Germany coach Joachim Loew was rewarded for a risky selection policy as his side rode roughshod over Greece to complete a 4-2 win in their Euro 2012 quarter-final at a sodden Arena Gdansk in Poland.
|FOOTBALL Greece forward Giorgios Samaras and Germany defender Jerome Boateng in their Euro 2012 quarter-final on June 22|
Goals from Phillip Lahm (39), Sami Khedira (61), Miroslav Klose (68) and Marco Reus (74) were enough to complete an overwhelming win with Georgios Samaras scoring an unlikely equaliser for Greece early in the second period.
Dimitris Salpingidis netted a late penalty for Greece on 89 minutes after Jerome Boateng was harshly penalised for a handball, but Germany were convincing winners on the night.
Loew caused some consternation before the match when he opted to bring in Andre Schuerrle, Reus and Klose for three of his more established players - certainly at these finals in Poland and Ukraine - of Lukas Podolski, Thomas Mueller and Mario Gomez, men who had helped them reached the last eight with wins over Portugal, the Netherlands and Denmark in the group stages.
It mattered little as Germany camped out in the opposition half for large swathes of the match. They could and should have won by a greater margin on their way to winning a 15th straight match - a record for the German national side.
Germany will face England or Italy in the second semi-final in Warsaw on Thursday. They will be difficult to hold in this mood.