EURO 2008 - Semi Finals to the Final.

EURO 2008 - Semi Finals to the Final.
The Final of EURO 2008 takes place in Vienna tonight and it is Germany and Spain who compete for the 13th UEFA European Championship.

Germany will be looking for a fourth European Champions trophy, from this their seventh appearance in the final, while Spain will be hoping for their second victory in the competition having been in two finals before, losing the last one in 1984.

Having earned a tag of serial underachievers over the years, Spain have reached their first major final for 24 years. They will no doubt be boosted by the confidence of breaking some jinxes along the way in reaching the final again at last, and supporters will have been thrilled by some of the fantastic football they have played to get there.

Germany started the tournament as favourites, but it is Spain who are favourites on the day of the final. Perhaps that might even suit Germany this time, who will no doubt be thinking that playing not so well in the Semi Finals but still winning is a good sign of true Champions. To be fair, it often is, and overall throughout the tournament Germany have been consistent and have more than shown what they are capable of.

A late fitness test for Michael Ballack will determine whether the German Captain will play, having picked up a calf strain in training. Spain will miss their influential goalscorer David Villa, who will not feature because of a thigh injury he picked up against Russia.

Semi Final
Germany 3 – Turkey 2
Wednesday, 25th June 2008

In the first semi-final, a Phillip Lahm last minute winner gave Germany a win over Turkey by 3 goals to 2 and set up a place in the final.

Ugur Boral scored for Turkey early on before Bastian Schweinsteiger equalised for Germany.

Miroslav Klose made it 2-1 for Germany in the 79th minute but Turkey equalised yet again with a goal from Semih. It seemed that the comeback kings had done it again, and might go on to win, but this time it was Germany who had the twist in the tale. Just as it was looking like certain extra-time, a Philip Lahm goal sent Germany through to the final.

It was a hard result for Turkey who had been the better team for much of the game. They certainly had a good tournament this time and especially considering the injuries they had they did themselves very proud.

Germany have played better in earlier games, and will need to raise their game further in the Final if they are to take the trophy home.

Semi Final
Spain 3 - Russia 0
Thursday, 26th June 2008

Goals from Xavi, Daniel Güiza and David Silva put Spain through and on course their first major trophy since 1964. Spain played with some gusto but the Russians finally seemed to run out of energy, in what has been a magnificent tournament for them. It was just one step too far this time, and Spain have been inspired this tournament.

The loss of top goalscorer David Villa for the final is a concern, but Spain are firing on all cylinders in all areas. Whether Fernando Torres is partnered by Daniel Guiza or Cesc Fabregas starts in a 4-5-1 formation, they have good options.
David Villa is still the leading candidate for the golden boot (top scorer), with 4 competition goals, but Germany's Lukas Podolski is on 3, and he will probably start for Germany alongside Klose.

The fans and nationals of both great countries will be hoping their team wins of course, and those who just enjoy watching good football will surely agree that these two teams both deserve to be in the final and will be hoping for some exciting entertainment tonight.

It has been a great tournament, and we all hope for a fantastic final to match. Bring it on.


date: Sun 29 June

at : 1945 BST 1245 EDT

in : Ernst Happel Stadion, Vienna

referee: Roberto Rosetti.

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