Russia are still in, with a chance to make history tonight against Spain, but many already regarded them as a pre-tournament dark horse. Turkey literally came out of nowhere to shock the classy Croatians in the quarter-finals, scoring a last second goal to force penalties. Most regarded Germany as the easy favorites against the Turks, but the match last night showed why the Turkish team has made it so far into this tournament. They opened the scoring in the first half, thanks to some comic goalkeeping from "Jennifer" Lehman, only to concede an equalizer 4 minutes later. Some had expected Turkey to play cautiously in such a huge match, but to their credit, they were the best team of the opening period, hitting the bar twice, and putting a lot of pressure on the much-heralded German defense.

Miroslav Klose managed to put the Germans ahead during one of the several black-out periods, when the international feed was interrupted by bad weather, and it looked like they would shut up shop and cruise to the finish. The Turks didn't see it that way, however, and equalized late in the half. It looked as if we were going to see yet another match finish with extra time, but Philip Lahm, who was largely responsible for allowing the Turks to equalize at 2-2, scored a brilliant winner in the 90th minute to give Germany the win. The feed stayed in tact just long enough for the world to see Lahm's winner, but the final moments of the match were blacked out as Germany booked their place in the final.

Tonight promises to be the match of the tournament as the young sides from Spain and Russia will duke it out for a chance to take on Germany.

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