The way Germany and Spain disposed of their quarterfinals opponents, a looming finals showdown between the two football titans could very well be in the cards. For the benefit of all those who love the sport, you couldn’t expect for a better conclusion to what has been a feverish tournament.
Last Friday, Germany pulled out all the the stops against a courageous but overmatched Greece squad, dominating its way to a 4-2 trashing to reach the Euro 2012 semi-finals. As the only team in the tournament that has yet to lose or draw, the Germans continued their top-level form, making it clear to everyone else – including Spain – that they’re without question the team to beat in the tournament.
Four Germans accounted for the four goals, spearheaded by Philipp Lahm’s long distance spike into the corner of the net in the 39th minute of the match. Greece eventually tied the score at 1-1 in the 55th minute, courtesy of Georgios Samaras, but from there, the Germans ran off with three straight goals from Sami Khedira, Miroslav Klose, and Marco Reus to officially extinguish Greece’s tournament chances.
Germany’s win against Greece marked their 15th consecutive win in an international competition dating back to the 3rd place game of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa against Uruguay. The way they’ve been playing in the past few years, only a devout La Furia Roja fan would dare pick against them to win this year’s tournament.
Speaking of the reigning champs, Spain joined Germany and Portugal in the semifinals with a rather “tame” 2-0 win against a France squad that appears to have found its 2010 World Cup form of endless drama and constant bickering and in-fighting amongst themselves.
What’s new, right?
Spain opened the scoring in the 19th minute after Xabi Alonso headed home a goal after a brilliant cross by Jordie Alba. Alonso then put a resounding exclamation point on his 100th international match for Spain with a successful penalty kick in the latter stage of the match.
Despite what may look like a commanding 2-0 win, Spain has still to play the kind of dominating game reminiscent of their title-winning runs at Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup. It certainly helped that France appeared to be disinterested from the get-go, wasting scoring chance after scoring chance in some of the most dumbfounding ways possible, including one that sent two of their own players crashing into each other.
As for Spain, a showdown with the suddenly dominant Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal beckons. Meanwhile, Germany awaits the winner of the last quarterfinals match between England and Italy, which could end up being a doozy of a match in its own right.
Three out of four teams are in the semis, including the two squads that appears to be on a collision course for all the marbles. No complaints from us if that happens.