June 2012: German team reaches the quarter-finals in record style

The atmosphere in the German team camp was family orientated and relaxed. The day after the 2-1 (1-1) win over Denmark, national coach Joachim Loew cancelled the training and opened the door at their Gdansk hotel "Dwor Oliwski" to the players’ wives and girlfriends. In the afternoon the team made a cycle tour through the large wooded area of Oliwa, the old city part of Gdansk. Half a day previously the German team had achieved a domestic record at the European Championship. For the first time ever a German national team concluded the first round at a European Championship tournament with three wins in three matches – even the 1980 and 1996 German European champions had not achieved that. With the first German title in 1972, the system was different.

ContiSoccerWorld, Conti, Continental, Reifen, Fußball, FIFA WM 2014, UEFA EURO 2012, Koerbel, Deutschland, Sponsoring, German Engineering, Conti-Stars, WM-Tickets gewinnen, Tickets, FIFA-Partner

ContiSoccerWorld, Conti, Continental, Reifen, Fußball, FIFA WM 2014, UEFA EURO 2012, Koerbel, Deutschland, Sponsoring, German Engineering, Conti-Stars, WM-Tickets gewinnen, Tickets, FIFA-Partner
Lukas Podolski (front), who netted to make the score 1-0 against Denmark in his 100th international match, evades tackles from Zimling (left), Agger (centre) and Kjaer (back).(Photo: FIRO/Augenklick)

  


After the 1-0 success against Portugal, and the 2-1wins over both the Netherlands and Denmark, the selection of the German Football Association, DFB, won Group B and reached the quarter-finals. Finally the Ukrainian adventures of the first round matches, with long, exhausting night flights, were over. They will now continue in Poland. The quarter-final against Greece will take place in Gdansk on Friday (June 22, 20:45hrs CET), just 11 kilometres by bus from the team hotel. If national coach Joachim Loew’s team win, the semi-final will follow in Warsaw on Thursday, June 28. But none of the German players dared look further, to the final in Kiev on Sunday, July 1, after the nail biter against Denmark. The title continues to be the final goal, of course, but optimism is being kept low key. For the performances so far were not totally convincing.

Germany showed a touch of the jitters before continuing at the EUROS

After Lukas Podolski, who earned his 100th cap at the age of 27 and scored his 44th goal in a DFB shirt, had given the Germans the lead, Michael Krohn-Dehli equalised for a 1-1 halftime score. They had to wait until the 80th minute for Lars Bender to net the winning goal for 2-1. Bender was in the starting line-up for the first time and played in, for him, the totally unusual position of right back. “We should have decided the match earlier”, said goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. “I told the team that it was a decisive game, as we could still be eliminated. That’s how strange the situation was”, Loew disclosed.

ContiSoccerWorld, Conti, Continental, Reifen, Fußball, FIFA WM 2014, UEFA EURO 2012, Koerbel, Deutschland, Sponsoring, German Engineering, Conti-Stars, WM-Tickets gewinnen, Tickets, FIFA-Partner

ContiSoccerWorld, Conti, Continental, Reifen, Fußball, FIFA WM 2014, UEFA EURO 2012, Koerbel, Deutschland, Sponsoring, German Engineering, Conti-Stars, WM-Tickets gewinnen, Tickets, FIFA-Partner
Lars Bender has just scored the winning goal for Germany to make it 2-1 against Denmark. The Leverkusen player completed his first full 90-minutes in the German team. (Photo: FIRO/Augenklick)


When Jakob Poulsen hit the outside of the post (54th) at 1-1 everybody realised that the European Championship could indeed be finished for the German team, who consider themselves one of the favourites. And when Portugal led 2-1 against Holland, which in the end was enough for a win, this created another possibility that Germany could be ousted, and the country suffered a bout of the jitters. By the end, however, everything was clear, with two quarter-finals determined: Germany will play Greece, while the encounter between Portugal, second in Group B, and the Czech Republic, winners of Group A, will be played in Warsaw on Thursday, June 21.

Group A had been concluded on Saturday (June 16) with some sensation. Hosts Poland lost 1-0 to the Czechs, and the Greeks defeated Russia by the same score. Poland, without a win (just two points) and Russia, who had won their opening match 4-1 against the Czech Republic and drew 1-1 with Poland, were eliminated.

ContiSoccerWorld, Conti, Continental, Reifen, Fußball, FIFA WM 2014, UEFA EURO 2012, Koerbel, Deutschland, Sponsoring, German Engineering, Conti-Stars, WM-Tickets gewinnen, Tickets, FIFA-Partner

ContiSoccerWorld, Conti, Continental, Reifen, Fußball, FIFA WM 2014, UEFA EURO 2012, Koerbel, Deutschland, Sponsoring, German Engineering, Conti-Stars, WM-Tickets gewinnen, Tickets, FIFA-Partner
Jakub Blaszczykowski,,captain of the Polish team, shows his disappointment after the 1-0 loss to the Czech Republic, which brought elimination from the European Championship. (Photo: FIRO/Augenklick)


No defeat yet against Greece

The Germans look forward. “The hunger for the title was already truly great before the tournament. Now we have completed the first hurdle we must continue to work. We know that Greece have already provided a few upsets”, said midfielder Sami Khedira. “We have won three matches in a very tough group and marched through. We have played half of the tournament, but we want to stay in it until the end”, captain Philipp Lahm added. “It is really great to get nine points in such a tough group. The Greeks had three chances so far, and scored three goals. They are the masters of efficiency. And they defend very well. But we want to bring our next opponents to their knees also”.The German national team has never lost to the Hellenes, but Loew has never played a match against Greece

ContiSoccerWorld, Conti, Continental, Reifen, Fußball, FIFA WM 2014, UEFA EURO 2012, Koerbel, Deutschland, Sponsoring, German Engineering, Conti-Stars, WM-Tickets gewinnen, Tickets, FIFA-Partner

ContiSoccerWorld, Conti, Continental, Reifen, Fußball, FIFA WM 2014, UEFA EURO 2012, Koerbel, Deutschland, Sponsoring, German Engineering, Conti-Stars, WM-Tickets gewinnen, Tickets, FIFA-Partner
Greece, with Theofanis Gekas (right), surprisingly defeated Russia, with Aleksey Berezutsky, 1-0 and qualified for the quarter-finals. (Photo: FIRO/Augenklick)


At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa his team also produced nail-biting performances before reaching the quarter-final, as at the European Championship two years previously. After defeats in the second group matches (2010 1-0 to Serbia, 2008 2-1 to Croatia) the third games had to be won (2010 against Ghana, 2008 against Austria). The Germans succeeded with respective nail-biting 1-0 victories. Afterwards the German team began to play better football in both events. In South Africa they produced strong performances, against England (4-1) in the first knock-out stage and against Argentina in the quarter-final (4-0). Perhaps the liberating footballing breakthrough for the already successful team will follow soon in Poland too.