Friday, June 22, 2012

Ruthless Germans Humble Greeks

If this had been a boxing match the referee would have stepped in and ended it after a couple of rounds such was the German domination of the opening minutes. Luckily for us it was a football match and if a visitor from another planet needed to understand why football continues to appeal to such a vast audience they would only have needed to watch this match.

Greece were hanging on from the first minute, they played their football like a dyslexic contestant on the conundrum round of Countdown, watching the clock tick away whilst they played the game completely clueless.

                 Phillip Lahm leads the charge to the Bratwurst stand

It's hard to remember a match where one side so completely dominated the possession in the first half where the opposition weren't the Republic of Ireland. The fact that Germany only scored one goal in the first half was down to a combination of poor finishing, the worse pitch so far in this tournament and some good (and lucky) goalkeeping by Michalis Sifakis. Joachim Low looked increasingly agitated as the first half wore on, no doubt worried that his master plan to combat Greek obduracy by including the tricky Reus, Schurrle and Klose instead of the leaden footed but prolific Gomez, the erratic Muller and the plain unlucky Podolski wasn't delivering the knockout blow he had hoped.

I'm quite sure that football fans everywhere thought it was going to be 'one of those nights' when Samaras equalised for the Greeks. Such was the surprise at his goal that the Greeks forgot who they should be congratulating and ran en masse towards the dugout leaving Samaras looking like Giorgos No-Mates in the German penalty area.

Unfortunately for the Greeks but fortunately for the rest of us that was like poking a stick into a bees nest and the Germans didn't just score one but they scored three more and would have finished 4-1 winners but for some benevolence from the referee who awarded a penalty out of sympathy to make  the score a little more respectable than it should have been.


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