Croatia vs Germany
Thursday, 12th June at 18.00
Croatia and Germany both go into this game with
three points, although Germany have a slightly better goal difference.
A cagey start from both sides as they look to size each other up.
In the first twenty minutes, Croatia were proving a much stiffer test
for Germany; who struggled to get anything constructive into the box.
Danijel Pranjic's cross, from the left, dropped towards the far post
as attacking left-back Marcell Jansen was caught flat by Darijo Srna; to the delight of
Niko Kranjcar almost doubled the score for croatia six minutes later,
as another ball from the left dropped nicely into the penalty area for him.
Germany looked to step up a gear but it just wasn't happening.
After being guilty of a little ball watching Croatia then attacked on
the right, with Vedran Corluka slipping past Marcell Jansen way too easily; only for
Kranjcar to see his point-blank shot saved by Jens Lehmann.
If Jansen isn't replaced at half-time, Croatia may just have found the
weak link in the German back four.
Half-time - 1:0
No surprises that Jansen didn't come out for the second-half; as
Philip Lahm moves over to the left and Germany now have added firepower with David Odonkor
Luka Modric tested Lehmann with a long drive, as Croatia continued to
search for their second goal; while the German players started to complain with their team
mates for not not showing enough movement - Ballack and Podolski especially vocal.
Straight after Lukas Podolski again showed his frustration, Corluka's
shot took a deflection onto the post and, with Lehmann on the floor, Ivica Olic was on
hand to tap the ball into an empty net.
A Croatian chorus of "Deutschland, Deutscland, Auf
Wiedersehen" actually inspired Germany - as they pushed forward, and Ballack's
knock-down took a deflection into the path of Lukas Podolski.
Shortly after Modric came close to scoring, Bastian Schweinsteiger
became the first player to get sent off in Euro 2008. The sending was quickly followed by
a further three yellow cards as a good game finally boiled over.
Croatia 2 - Germany 1
1:0 - Darijo Srna (24)
2:0 - Ivica Olic (62)
2:1 - Lukas Podolski (79)
1 Stipe Pletikosa; 3 Josip Simunic, 4 Robert Kovac, 5 Vedran Corluka; 11 Darijo Srna, 19
Niko Kranjcar, 10 Nico Kovac, 22 Danijel Pranjic, 7 Ivan Rakitic, 14 Luka Modric; 18 Ivica
1 Jens Lehmann; 21 Christoph Metzelder, 16 Philip Lahm, 4 Clemens Fritz, 17 Per
Mertesacker, 2 Marcell Jansen; 8 Torsten Frings, 13 Michael Ballack; 11 Miroslav Klose, 20
Lukas Podolski, 9 Mario Gomez.
Frank De Bleeckere (Belgium)
46 Mins - 19 David Odonkor on for 2 Marcell Jansen
66 Mins - 7 Bastian Schweinsteiger on for 9 Mario Gomez
72 Mins - 21 Mladen Petric on for 18 Ivica Olic
80 Mins - 16 Jerko Leko on for 11 Darijo Srna
82 Mins - 22 Kevin Kuranyi on for 4 Clemens Fritz
85 Mins - 15 Dario Kneevic on for 19 Niko Kranjcar
6 Yellow Cards:
27 Mins - Darijo Srna (Croatia)
45 Mins - Josip Simunic (Croatia)
75 Mins - Michael Ballack (Germany)
92 Mins - Jens Lehmann (Germany)
92 Mins - Jerko Leko (Croatia)
93 Mins - Luka Modric (Croatia)
1 Red Card:
91 Mins - Bastian Schweinsteiger
Austria vs Poland