Klose encounter for Greece
England could now face Germany in Euro 2012's semi-finals after Miroslav Klose helped Joachim Low's team to a 4-2 win over Greece.
Last Updated: 22/06/12 10:41pm
England could now face Germany in Euro 2012's semi-finals after Miroslav Klose helped Joachim Low's team to a dominant 4-2 win over Greece.
Goals from captain Philipp Lahm, Sami Khedira, Klose - with his 17th for his country at a major finals - and Marco Reus secured deserved progression for the 2008 finalists in Gdansk.
Low again saw his side fail to keep a clean sheet as Georgios Samaras briefly equalised at 1-1 against the run of play, while Dimitris Salpingidis converted a late penalty.
But the result was never in doubt as Germany, who had surprisingly dropped, or rested, Mario Gomez, Thomas Muller and Lukas Podolski from their starting XI, cruised to victory.
Low's men will now await the winner of the meeting between England and Italy in the semi-final, which will be played in Donetsk next Wednesday.
On the four previous occasions Germany have won a last-eight encounter, they have reached the final, and this performance increased the likelihood of them making it five.
For a long time in the first half it appeared they might regret a number of missed chances but once Lahm broke the deadlock there was only going to be one winner.
Greece, 2004 winners who have now have never beaten their opponents in nine competitive matches, scrambled, scampered and blocked their way towards half-time only for the Germany captain to fire home a swerving effort from outside the penalty area six minutes before the break.
It allowed coach Low to breathe a little easier after making four changes from the side which beat Denmark, the most notable being handing Klose his 120th cap at the expense of three-goal Gomez.
After the Lazio striker had an early effort ruled out for offside, when Michalis Sifakis had fumbled Khedira's shot, Germany laid siege to Greece's goal.
Excellent movement and passing had the Greeks manning a determined rearguard effort but even when that was breached, Mesut Ozil shot weakly at Sifakis after being set up by the impressive Reus, who had already sliced one shot wide.
Klose failed to get on the end of Reus' cross-shot and Khedira had Sifakis scrambling with another shot before Lahm made the 39th minute breakthrough, the left-back cutting in from an advanced position to smash in a swerving shot.
The advantage should have been much greater, however, and Germany were made to pay 10 minutes after the break when out of nowhere Greece equalised.
Substitute Theofanis Gekas released Salpingidis on a quick break down the right, and when he slid over a teasing cross Samaras poked home at the far post.
They were level for only six minutes, though, as Khedira, Germany's supposed defensive linchpin in midfield, timed his run from deep perfectly to volley home from Jerome Boateng's assist.
Klose ensured the Greeks could not produce another 2004 upset when he powered home a header from Ozil's free-kick as Sifakis came but got nowhere near the cross.
Reus then lashed in a volley off the underside of the crossbar after Klose's shot rebounded off the goalkeeper.Salpingidis converted a late penalty, generously awarded for Boateng's handball but it was little consolation.
|1||1st Half Goals||0|
|12||Shots on Target||3|
|8||Shots off Target||6|
|82.4||1st Half Poss.||17.6|
|70.1||2nd Half Poss.||29.9|