Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Brilliant Balotelli and demolishing Brazil – Germany´s semi-finals under Low

SoccerNews in World Cup 29 Jun 2017


Germany take on Mexico in the second Confederations Cup semi-final on Thursday, maintaining Joachim Low’s proud record of reaching the final four of every tournament he has entered as national team boss.

From that point onwards, however, Die Mannschaft’s record is a little more mixed.

Here, Omnisport takes you through some of the highs and lows of Low’s celebrated tenure.

EURO 2008: TURKEY 3-2

Germany came second in their group behind Croatia, meaning they were forced to overcome Portugal 3-2 in the quarter-finals. The same scoreline came to pass in a thrillingly dramatic semi against Turkey. Ugur Boral gave Turkey the lead after Colin Kazim-Richards struck the crossbar for the second time in the first half but Bastian Schweinsteiger hit back swiftly. Miroslav Klose headed Low’s men in front 11 minutes from time but Semih Senturk restored parity, leaving Philipp Lahm to crash home in the dying moments. A 1-0 final defeat to Spain in Vienna awaited.


The overriding misfortune for Low’s Germany as they entered a defining period was to twice come across one of the greatest international teams of all-time at the peak of their powers. There were four goals in each victory as they emphatically dismissed England and Argentina during the knockout stages but, after Fernando Torres proved the difference two years earlier, Carles Puyol headed the only goal in Durban to take Spain a step closer to footballing immortality.

EURO 2012: ITALY 0-2

Of any misfortune to befall a coach, Mario Balotelli turning up and performing like a fully functional grown-up against your side has to rank pretty highly. The enigmatic Italy striker enjoyed the finest night of a frustratingly uneven career as he propelled the Azzurri past Germany. Balotelli headed Italy in front in Warsaw before thumping a sensational second into the top corner and, tearing his shirt off in celebration. Mesut Ozil’s stoppage-time penalty was too little, too late.


No matter how many more semi-finals Low and Germany reach, it is unlikely to ever get better than this. An expectant host saw their heroes torn to shreds in Belo Horizonte, where Thomas Muller, Miroslav Klose, Toni Kroos (twice) and Sami Khedira were all on target inside a delirious opening half hour – the final four of those five goals coming within seven minutes of one another. Oscar netted the most futile of consolations on the back of a second-half brace by Andre Schurrle and Die Mannschaft would go on to glory, beating Argentina after extra time in the final.

EURO 2016: FRANCE 0-2

Germany encountered different semi-final hosts on this occasion, with a fervent Marseille crowd thrilled by France’s efforts. The visitors had the better of the opening exchanges but Antoine Griezmann’s penalty in first-half stoppage time changed the complexion of the match. The Atletico Madrid star added a second 18 minutes from time and Low’s men were unable to add a European title to their World Cup triumph.



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