Germany & Turkay
Halkaan ka akhri
Philipp Lahm has ended Turkey’s incredible run at Euro 2008 by scoring a late goal to give Germany a 3-2 semifinal victory at St Jacob’s Park stadium in Basel.
But a violent thunderstorm swept across Austria disrupting telecommunications during the second half, meaning Switzerland was one of the few countries in the world to witness the thrilling finale.
With two goals in the final five minutes, the match could have gone either way, but after three thrilling comeback victories in a row for Turkey, it was Germany’s day.
First, Semih Senturk kept Turkey in the game with an 86th-minute equaliser, beating Jens Lehmann at the near post and surging in to deflect a low cross from Sabri Sarioglu.
But Lahm then cut in from the left, set up a one-two with Thomas Hitzlsperger, collected the ball and shot it past Rustu to unleash the joy of about 20,000 German fans in the stadium.
“We have caught the winning mood and can get the title now,” German coach Joachim Löw said after the match.
Germany will play the winner of Thursday’s second semifinal match between Spain and Russia in Vienna on Sunday.
Tonight’s game, officiated by Swiss referee Massimo Busacca, was the last match of Euro 2008 to be held in Switzerland.
Ugur Boral gave Turkey the lead in the 22nd minute, but Bastian Schweinsteiger equalised in the 26th.
Miroslav Klose seemed to have wrapped up the match for Germany in the 79th minute. Lahm sent a long cross into the penalty area, where Klose cut in front of Mehmet Topal and a hopelessly out-of-position Rustu to head into the empty net.
The Germans, however, were not counting on the resilience of a Turkish team which never gives up. But this time, even Senturk’s second late goal in as many matches was not enough. Germany are also known for giving everything until the final whistle.
After taking an early lead through the inspirational Boral, Schweinsteiger scored his second goal of the tournament four minutes later.
Turkey dominated most of the match despite four suspensions and five injuries, proving their run of extraordinary comeback victories was no fluke. With a fully fit team, Germany struggled as captain Michael Ballack could not inspire the forward line.
Turkey was inspirational, though. Taking a cross from the right, Kazim Kazim slid in front of defender Per Mertesacker and sent a looping shot past Lehmann onto the bar. Boral was waiting for the rebound and rifled it through the goalkeeper’s legs.
Grapple and grasp as Lehmann might, the ball bounced over the line and yet another upset win seemed in the making.
The Turks have proved the comeback kids throughout the tournament but holding an early lead proved impossible.
Germany instead showed off their legendary efficiency by scoring on their first chance of the match four minutes later. Lukas Podolski broke away on the left and sent a perfect low cross to Bayern teammate Schweinsteiger in the centre.
With an almost nonchalant flick of the outside right foot, he beat Topal to the ball and curled it past Rustu.
The finale to Germany’s 3-2 win over Turkey in the European Championship semifinal was a thriller, but unfortunately no one outside the ground saw it, either in victorious Germany or gloomy Turkey.
A violent thunderstorm swept across Austria knocking out power at the International Broadcast Center in Vienna, from where television images of the match were beamed around the world.
With the match delicately poised at 1-1, screens around the world flickered and went blank. Internet coverage also was hit by the blackout.
“Tonight the television signal in the International Broadcast Centre for the Germany-Turkey game has been interrupted several times in the second half due to technical reasons which are currently being investigated, in particular to evaluate the impact of the violent electrical storm over Vienna at that time,” Uefa, European football’s governing body, said in a statement.
As the thunderstorm raged over Vienna, the images came and went several times in the closing minutes. Screens were blank when Semih Senturk pulled off what looked like another Turkey escape act with an 86th-minute equaliser.
The only broadcasters whose signal escaped the interruption were Swiss public television company SRG in Zurich and Al-Jazeera, said Uefa, which couldn’t immediately explain why those feeds were unaffected by the Vienna broadcast centre blackout.
However, SRG spokesman Daniel Steiner said the broadcaster – swissinfo’s parent company – had access to an official feed in all Swiss stadiums and they were able to tap into that when the connection went down. The Swiss broadcaster provided the feed to German TV station ZDF for 15 minutes, during which time the two goals were scored.
The heavy rain, high winds and lightning also sparked the evacuation of a fan zone in downtown Vienna and two people were seriously injured after being trampled in the rush to leave the area, police said.
swissinfo with agencies
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