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Monday, June 09, 2008

Euro 2008: Germany Starts with Convincing Win Over Poland

Germany defeated Poland 2-0 in their opening match of Euro 2008 yesterday. Two goals from striker Lukas Podolski ensured three points for Germany from the first match. Germany dominated most part of the match and their performance was satisfactory. Podolski scored one goal in each half of the match to help Germany start the tournament in style.

The first half of the game was very exciting with both sides creating a number of chances. Both sides just went for attack. The first real chance of the match created by Poland but it was not well-executed in the end. Then in the fifth minute, Germany missed a chance that is rare at this level of competition. Two German strikers: Miroslav Klose and Mario Gomez found Polish goal keeper alone, but Mario Gomez failed to touch the pass from Klose in the open post. A few minutes later, Germany missed another chance as Miroslav Klose failed to head a pass from Lukas Podolski. In the 20th minute, Lukas Podolski opened scoring for Germany receiving a pass from Klose and sending it into the open post. Actually, Michael Ballack was behind this goal, as he sent an excellent pass for unmarked Klose from the midfield.

The first goal came as a confidence booster for Germany as they made a flurry of attacks following the goal in the first half. In the 36th minute Poland got another real chance but lack of execution blurred it. A minute later, Germany created another good chance thanks to midfielder Torsten Frings when he went up though the right wing and sent a pass for unmarked Michael Ballack, and Ballack also shot at goal, but Mario Gomez once again failed to touch the ball. Germany had more shots at goal than Poland in the first half. Roger created some good chances for Poland in the first half. Germany was leading 1-0 at half time.

The second half was also full of attack and counter attack from both sides. However, Germany had more control in the second half and created a number of good chances. In the 57th minute, Ballack provided a lob for Miroslav Klose in the box from the left wing, but Klose header missed the target. Then in the 70th minute, Ballack made an excellent shot at goal, but this time it was Polish goal keeper Boruc who saved it magnificently. Germany got the second goal in the 72nd minute thanks to Podolski once again and this was his 11th goal in Euro overall. The origin of the goal was a pass from Bastian Schweinsteiger for Klose who failed to take the shot properly before Podolski sent it into the left corner of the net for Germany’s second goal in the match. Poland also created some excellent chances but throughout the match they suffered for proper execution of the chances, otherwise the result of the match could have been different. Roger played very well for Poland throughout the match, while for Germany, Lukas Podolski, Michael Ballack, Torsten Frings and Philipp Lahm played very well. Germany deployed three men in the attack which worked well in the opening match. However, their defense was not flawless. Actually, Germany controlled the match thanks to their excellent midfield. Germany created huge space in their attack thanks to their two flanks, while in the middle of midfield, Michael Ballack was excellent. So, overall Germany’s performance was very well and they seemed confident. For Poland, it was not a good performance as their defense seemed fragile very often and gave more spaces for the opposition flanks and strikers. Though Poland played well in the midfield, they lacked a quality finisher which let a number of chances being destroyed. Poland’s performance was excellent in Euro 2008 qualifying round, so they should not face many problems to bounce back in the tournament. However, one think is for sure that Polish strikers must find their goal scoring form as soon as possible in the tournament.

Winning the first match, Germany is now a bit closure to get into the next round. Croatia defeated Austria in the opening match of Group B earlier yesterday. So, Germany and Croatia are now leading Group B with their victories in their respective openers in the tournament.

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