Germany through to quaters on Ballack free kick

German Football
By German Football June 16, 2008 20:38

Germany through to quaters on Ballack free kick

Germany are now through to the quarterfinals with the only goal of the game coming from captain Michael Ballack in the 49th minute. It was a venomous free-kick that gave Austria goalie Macho no chance at all, as it went straight into the corner of the goal.

Now with 6 points, Germany go through to the quarterfinals to face Group A winners Portugal, in Basel on Thursday. Croatia won the group with 9 points after they beat Poland 1-0 and is set to face Turkey in their quarterfinal match up.

Germany, just needing a draw to stay in the tournament, started off brightly in the first 5 minutes, with Gomez missing a shot that could very well contest for the title of “Miss of the Tournament”. Klose crossed for him just at the byline and from a meter out in the center of the goal, he somehow scuffs his tap-in, chipping the ball high into the air, allowing Garics to head it away from right under his own bar.

Austria managed to give Germany a few nervous moments as well, although the final ball into the penalty area was always lacking in quality. Neither side produced any clear cut chances as the first half wore on, with Germany looking somewhat nervous in their performance.

Austria’s strategy was mainly focused on counter-attacking Germany on the break and the tactic almost paid off in the 19th minute when Erwin Hoffer was put through on goal, only for his control to let him down, giving Jens Lehmann the chance to gather.

Germany’s only other good chance in the first half came when Lukas Podolski let fly a shot from the edge of the penalty area that forced a good save from Juergen Macho, at full stretch low to his left.

There was also some action off the pitch as well towards the end of the first half, with both coaches being sent off to the stands by the refree after some bickering between the two.

Shortly after the restart, Ivanschitz pulled down Philipp Lahm as the left-back drove forward. Up stepped Ballack, who took a thunderous free kick from outside the penalty area with his right foot, blasting it straight into the top right corner.

However, even with the lead, Germany remained cautious throughout the rest of the match, preferring to keep procession when they got the ball, rather than attacking Austria on the break. Austria were unable to come up with anything in response and, in the end, the hosts had to bow out to a 1-0 defeat.

As the match closed out, Germany had a few more chances to put themselves up by another goal, but Neuville and Klose would have been disappointed not to open their goal-scoring accounts at this tournament.

Even as Germany celebrates reaching their first quarterfinals at the European Championships since 1996, they will move on to the quarterfinals knowing that they have to up their game a few more notches to stand any chance against a strong Portugal team.

German Football
By German Football June 16, 2008 20:38
Write a comment

No Comments

No Comments Yet!

Let me tell You a sad story ! There are no comments yet, but You can be first one to comment this article.

Write a comment

Only registered users can comment.

Store