Monday, June 16, 2008
Germany Advance to the Quarterfinals
German captain Michael Ballack called a players only meeting before Germany's game vs. Austria. In the meeting Ballack said that the players talked to one another as footballers, and he made sure it was known that all the players, himself included, had to step up their game.
So who was it to answer the captains call for better play? None other then Michael Ballack himself. Ballack stepped up to a free kick in the 49th minute and hit a perfect strike to give Germany a 1-0 victory over co-hosts Austria.
The Germany win means that they will face Portugal in the Quarterfinals.
There is a chance that Germany coach Joachim Low might not be at that Quarterfinal matchup after he and Austrian coach Josef Hickersberger were given red cards for arguing with themselves and the 4th referee. Hopefully UEFA reviews the red card ban and allows Low to coach.
Croatia beat Poland 1-0
Croatia ensured a perfect group stage after defeating Poland 1-0 thanks to an Ivan Klasnic 52nd minute goal.
Klasnic was pulled down in the penalty area, but did not get the penalty call, however, after he stood up he received a pass and put the ball past the goalkeeper.
Croatia, who played with many of the starters on the bench, could have scored at least 4 more goals this game, if not for the impressive work by Poland goalie Artur Boruc. Boruc got no help from his defense all game, and was forced to leave the goal and many saves on numerous occasions.
Croatia is set to play Turkey in the Quarterfinals.