Euro 2012: Day 15 as it happened

Live text commentary as Germany comfortably see off Greece in Gdansk in the second quarter-final of Euro 2012.

22 June 2012 Last updated at 22:25

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As it happened

  1. 2225:  

    That is it for our coverage of the second Euro 2012 quarter-final. If highlights and action replays are your bag you can find them all either on this website or BBC TV. This includes a full re-run of the match from 22:30 BST on the site and highlights on Match of the Day from 23:30 BST on BBC One. You can join Tom Rostance tomorrow for the tournament's third quarter-final between Spain and France. All that remains is for me to wish you a good night. I'll see thee.

  2. 2220:  

    Germany manager Joachim Loew: "That was a class performance from the team to reach the semi-finals for the fourth time in a row.

    "We can be proud of the team, it was clear that the Greeks could make something out of nothing.

    "We failed to take an early lead, but we did not panic.

    "There were a few changes and I thought I had to change things after three wins."

  3. 2219:  

    German striker Miroslav Klose edged one goal closer to a personal milestone as well this evening by scoring his 17th goal in a European Championship or World Cup match. He is now just one behind the record held by compatriot Gerd Muller.

  4.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Kareem Jubril on Twitter: "Everybody talking about Spain like France are another Greece. I can't wait for the men in blue to start celebrating in 24 hours."

    Antony Walker on Twitter: "There are 450,000 German fans on the fan mile in Berlin tonight."

  5. 2217:  

    Germany achieved a very notable landmark tonight. They set a new world record by winning 15 successive competitive matches, having previously shared the mark of 14 with Netherlands and Spain.

    They also maintained their proud record of never having lost a European Championship quarter-final. They have now reached the last four of this tournament on seven occasions. Damn them and their consistent achievements.

  6. 2215:  

    Greece defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos added: "Maybe we could have been a bit more careful but we fought hard, we fought for the whole of Greece.

    "We made it to the last eight and this is very important.

    "The Netherlands didn't make it and we are talking about a very big country in football terms."

  7. 2213:  

    Greece's Dimitris Salpigidis was proud of his country's performance: "When we conceded a second goal we had to open up and that cost us," Salpigidis said. "I hope the Greeks got some encouragement from watching us fighting."

    "We scored twice. We did what we could."

  8. 2210:  

    Germany captain Philipp Lahm says his side can improve on their performance: "We made it unnecessarily difficult for us. We had huge chances to go into the lead in the first quarter hour.

    "We got into the lead and then gifted it away. We were too slow at times and made too many simple mistakes but the important thing is that we're in the semi-finals

    "We started very good in the first quarter hour and had our chances. We all played well up front. We can be very satisfied with this victory."

  9. 2207:  

    Germany march on. They now lie in wait for the winner of the quarter-final between England and Italy, who play on Sunday. The semi-final will be played in Warsaw on Thursday, 28 June.

  10. 2205:  

    So Greece's Euro challenge is over. They will consider their campaign a success, especially as they were not expected to get out of the group. Anything after that was a bonus. They didn't shame themselves tonight, either. They were simply outplayed by a vastly superior side.

  11.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Steven Bache on Twitter: "Can somebody please confirm how good Sami Khedira is? Star man tonight! Covers every blade of grass!"

    Sion Evans on Twitter: "First time I've seen Germany in the Euros, impressive. Would they create chances against Spain? And would they finish them?"

  12. 2159:  

    According to Opta, Germany had 75% of the possession in the game. 75%! That is three-quarters of the game! They also made 709 passes to Greece's 220, had 26 attempts to Greece's 10 and won the corner count 10-1. It was men against foetuses out there.

  13.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Jack Evripidous "Not sure why everyone's hyping the Germans. Let's face it, the difference in class is comparable to Man Utd v Accrington Stanley."

    Lee Clark on Twitter: "Yes Germany looking tasty, but it's Spain's tournament to lose. When they step it up a gear, even Germany will look average."

    Jeff Powell on Twitter: "The Beautiful Game? So Germany are the new Brazil? So the football world turns."

  14.  

    BBC Sport's stats man Alistair Magowan on Twitter: "Schweinsteiger & Ozil completed 235 passes, 15 more than whole of Greece team. Avg positions for 2 teams will be interesting."

  15. 2153:  

    It is not easy to pick out a star performer in a team full of them, but who do you think stood out for Germany tonight?

    There is Marco Reus, who was incisive and scored a belter of a goal, Miroslav Klose, who again demonstrated his predatory instincts, Andre Schurrle, Philipp Lahm, Matts Hummel, I could go on...

    ... and I will for one more player: Mesut Ozil, a man who makes everything look simple. You barely notice his involvement with the speed he moves the ball around, but he is central to so much that is positive about Germany.

  16.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Mareen Anthony on Twitter: "Germany have so much talent in their team. Gotze, Reus etc can't even make the first 11. Dangerous."

    Jack Sears on Twitter: "I think England can be better than this Germany side in four years' time with Chamberlain, Cleverley, Wilshere, Barkley, McEachran."

  17. 2149:  

    I think it is fair to say that 4-2 flatters Greece. It was the Greeks spirit (and a moment of class from Dimitris Salpingidis) that got them their two goals. Beyond that it was all about Germany, who, lest we forget, rested their first-choice front three today and still battered the opposition. On another day they could have had eight. That players like Reus, Schurrle and Klose are second choice tells you everything you need to know.

  18. 2142:   
    BBC Radio 5 live's Colin Murray

    "You often get a 0-0 that you really enjoy, but I have not seen a six-goal game that I have enjoyed less than this one - after that first half."

  19. 2142:  

    The German players lap up the support from their fans in the Gdansk Arena. There are smiles, but it is contained joy. They know this only one part of a bigger job. The Greeks are crestfallen, though. Yes, they were huge underdogs in this game, but it still hurts to exit a big tournament.

  20. 2139:   
    BBC Radio 5 live's Danny Mills

    "Germany have won at a canter. There was complacency to change the front three and it didn't work out for them at first. When Greece got back to 1-1, you feared for them but then there were quality goals from quality players. That put the game beyond doubt. Germany are good, but they are not brilliant."

  21. 2138:  
    FULL-TIME Germany 4-2 Greece
  22. 2138:  

    The Germans have been a bit complacent at the end here. It is understandable considering the scoreline, but it won't please coach Joachim Loew. They are still going to win here, though, and book a semi-final spot. And it can't take away from how impressive they have been.

  23.  
    GET INVOLVED

    George in Bristol, via text: "Is the Greek keeper using a jersey made from trampolining material? I have never seen so many shots bounce off a keeper's chest at this level that should be comfortable saves."

    Rob in Sussex, via text: "Russia must be looking at this and thinking how on earth did we lose 1-0 to the Greeks?"

  24. 2136:   
    BBC Radio 5 live's Danny Mills

    "Greece have shown that Germany can be got at. That will give England or Italy some hope against them. It's not a completely perfect German team. They are very good going forward, but players like Badstuber and Boateng (if he plays in the next game) can be got at, they are vulnerable at times."

  25. 2134:  
    GOAL Germany 4-2 Greece (Dimitris Salpingidis, 89 mins)

    Dimitris Salpingidis makes no mistake, tucking his penalty in to the right-hand corner of Manuel Neuer's net as the keeper dives left. It is nothing but a consolation for the Greeks.

  26. 2133:  
    PENALTY Greece

    Vassilis Torossidis's cross from the left strikes Jerome Boateng's arm as he turns away from the ball in the box. You can't dispute that it struck his arm but he wasn't looking at the ball. I think that is harsh.

  27. 2131:  

    Great turn of pace from Girogios Samaras. It takes him past Mats Hummels and into the box, but the defender recovers with a superb tackle that cleanly whips the ball off Samaras' foot. He is a class defender Hummels. Just another top draw player in a world class side.

  28.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Alex Ramshaw on Twitter: "Are you watching this, Spain?"

    IDexter on Twitter: "This kid Reus has really been a revelation for Germany tonight. He gets the goal he deserves too."

    Danny Cunningham on Twitter: "Everyone loves this German team and has done for years now. If you don't cheer them on in a neutral game you have no soul!"

  29. 2128:  

    Still Greece plug away. Giorgos Fotakis strikes from distance and it is goalbound but straight into the arms of Manuel Neuer. It gets a warm round of applause, mainly from the Greek fans who continue to vocally back their team. Great support.

  30. 2127:   
    MOTD's Mark Bright at the PGE Arena in Gdansk:

    "A standing ovation for Klose and rightfully so. He is so unfussy as a player, he leads the line well, brings others into play and he can still finish."

  31. 2127:  

    Mario Gomez almost has a goal with his first touch. Mesut Ozil dances through to the edge of the area and shoots but Michalis Sifakis blocks. Gomez looks to follow-up but is just second to the ball. The German was offside anyway.

  32. 2123:  
    SUBSTITUTION Germany - Mario Gomez and Mario Gotze on for Miroslav Klose and Marco Reus

    Two goalscorers off, your top-scorer and hottest young talent on. Scary.

  33. 2125:  

    Giorgios Samaras looks to give the Greeks what would surely just be a consolation, but he curls his effort from 25 yards well wide. His heart doesn't look in it at the best of times, but he might as well be sat at home right now.

  34. 2124:   
    BBC Radio 5 live's Alan Green

    "I've got a feeling this is Germany's year, it's their time."

  35. 2123:   
    BBC Radio 5 live's Danny Mills

    "Germany are like a machine. They have a knack of getting results and putting in performances when they are not playing well. The incredible thing is the team is so young - they could be together for the next three or four tournaments."

  36.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Scott in Nottingham, via text: "I don't know how this will go down coming from an Englishman, but I love watching this Germany team and I am cheering every goal they score."

    Anon, via text: "I am not sure if it's just me, but I see resemblance of Fergie when Merkel celebrated Germany's goal!"

  37. 2119:  
    GOAL Germany (Marco Reus, 74 mins) 4-1 Greece

    Wow. What a hit! Miroslav Klose is played in by Mesut Ozil but his shot is blocked by Michalis Sifakis, but this only loops the ball back to Marco Reus to blast a volley off the underside of the bar and in. That was a strike that screamed confidence. The Greece goal seemed to have given them hope but in truth all it did was reawaken the Germans. This could now get embarrassing for the Greeks.

  38. 2118:   
    MOTD's Mark Bright at the PGE Arena in Gdansk:

    "The stadium is bouncing now but you have to say it's a huge error from the keeper. He's miles away from the ball."

  39. 2118:   
    BBC Radio 5 live's Alan Green

    "That's game over, I cannot imagine Greece can score two more goals. In fact, I think we are on course for a thrashing."

  40. 2118:   
    BBC Radio 5 live's Danny Mills

    "If England do get through and play Germany in the semi-finals, I expect we will see a different Germany team that starts the game."

  41. 2117:  
    SUBSTITUTION Greece - Nikos Liberopoulos on for Grigoris Makos
  42. 2117:  

    Klose has another chance to add a 65th international goal, but he fires his shot from an angle on the right wide. Greece look spent now, while Germany are surging with belief.

  43. 2113:  
    GOAL Germany (Miroslav Klose, 68 mins) 3-1 Greece

    I said the next goal would be key and surely now that is game over. It is a simple goal as well. Mesut Ozil's free-kick from the right draws out the Greek keeper but he gets nowhere near and Miroslav Klose rises to nod home. Poor marking from Kyriakos Papadopoulos, but a superb finish. That is Klose's 64th international goal in the country of his birth and it surely books them a semi-final spot.

  44. 2112:  
    SUBSTITUTION Germany - Thomas Mueller on for Andre Schurrle
  45. 2112:   
    MOTD's Mark Bright at the PGE Arena in Gdansk:

    "A super goal. He had a couple of efforts in the first half and he's in the right place again breaking from midfield. Excellent technique, he caught it superbly but it's a loss of concentration from the Greeks."

  46. 2112:   
    BBC Radio 5 live's Danny Mills

    "What a fantastic volley, he watched it all the way. It was a great chip into the box from Ozil and how Khedira hit that with his right foot, I have no idea. That technique is incredibly difficult to do."

  47. 2111:  

    Corner to Greece. What can they do with this? It is met by Kyriakos Papadopoulos deep in the box but his header floats harmlessly over the bar. Greece are creating more, but they still look very vulnerable. Next goal will be key.

  48. 2110:  
    YELLOW CARD Germany - Bastian Schweinsteiger
  49. 2110:  

    Greece almost hit back immediately. Fanis Gekas has definitely made a difference and it is he who shoots from distance, but it flies well over the bar. It is going to be a cracking final half-hour.

  50. 2106:  
    GOAL Germany (Sami Khedira, 61 mins) 2-1 Greece

    Well, that didn't last long. Just over five minutes after conceding the equaliser, Germany power ahead again. Power being the operative word. Jerome Boateng finds space on the right to cross and while his delivery beats Miroslav Klose it drops perfectly for Sami Khedira to volley into the roof of the net from 12 yards out. The Germans re-assert their authority. Greece have done it once. They'll have to do it all over again.

  51.  
    GET INVOLVED

    George, via text: "Classic Muhammad Ali tactics by the Greeks - rope-a-dope! Come on you Greeks!"

    John in Aberdeen, via text: "Football is all about different styles, surely? Either way, Greece can't win. Damned if they play more attacking, and damned if they don't."

    Anon, via text: "Greece have been a different team in the second half of all of their games this Euros!"

  52. 2106:  

    Nothing changes as far as the German game plan is concerned. They were dominating before and they continue to pour forward. However, suddenly the missed chances have meaning. Andre Schurrle is the latest to spurn an opportunity by curling a right-footed shot over the bat from wide left.

  53. 2104:   
    MOTD's Mark Bright at the PGE Arena in Gdansk:

    "Just when we were saying all they need is one opportunity, and they get it. It's a great counter-attack and he delivers a perfect pass. Greece didn't lie down. Jerome Boateng was caught the wrong side of Samaras, it's poor defending."

  54. 2104:   
    BBC Radio 5 live's Danny Mills

    "The Germans were happy to play two versus two in defence and they have paid for it. They have been sloppy and complacent."

  55. 2100:  
    GOAL Germany 1-1 Greece (Giorgios Samaras, 55 mins)

    Unbelievable. Utterly unbelievable. Against all odds Greece are level. The goal was made by a driving run down the right and a superb cross from Dimitris Salpingidis that puts a finish on a plate for Giorgios Samaras from four yards out. The Greek fans erupt in utter delirium. Their joy, matched by German disbelief. I can't believe I'm writing these words but, game on.

  56. 2059:  

    Here is a chance for Greece. Giorgios Samaras breaks away with the German defence backtracking frantically. However, a slight hesitation by the striker on the edge of the box allows the Germans to recover just in time to muscle out Fanis Gekas when Samaras tries to find him. Good counter-attacking play from Greece. And much, much more promising.

  57. 2057:  

    Greece almost get themselves into serious trouble as Michalis Sifakis' clearance goes straight to Andre Schurrle, 25 yards from goal. However, the German cannot fins a team-mate with a lay-off and what looked a promising opportunity to bag a second goal eludes them.

  58.  
    GET INVOLVED

    George Baggaley on Twitter: "Bit annoying Greece and Czechs got to quarters, providing no contest. Seeding needs addressing, be better with Holland/Croatia."

    Matt Russell on Twitter: "Really don't fancy meeting these Germans this year. They look good."

    Ben Aitkenhead on Twitter: It's comical how fans/journalists/pundits who wanted ‪Chelsea‬ to win Champions League are criticising Greece. Same philosophy - anti-beautiful game."

  59. 2054:  

    Miroslav Klose beats his marker with a superb turn of pace down the right and earns a corner when his cross is cut out. The delivery is poor, though, and headed clear by Greece. It gives the Greeks a chance to mount something but they totally waste it courtesy of an aimless ball forward.

  60. 2053:  

    Gekas is immediately back in his own half, though, as Germany began the second half as they finished the first - on the attack.

  61. 2051:  

    Gekas will be the man furthest forward for Greece, so that is at least some intent to offer something more up front.

  62. 2050:  
    KICK-OFF Germany 1-0 Greece
  63. 2049:  
    SUBSTITUTION Greece - Fanis Gekas and Giorgos Fotakis on for Giorgos Tzavellas and Sotiris Ninis
  64. 2049:  

    So, can Greece somehow get themselves back into this? I started writing that sentence with a genuine urge to pose the question and lost belief in it being worth it halfway through. It was a bit like a Giorgios Samaras run. It looks like Greece are going to make some changes, though. Quite simply, they have to.

  65.  
    GET INVOLVED

    The Surgeon on Twitter: "I wonder which Greek defender the manager can bring on to change the game?"

    Paul Brazier on Twitter: "It's like watching Man Utd v The Dog and Duck."

    Akhil Shah on Twitter: "The Germans are known for being ruthlessly efficient, it is surprising they only have one goal so far."

  66. 2043:  

    For the sake of the German players' eardrums it is a good job they scored when they did. Joachim Loew looked ready to turn the hairdryer on some of them in the 10 minutes leading up to Lahm's strike. You suspect he'll still be making the point, though, that a bit more composure in front of goal would have that semi-final showdown with England or Italy pretty much booked by now.

  67.   
    Robbie Savage , BBC Radio 5 live

    On Twitter: "Greece are shocking, Germans have been sloppy!"

  68. 2039:  

    According to Opta, Germany have had 82% possession in the first half, with 15 attempts on goal to Greece's two. There is good news though. Midfielders Kostas Katsouranis and Giannis Maniatis have surpassed keeper Michalis Sifakis as Greece's leading passer.

  69. 2039:  

    Technically, Greece are not out of this at 1-0, but I cannot see how Fernando Santos' team are going to find a way back in. They've hardly seen the ball, keep giving it away when they do and have barely registered a meaningful effort on goal. It is only their own wastefulness that has prevented Germany being out of sight already. This was billed as David v Goliath. Unlike the bible story, David is taking a pasting.

  70.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Charles Kahanji on Twitter: "A decent goalkeeper would have saved that one. The Greece goalkeeper has looked shaky throughout."

    Keval Shah on Twitter: "Great strike from Lahm. Not everyone can put that swerve on a ball. Thoroughly deserved. Greeks have to be more adventurous."

    Said Madrid on Twitter: "You have to admire Ozil, he is the only player who comes up with something different. It's poetry in motion."

  71. 2034:   
    MOTD's Mark Bright at the PGE Arena in Gdansk:

    "I'm really impressed with this German team. The two centre-backs are capable of stepping into midfield and helping out, they are so comfortable on the ball. Greece are not having any of the ball and when they do get it they are losing it within one or two passes."

  72. 2034:  
    HALF-TIME Germany 1-0 Greece
  73. 2033:  

    Greece can't hold on to the ball. Even deep in their own half. Sotiris Ninis tries to poke the ball to his own full-back, who is only a few yards away, but even in that space a German nips in to steal the ball. The period of possession leads to yet another Germany chance as Andre Schurrle fires from distance but just wide of the goal.

  74.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Jack in Norwich, via text: "So Germany rest their three 'best' forwards, and their full-back goes and scores? Talk about variety... Stunning strike."

    Chris in Bolton, via text: "Both of the quarter-finals so far have seen one team having lots of possession and pounding the opposition goal, while the other team plays very defensively. I bet Spain will be the possession team in their quarter-final, so which team will England be?"

  75. 2031:  

    Germany smell blood. They continue to pile forward looking for a second goal (which would surely be a killer blow) before half-time. Mesut Ozil finds Andre Schurrle on the left and his shot deflects off a Greek boot before looping just in front of Miroslav Klose and past the far post. It is a corner, but it comes to nothing as Greece clear. We're into injury time.

  76. 2027:  

    Germany score first again. It is what they do. It spells big trouble for Greece, who have shown very, very little in attack, but must now dig something out or they are going home.

  77. 2026:   
    MOTD's Mark Bright at the PGE Arena in Gdansk:

    "Lahm comes inside on to his right foot and it swerves away from the goalkeeper who got the slightest of touches to it. What a strike. It's relief for Germany who have had lots of the play and were beginning to look frustrated."

  78. 2026:   
    BBC Radio 5 live's Danny Mills

    "Lahm is possibly the most unexpected scorer of the evening for Germany. It is just what Germany needed. I think that is game over and Germany will play some real, quality football now."

  79. 2024:  
    GOAL Germany (Philipp Lahm, 39 mins) 1-0 Greece

    Finally, Germany have their goal and Joachim Loew has his medication. It is a belter as well. Full-back Philipp Lahm comes forward and unleashes a shot from 25 yards that swerves and dips into the far corner of the goal. Remember the one he scored in the first game of the 2006 World Cup? Like that. It is so good Angela Merkel is out of her seat.

  80. 2024:   
    BBC Radio 5 live's Danny Mills

    "The Greeks have won a tournament playing this way and they will take inspiration from what Chelsea did too."

  81. 2024:  

    Another German chance goes begging as Mesut Ozil sets up Sami Khedira to shoot from the edge of the box. Michalis Sifakis blocks it but can't claim and a defender has to help him with a hammered clearance. The pitch isn't helping either goalkeeper. I say either goalkeeper... only the Greek one is really involved in this game. Joachim Loew continues to throw is arms around in rage on the touchline. He's got a fever... and the only cure is a Germany goal.

  82. 2020:  

    As you were. Germany on the front foot. Andre Schurrle fires a shot from wide on the left, but it flashes past the far post.

  83. 2019:  

    The Greek game plan isn't complicated. It is hold out, hold out, hold out, try and win the ball and launch it quickly for Giorgios Samaras. Unfortunately, Samaras isn't proving the most able of lone frontmen. However, he does stumble through the build-up to a 25-yard shot from Sotiris Ninis that has Manuel Neuer scrambling to save low down to his right.

  84. 2015:   
    BBC Radio 5 live's Danny Mills

    "Complacency and casualness are Germany's biggest enemy. They need to up the tempo and get at Greece, at the moment the Greeks are wasting time and this will be the pattern of the game. Can Greece hold on for 90 minutes, and then 120 minutes?"

  85. 2015:  

    Calm work by Greece keeper Michalis Sifakis, who takes a punt back by his own defender on the chest before clearing away from the onrushing Miroslav Klose. Sifakis is currently the top passer on the Greek team.

  86. 2013:  

    You want the balance of the game summed up in a stat? Check this: Germany have already played three times as many passes as Greece and have 73% possession. They've also had six shots to Greece's one.

  87. 2012:   
    MOTD's Mark Bright at the PGE Arena in Gdansk:

    "That's three good chances in quick succession for Germany, and they should have really taken one. They are good chances, the players are unchallenged. But they are getting into great positions and creating the opportunities, they are getting in easily."

  88. 2012:   
    BBC Radio 5 live's Alan Green

    "Germany need to do the competition a favour and knock out Greece."

  89. 2012:   
    BBC Radio 5 live's Danny Mills

    "They way it is going, it looks as though the Greeks are charmed and Germany won't score. If they don't score before half-time, the Greeks will start to grow in confidence and believe they can win."

  90. 2012:  

    Marco Reus again for Germany. He is free at the back post but slices his shot a few yards wide of goal. Germany are utterly dominant, but they have not scored. They should have, but they haven't. Joachim Loew sums up the mood by stomping down the sideline chucking toys left, right and centre.

  91. 2011:  

    Germany are camped on the edge of the Greece box and then, in a flash, pick their moment as Marco Reus plays a lovely one-two with Miroslav Klose 18 yards out, before touching off to Mesut Ozil to his right. The Real Madrid man has a clear sight of goal but puts his shot too close to Michalis Sifakis, who saves. Soon after, Reus is involved again, pulling a shot across goal, a yard in front of Klose and wide of the far post.

  92.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Stuart Rood on Twitter: "If you think that pitch is bad, go to my local team and see their pitch. These are top players - different grass shouldn't matter."

    Matt Andrews on Twitter: "Samaras is the worst player at the Euros. He has no goal threat whatsoever and can't track back/tackle to save his life."

    Austin Bobmanuel on Twitter: "A 1-0 upset by the Greeks will not surprise me. They are playing with so much heart and tackling strongly."

  93. 2008:  

    20 minutes gone and it remains 0-0 despite Germany's near continual forward momentum. Mesut Ozil tries to play in Miroslav Klose in the box but his ball is just a touch overhit and runs out for a goal kick.

  94. 2004:  

    There are plenty of meaty tackles flying in from both sides. It is not doing the already cut up pitch any good but it is making for a proper blood and thunder game. Bastian Schweinsteiger flies in to prevent Giorgios Samaras setting off on an attacking run down the left. Germany are excellent in possession but, like Spain, they don't shirk when the opposition have the ball.

  95. 2003:   
    BBC Radio 5 live's Danny Mills

    "Samaras has decided to get stuck in, like a bull in a china shop. He had already been late with two tackles, and then he went in needlessly on Schweinsteiger and got booked. Greece don't need to see one of their players getting sent off tonight."

  96. 2003:  

    The momentum is firmly behind the Germans. A cross from the left is swung over towards Sami Khedira but it is just over the midfielder, who falls under a challenge, more in hope than actual belief of a penalty.

  97. 2000:  
    YELLOW CARD Greece - Giorgios Samaras

    Samaras' third wild challenge of the night - this time on Schweinsteiger - earns him the game's first booking. He's enthusiastic the Greek striker, but that was a bit too enthusiastic.

  98. 2000:   
    BBC Radio 5 live's Danny Mills

    "The Greek goalkeeper has gone down injured again. That's twice he has done that already - the referee needs to sort this out early."

  99. 2000:  

    The Greek goalkeeper has been struggling with a head injury since getting clattered for Klose's offside effort. He needs further treatment.

  100. 1958:  

    Great commitment to the cause from Greece as Kostas Katsouranis nips the ball off a German defender and then looks to drive on into the box. However, he hesitates and this kills the move. His final ball is poor and deflects into the arms of Manuel Neuer. Germany immediately hit back and a superb move ends with Marco Reus curling a shot past the far post. They move the ball at such speed, the Germans. It is impressive to watch.

  101. 1956:   
    MOTD's Mark Bright at the PGE Arena in Gdansk:

    "The pitch is already cutting up, Spain were complaining about the state of this surface earlier in the tournament and it doesn't look great."

  102.  

    England cricketer Stuart Broad on Twitter: "Just getting it out the way early doors, save your tweets people - I'm NOT in goal for Germany. ‪#cheers‬ ‪#neuer."

  103. 1956:  

    The Greece fans are making plenty of noise. They are heavily outnumbered by their German counterparts but, like their team, are refusing to go down without a fight.

  104. 1954:  

    Greece register their first effort. It is Giorgos Makos with a shot from 25 yards, but it tamely runs through to Manuel Neuer. It may not be threatening but it is something to build on.

  105.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Simon in Molesey, via text: "Rarely are the words 'creativity' and 'flair' associated with German teams but with Ozil at the hub of their midfield he supplies these qualities in abundance to this team. He orchestrates the ebb and flow of their play with consummate ease."

    Chris from East Sussex, via text: "Good move from the Germans in resting the front three. Greece have proved very difficult to break down - let the replacements tire the Greek defence, then in the latter stages bring on the big guns, fresh and ready to finish them off."

  106. 1953:   
    MOTD's Mark Bright at the PGE Arena in Gdansk:

    "Germany are not going to chase and press the ball high, they want Greece to come on to them and leave space in behind. It's a tactical switch from their usual approach."

  107. 1952:   
    BBC Radio 5 live's Danny Mills

    "That was an incredibly tight decision, but I think it was the right decision. The goalkeeper went down injured after it, and I think this will be the way it goes all night. They will be playing for time whenever they can."

  108. 1951:  

    Khedira is back in and involved to maximum effect as his shot from the edge of the area is not held by Michalis Sifakis and Miroslav Klose puts the ball in the net. The Germans wheel away in celebration but it is short-lived as the flag is up. The replay shows that it was a very tight call. It may not be a goal but it is an ominous start from Germany.

  109. 1949:  

    Germany are almost in again. Marco Reus finds space on the right behind the Greek full-back but his cross is behind Miroslav Klose and the chance is gone. Meanwhile, Sami Khedira is getting treatment on his ankle following a heavy tackle from Giorgios Samaras, prior to the German attack. He gingerly returns to the game.

  110. 1947:   
    BBC Radio 5 live's Danny Mills

    "I think, by bringing in some younger players and freshening it up a bit, it might do Germany a favour."

  111. 1947:  

    Not the smoothest start to the game. Greece have to retake it by the referee's orders. They start slowly as well as Miroslav Klose almost gets in to latch on to a pass into the box. The striker is adjudged offside, though.

  112. 1945:  
    KICK-OFF Germany v Greece (19:45 BST)
  113.  

    Spain defender Gerard Pique on Twitter: "Watching Germany-Greece! What do u think about game? I think Germany will win 2-0!"

  114. 1944:  

    The teams are out, the anthems are sung, we are a set of handshakes away from the second quarter-final of Euro 2012. Logic or fairytale? We're about to find out...

  115. 1942:  

    Angela Merkel has only gone and got herself a plum seat next to Michel Platini. I was thinking she'd be in the thick of it on row K, swinging a scarf round her head. I'm disappointed to see she's also opted for a paint-free face. On Platini's other side are the Greek contingent. He might have to play peacemaker.

  116.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Fred Gardner on Twitter: "1972 Olympic host and Euro Cup winner - W Germany. 2004 Olympic host and Euro Cup winner - Greece. Who's hosting the Olympics in 2012?"

    Arsenal God on Twitter: "Marco Reus has 21 Bundesliga goals last season - and he's a gamble selection apparently. Some of the critics are unbelievable."

    Andrew Cussen on Twitter: "If ever there was a German 'golden generation', this is it. They can dominate for years if they live up to their potential."

  117. 1938:  

    There are very good reasons why we all love football. One of them is this: that despite every sensible, logical fibre in our body saying that Germany will walk into the last four tonight, there is always a chance that they might not. As fans, we live in anticipation of the upset - the shock, the excitement and the drama.

    Sit back and enjoy.

  118. 1933:  

    "Greece as a team are more than the sum of their parts, but they are going to get by far and away their biggest examination of the tournament when they face Germany, who will chuck the kitchen sink at them," says Lawro. "Greece have shown what you can achieve with belief and organisation but, once they concede, they are going to be in big trouble."

    The other two are much more succinct.

    "Germany are looking strong and they will walk it," says Mowbray.

    "I just cannot see any hope for Greece because they just do not have enough quality anywhere in their side," adds Nevin.

  119. 1930:  

    What have our resident predicters gone for tonight then? Let us have a look...

    It is emphatically German-favoured, with Mark Lawrenson saying 2-0, Guy Mowbray opting for 4-0 and Pat Nevin sitting inbetween on 3-0. I really want to give some balance to matters and opt for a Greece win, but this practical, sensible head of mine simply won't allow it. I agree with Pat Nevin.

  120.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Oscar in London, via text: "The semi-finals could be exacly the same as at the 2006 World Cup - France v Portugal and Germany v Italy."

    Boris in Kettering, via text: "With each Greek name weighing in a roughly 7167 syllables, my thoughts go out to radio and television stations across the world - and Phil's fingers. Or, as he shall be known from this night onwards, 'Stumpy' Dawkes."

    Drew, via text: "Schurrley the Germans can Reus the roof tonight with a great performance? I very much doubt a Klose contest!"

  121. 1926:  

    Don't worry Greece, Giorgios Samaras is going all out to give the people back home "something to cheer about". "We are a team, 23 players," the Celtic forward said. "We don't play for ourselves, but for 11m people who are hoping for us to do something worthwhile, so that they can get out in the streets to celebrate. We managed to do that against Russia and that's what we will try to do again this Friday."

    Still, if it all goes wrong for Giorgios he can always buy a beanie and fall back on a career as a Badly Drawn Boy tribute act.

  122. 1921:   
    BBC Radio 5 live's Danny Mills

    Ashley Cole has been speaking to BBC Radio 5 live today, and former England international Danny Mills is full of praise for his former international team-mate: "Ashley Cole very rarely has a bad game for England, and he has worked hard at his game down the years. He was fortunate to play at a very good Arsenal side at the start of his career and he has continued to learn and get better ever since. On the pitch, he rarely does anything wrong. He also turns up for his country in every match, he never pulls out of squads. It would be fitting if he won his 100th cap in the final of Euro 2012."

  123. 1920:  

    I wonder if current Greece coach Fernando Santos has had a phone call from Otto Rehhagel? The German is a national hero in Greece after guiding them to victory in 2004. He may well have some useful insight into how his former side could topple the nation of his birth tonight. Or maybe the 73-year-old is sat back in Germany with a beer in his hand, knowing he can't really lose this evening.

  124. 1917:  

    OK, enough lyrical has been waxed about this awesome German side. Lets have a look at the Greeks and what chances they have of success tonight. Well, they have scored just one goal in each of their past eight matches, which isn't so good. However, in their three previous European Championships tournaments to date, Greece have either finished bottom of their group or won the competition outright. They didn't finish bottom of their group, ergo...

  125.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Ed Gidney on Twitter: "Shame with these attacking changes that Gotze isn't playing. Intrigued to see the German Messi."

    Ollie Bennett on Twitter: "Big call from ‪Germany‬ resting Gomez, Mueller and Podolski - seems that they may be underestimating ‪Greece‬."

  126. 1914:  
    Germany v Greece (19:45 BST)

    Germany make four changes from the side which beat Denmark 2-1. Jerome Boateng returns from suspension to replace Lars Bender at right-back, while coach Joachim Loew makes the bold decision to rest his front three. Miroslav Klose is in for Mario Gomez through the middle, with Andre Schurrle taking Thomas Mueller's place and Marco Reus in for Lukas Podolski.

    Greece make two changes. Grigoris Makos takes the place of suspended captain Giorgos Karagounis in midfield, and winger Sotiris Ninis is preferred to Fanis Gekas.

  127. 1914:   
    BBC Radio 5 live's Danny Mills

    "Greece have only lost twice in 24 games and that is phenomenal, whoever you are playing against. They had trouble against the Czechs, when their back four struggled, and they don't score enough goals but they are still in the tournament clinging on. Whether they can beat Germany, I am not too sure."

  128. 1914:  

    For those of you wondering about who these guys are that the Germand have drafted in, I'll give you a brief insight.

    Marco Reus is a 23-year-old Borussia Monchengladbach attacking midfielder who is winning his seventh cap tonight. Last season he scored 21 goals in 37 appearances for his club. This prompted Borussia Dortmund to part with £17.5m for his services this summer.

    Andre Schurrle, 21, plays for Bayer Leverkusen as a midfielder and has seven international goals from 14 caps. Nine goals in 40 club appearances in 2011-12 makes for a less impressive record than Reus but his speed and size make him a real danger for the Greeks.

    Miroslav Klose? He scores goals. lots of goals. And he has for quite a while now. That is pretty much all you need to know.

  129. 1907:  
    LINE-UPS Germany v Greece (19:45 BST)

    Germany: Neuer, Boateng, Hummels, Badstuber, Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Khedira, Reus, Ozil, Schurrle, Klose. Subs: Wiese, Gundogan, Schmelzer, Howedes, Podolski, Muller, Bender, Mertesacker, Kroos, Gotze, Gomez, Zieler.

    Greece: Sifakis, Torosidis, Papastathopoulos, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Tzavelas, Makos, Maniatis, Ninis, Katsouranis, Samaras, Salpingidis. Subs: Chalkias, Malezas, Liberopoulos, Mitroglou, Fotakis, Gekas, Fortounis, Fetfatzidis, Tzorvas.

    Referee: Damir Skomina (Slovenia)

  130.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Jamie Ferguson on Twitter: "Can't wait to see Reus in action tonight, top player, Schürrle is pretty decent when he cuts in from the left too."

    Liam Sutcliffe on Twitter: "Lots of talk of Germany disrespecting Greece. I personally think this line-up is better than their group stage one."

  131. 1904:  

    If I was a betting man, my money would be on Germany to bag the opening goal. The Germans have taken the lead in all three matches at Euro 2012, plus each of their 10 qualifiers, going on to win all of those games. They have not fallen behind in a competitive game since the third-place play-off against Uruguay at the 2010 World Cup. They won that game as well, though, 3-2. Those German fans will have forgotten that football is actually about pain and broken dreams, not unrelenting success.

  132.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Sam Barker on Twitter: "Germany's decision to rest some key players is very disrespectful to Greece. I hope they come to regret it."

    Sam Robson on Twitter: "Who do the Germans think they are? A total lack of respect for Greece in my view. It's a quarter-final. Play your best team!"

    Tommy Good on Twitter: "Will the Germans live to regret this dropping of players? Could be good news for England!"

  133. 1859:  

    Some of you may be disappointed not to see Mario Gotze starting for Germany tonight. The highly-rated midfielder was rumoured to be starting but has failed to get the nod. One thing is for sure, with him amongst the likes of Mueller, Podolski, Gomez, Kroos, et al, Loew has plenty of options in reserve if things go wrong.

  134. 1853:  

    German chancellor Angela Merkel will be in attendance at the PGE Arena tonight. That is sure to go down well in Greece. She is deeply unpopular in debt-ridden Greece because of the tough austerity measures she has demanded the Greeks implement in return for financial aid.

    However, for the Germans she is considered a lucky omen, having seen their 4-0 demolition of Argentina at the 2010 World Cup. That will quickly change, though, if Germany suffer their first ever European Championship quarter-final defeat under her watchful gaze tonight.

  135. 1849:  

    Germany have given us a big team news line with their selection tonight, but prior to that the big story was the absence of Greece captain Girogos Karagounis through suspension. The midfielder, who has roughly 734 caps* was booked for diving in the 1-0 win over Russia. Understandably, he went a bit mad, not only because it meant a suspension, but also because his dive was actually a pretty blatant penalty.

    *Or 120 to be precise.

  136. 1845:  

    If we are looking into the history of this fixture, we simply have to mention the famous final second leg in Munich's Olympic Stadium between the German philosophers XI and their Greek counterparts (courtesy of Monty Python).

    Germany started favourites in that game as well, but were beaten by a controversial last-minute headed goal from Socrates. The goal was hotly disputed by the Germans, with Hegel arguing that the reality is merely an a priori adjunct of non-naturalistic ethics, Kant via the categorical imperative is holding that ontologically it exists only in the imagination, and Marx claimed it was offside.

  137.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Shohidur Rahman "It's a joke that Greece's captain Karagounis can't play because he was booked for a dive which was actually a blatant penalty."

    Daniel Hockings on Twitter: "How is Gomez going to feel? He is co-leading the golden boot. Talk about creating disharmony!"

  138. 1844:  

    With team news starting to filter through, let's re-focus back on tonight's game between Germany and Greece. Historically, the Germans are on to a winner in Gdansk. They are unbeaten in eight previous games (including when they were West Germany) against Greece, winning five. The only previous meeting at a European Championship was a group match that finished 0-0 in 1980.

  139. 1841:  
    BREAKING TEAM NEWS Germany v Greece (19:45 BST)

    Germany's front three of Mario Gomez, Thomas Mueller and Lukas Podolski have been given the night off by coach Joachim Loew. Is this a safe gamble or will Loew regret it?

  140.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Demetris Ioannides "I've just played my friend on Fifa as Greece against Germany and won three times in a row. Feeling confident! ‪#ComeOnYouHellenes‬"

    Max Cogan on Twitter: "Underestimate the Greeks at your peril - they are 15th in the world, undefeated in qualifying and are known to cause the occasional upset."

  141. 1839:  

    I'm sure there are many of you who think you've committed yourself to Euro 2012. You've watched every game and made sacrifices to do so. However, you have nothing on a 26-year-old man from China, who, according to a report in Hunan province's Sanxiang Metropolis newspaper, was found dead by his mother after an 11-day football-watching marathon. The Daily Telegraph have picked up the story and add that he "finally expired after Ireland's 2-0 defeat to Italy on June 18."

    "Friends said Mr Jiang, who they described as an England and France supporter, had seemed in low spirits while watching Antonio Cassano and Mario Balotelli score to take Italy to the Euro 2012 quarter finals in Monday's victory over Ireland," continue the Telegraph. "'Maybe he felt tired after staying up night after night,' said one friend."

  142. 1833:  

    We're getting the first shots of the German and Greek players on the pitch at the PGE Arena. Giorgos Karagounis has really nailed his colours to the mast, specifically blue. He's not only wearing a blue Greece tracksuit but he's also sporting blue trainers. He's a white pointy hat away from being a smurf.

  143.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Ian, via text: "I was laughed at before Euro 2004 for tipping Greece, purely because Stelios Giannakopoulos was the only Bolton player there. Shame I didn't try and back my blind loyalty at the bookies."

  144. 1828:  

    Not only are England and Italy historically linked but according to Italian defender Leonardo Bonucci, Roy Hodgson's side play like his. "England have become more like an Italian team thanks to Capello and other Italian managers in the Premier League," said Bonucci, still wiping Mario Balotelli's spit off his right hand. "They have improved a lot over the last two years."

    Alright Leonardo we get it, Italy = good, traditional England = bad.

  145.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Chris from Kent, via text: "Re 17:57 - fear not, you're not the only one. I loved playing football and then came to the startling conclusion that I wasn't as good as my dad pretended I was. I was about eight or nine with modest expectations so I decided I was going to play for Scunthorpe instead. My dad was very amused."

  146. 1822:  

    England may not neccessarily rank Italy amongst their fiercest rivals. Such territory is reserved for Scotland and the Germans. However, England and Italy are more intertwined than you might think. European football writer James Horncastle explains the relationship. "Since 1980, Italy have had something of a hold on England," explains Horncastle. 32 years is a long time to wait.

  147. 1816:  

    Of course, England and Italy have faced each other more than once. They actually played each other 22 times. We've picked out some of the best of them. This includes one of those battling, blood-stained 0-0 draws that only the English can eulogise about when Paul Ince's head took one for the team in 1997.

  148.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Robert Arnold on Twitter: "Fantasy football managers are getting nervous that Gomez won't start tonight for Germany."

    Edmund Allen on Twitter: "I hear that the Greek team have built a wooden horse and placed it in the opposition penalty area."

    Tom Kindness on Twitter: "I fancy an upset tonight - there hasn't been one yet."

  149. 1812:  

    I will never spurn an opportunity to showcase old highlights from Italia 90. This was the first major international tournament I properly remember and the first time I was fully introduced to the pain of being an England football fan and ingrained in me the knowledge that slow-motion football clips are always improved by having Nessun Dorma accompanying them.

    The last time we faced Italy at a major international tournament was at Italia 90, in a third-place game, contested by two teams still wiping tears from their faces following their respective semi-final defeats. Feel free to re-live itself on our site. You can practically smell the broken hearts.

  150. 1803:  

    Ashley Cole made his debut for England 11 years ago and has undoubtedly been one of his country's best performers in that time. But, with a place in the last four at stake in Kiev on Sunday, the Chelsea man believes he has "unfinished business" with England.

    He said: "There is unfinished business.

    "You play for your country and it is amazing to do that but you play to win. I have never had the joy of winning anything for my country and I am not getting too far ahead of myself but the team so far is going well.

    "We know it will be a tough game on Sunday but they say dreams come true and hopefully this can be one of my dreams."

  151. 1803:  

    England defender Ashley Cole: " I have been lucky enough to play 97 times for England and hopefully I will get 100 in the final, that would be amazing and it is what dreams are made of.

    "This is my fourth quarter-final now and I have bad memories of the others. It is a different game against a great team but the spirits are high and the lads are buzzing for the game. I am confident."

  152. 1802:  

    But what of England? Well, the build-up to Sunday's quarter-final is continuing in it's lulling-us-into-genuine-expectation sort of way. Three lions full-back Ashley Cole has given a very rare interview to the BBC today and here are some exerts from it...

  153. 1757:  

    The repercussions of the Czech Republic's tame exit have already begun, with striker Milan Baros bringing an end to his 93-cap career, during which he scored 41 goals, and midfielder Tomas Rosicky considering his own future.

    Baros looked well off the pace all tournament and was even booed by his own fans after the 4-1 opening game loss to Russia. Rosicky didn't play against Portugal due to injury and told his club side Arsenal's official website: "I will take time to think about it. I would love to continue but I'm not stupid - I know I'm getting older and have to think about what is good for me."

    I remember making the same decision about my future international career. When I was 15. Except I replaced the words "I'm getting older" with "There are stools with better ball skills".

  154. 1752:  

    One blot on the Portuguese copybook, though, is that striker Helder Postiga is unlikely to be fit for the semi-final against either Spain or France. He was stretchered off late in the first half after pulling up with a suspected hamstring injury. Considering that his replacement Hugo Almeida appears to have a head like a 50p and feet like blocks of Toblerone, Postiga could be a big miss.

  155.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Toby, via text: "I was on a placement scheme in the middle of nowhere in Tanzania with a large Greek man named Kostas in 2004. At the final whistle he stripped off his top and ran through the local primary school screaming."

    Andreas Papa, via text: "I was sat in my living room with an uncharacteristically quiet, nervous extended family. The game is 57 minutes young and Basinas floats in the corner. What followed will be etched in my memory, in slow motion, forever. We did it then, we can do it again. Spartan spirit to sink the Germans."

  156. 1747:  

    The man himself, Ronaldo, last night suggested Portugal are now "mature" and "ready to fight" for a place in the final of Euro 2012. "Our great aim is to get to the final. We have a great squad and now I'd say the chances are 50-50 and we just have to believe. We are very mature, so we are ready for the fight," he said, before slipping in to his smoking jacket and settling back to read The Iliad.

  157.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Holte Ender on Twitter: "If 300 Greeks can hold up the Persian army, 11 Germans should be easy."

    Sam Betley on Twitter: "Made the mistake of ordering a Greek takeaway during Euro 2004 final. It arrived at breakneck speed during half-time!"

    Danny Owen on Twitter: "Klose to score in the first 45, thus drawing Greece out of their own half and then Germany will cruise it."

  158. 1740:  

    To be fair, last night's last-eight tie was as one-sided as a 1-0 can be. Portugal had 20 attempts on goal to the Czech's two, with Ronaldo having four times as many efforts as the whole of Michal Bilec's team combined. Understandably, many people have got carried away this morning, hailing Ronaldo as marginally better than oxygen. I agree, he is making his mark on this tournament but, as our analysis piece suggested last night, Portugal are more than the just one, albeit excellent, part.

  159. 1734:  

    I'll return to Germany v Greece in a short while, but first let's reflect back on last night's first quarter-final between Portugal and the Czech Republic, which the former deservedly won 1-0 thanks to - shock - Cristiano Ronaldo's late headed goal.

  160.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Enoch Wong on Twitter: "I think Greece will miss their inspirational captain Karagounis hugely today."

    Luke on Twitter: "I think the game will go to extra time, can't see Greece scoring - nor Germany without Gomez and Podolski."

    Olawale Ibraheem on Twitter: "We will see a huge Greek bus parked in the midfield. The Germans will toil and get frustrated. C'mon you Greeks, you can do it like Chelsea did.‪"

  161. 1729:  

    Of course, it is impossible to ignore that there is a non-football context to today's match, largely as a result of European financial issues. For a lowdown on what is being dubbed "the bailout game", and the headlines this had led to in both Greece and Germany, have a read of the piece on our news site. The one on-pitch upshot of all this could well be an added motivation among the Greek players to succeed tonight. They've stayed in the Euro once already in the last week.

  162.  
    BBC Radio 5 live's Ian Dennis

    On Twitter: "There is an exclusive radio interview with Ashley Cole on @bbc5live at around 5.40pm."

  163.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Will, via text: "I was 7, Euro 2004 was the first tournament I could remember. When Greece won I was in the living room staying up way past my bed-time!"

    Paul Crouch in Sutton Common, via text: "I'd come back to England after spending three weeks in Albuferia covering Euro 2004 and went to a pub in Camden on my own to watch the final. I put a tune on the jukebox which got a comment from a girl, and eight years on we're married with two kids and cheering on Greece together once again!"

    Rob in Leeds, via text: "I was in Portugal on honeymoon when the Greeks won. Very sad as I was among the Portuguese."

  164. 1723:  

    In general, the Greeks are more realistic on their chances of victory tonight. Recent history has taught them it is no bad thing to play the underdog. One rogue voice of uncontained positivity, though, is their stadium announcer Elsa Pitsaki, who told Uefa's website: "I am speaking with my heart when I say this - and my heart never lies - but we will go through to the semi-finals.

    "We are here to win, just like every other team. We know Germany are strong and that they are favourites but our fans will be pushing them all the way while those at home will be sending all of their love."

  165.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Capital R on Twitter: "Hope Greece have tightened their flood defences for the wave-upon-wave of German attacks they will receive tonight!"

    Martin Carter on Twitter: "Looking forward to Germany vs. Greece tonight. Somehow, fate knew that this match had to be made." ‪‪

  166. 1719:  

    Such is the German confidence that coach Joachim Loew is reportedly considering resting striker and top-scorer Mario Gomez tonight. To be fair, his replacement is Miroslav Klose, who has 63 goals from 119 caps, so it is not really a risk, but it still illustrates how positive the Germans are of their progression.

  167.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Kasim, via text: "Hoping for some 'Greece Lightening'. C'mon Greece!"

  168. 1715:  

    One thing is for certain, the Germans are confident about tonight. They're always confident, though, especially when it comes to football. That is what decades of regular achievement will do for you as opposed to years of failure, like England.

    For example, can you imagine an English tabloid writing something similar to this prior to a big quarter-final:

    "This will be a clear thing - as clear as a glass of Ouzo", said Bild today. "When Germany meets Greece tonight in the quarter-final, the only question is: How quickly will we decide that match? Nobody has doubts about a German win. The Greeks hope for a similar feat like 2004, when they won the title. Unfortunately, that's not going to happen: Jogi's [coach Joachim Loew] boys are just too strong and better than Hellas in every position."

  169. 1710:  

    So where were you in 2004 when Greece claimed their shock Euro glory? Perhaps you're from Greece, possibly you were there on holiday, or maybe you were down the local B&Q buying tungsten tipped screws? Whatever it may be, I want to hear from you. You might also want to chuck in a prediction for tonight. Are you siding with the masses and going for a German win or are you throwing your lot in with the romantics who are eyeing a headline-grabbing Euro upset? You can tweet us using the hashtag #bbcfootball or text us on 81111 (UK). Remember to put your name on the texts, though.

  170. 1705:  

    We all know what happened eight years ago. Greece not only saw off holders France in the last eight but also beat the Czech Republic in the semis before claiming victory over hosts Portugal in the final to bring about arguably the most surprising conclusion to a major international tournament ever.

    Today, they take on Germany at the PGE Arena in Gdansk, facing the same seemingly insurmountable odds, the same weight of public opinion and aiming for the same shock outcome.

    We've already got one Euro 2012 semi-finalist in the bag. Time to rustle ourselves up another.

  171. 1700:  

    It is late June 2004. Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez have recently been installed as manager at Chelsea and Liverpool respectively, men across the world are desperately trying to claw out their own eyes after being dragged to watch The Notebook by their girlfriend/wife, and McFly and/or Busted are riding high in the UK charts.

    Also, minnows Greece are about to take on one of the big, pre-tournament favourites in the quarter-finals of the European Championship, a tie they had set up by sneaking through Group A as runners-up. It was supposed to be Greece's final match in the competition, a respectable exit for an already over-achieving team. In short, nobody gave them a chance...

    Deja vu anyone?

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