Croatia v Germany, 12 June 2008

Score2-1 to Croatia
RefereeFrank De Bleeckere
CompetitionUEFA European Championship Finals Group B
VenueWörthersee Stadion, Klagenfurt
Attendance30,461
Kick-Off: 6.00pm local Assistant referees: Peter Hermans (Belgium) Alex Verstraeten (Belgium) Fourth official: Stéphane Lannoy (France) Man of the Match: Luka Modrić (Croatia) Croatia sealed their place in the UEFA EURO 2008 quarter-finals as goals from Darijo Srna and Ivica Olić earned a famous win against Germany that took Slaven Bilić's side three points clear at the top of Group B. With both teams having won their first game on Sunday each knew victory in Klagenfurt would all but secure a ticket to the last eight, and it was Croatia who struck first midway through the first half thanks to the determination of Srna. The points looked safe when Olić tapped in just past the hour, yet Lukas Podolski set up a tense finale with his third goal of the tournament eleven minutes from time. Croatia, whose only previous success against the Mannschaft had come in the quarter-finals of the 1998 FIFA World Cup – a match in which Bilić played – held on with Germany losing Bastian Schweinsteiger to a late red card. Joachim Löw's men were left needing a point from Monday's meeting with Austria to continue in the tournament. While the Germany coach kept faith with the side that served him well against Poland, Bilić brought in midfielder Ivan Rakitić for Mladen Petrić and pushed Niko Kranjčar into a more advanced role. Neither team were prepared to take risks in a tense opening and the first scoring opportunity did not materialise until the 24th minute – and from it, Croatia took the lead. The ball was worked neatly down the left for Danijel Pranjić to deliver a superb deep cross which Srna, arriving ahead of his marker Marcell Jansen at the far post, steered past Jens Lehmann. Germany sought an immediate response with Mario Gómez heading over from Jansen's cross, although Kranjčar might have doubled the Croatian advantage only to volley Olić's knockdown over the bar. Germany captain Michael Ballack came more into the game, seeking to drive his side forward with half-time approaching and stinging the palms of Stipe Pletikosa with a powerful free-kick, before Christoph Metzelder nodded a Torsten Frings corner too high. Yet it was Croatia who finished the opening period the stronger, with Kranjčar wasting another presentable chance as he volleyed Olić's pass straight at Lehmann. Löw replaced Jansen with winger David Odonkor at half-time, with Clemens Fritz and Philipp Lahm moving to right and left-back respectively as the coach tried to inject pace into his attack. The ploy brought Löw's team more possession but they still found it tough to carve out clear opportunities and fell further behind two minutes past the hour, albeit in unfortunate fashion. Lehmann reacted sharply to push Rakitić's deflected right-wing centre on to his near post, the ball having struck Podolski, but Olić moved fastest to tap the rebound into an unguarded net. If that goal seemed to be the prelude to a comfortable last half-hour for Croatia, a Germany side who were running out of ideas suddenly halved the deficit with Podolski volleying in Ballack's knockdown from a Lahm cross. Despite that revival of ambition, the Mannschaft failed to mount a late charge and a disappointing day was completed two minutes into added time when substitute Schweinsteiger was sent off for reacting to a challenge from Jerko Leko.

2  Croatia

Manager: Slaven Bilic

1  Germany

Manager: Joachim Low

Goals:

Darijo Srna 24 G
Ivica Olić 62 G

Goals:

Lukas Podolski 76 G

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa
Defender Vedran Corluka
Defender Robert Kovač
Defender Josip Simunić
Defender Darijo Srna
Midfielder Niko Kovač (captain)
Midfielder Niko Kranjcar
Midfielder Luka Modrić
Midfielder Danijel Pranjic
Midfielder Ivan Rakitić
Forward Ivica Olić

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Jens Lehmann
Defender Philipp Lahm
Defender Per Mertesacker
Defender/Midfielder Marcell Jansen
Midfielder Michael Ballack (captain)
Midfielder Torsten Frings
Midfielder Clemens Fritz
Forward Mario Gómez
Forward Miroslav Klose
Forward Lukas Podolski

Substitutions:

Mladen Petrić for Ivica Olić 72
Jerko Leko for Darijo Srna 80
Dario Knezevic for Niko Kranjcar 85

Substitutions:

David Odonkor for Marcell Jansen 46
Bastian Schweinsteiger for Mario Gómez 65
Kevin Kurányi for Clemens Fritz 82

Cards:

Darijo Srna 27 Y
Josip Simunić 45 Y
Luka Modrić 90 Y
Jerko Leko 90 Y

Cards:

Michael Ballack 75 Y
Jens Lehmann 90 Y
Bastian Schweinsteiger 90 R

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Mario Galinovic
Goalkeeper Vedran Runje
Defender Dario Knezevic
Defender Dario Simić
Defender Hrvoje Vejic
Defender/Midfielder Nikola Pokrivac
Midfielder Jerko Leko
Midfielder Ognjen Vukojevic
Forward Igor Budan
Forward Nikola Kalinić
Forward Ivan Klasnic
Forward Mladen Petrić

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Rene Adler
Goalkeeper Robert Enke
Defender Arne Friedrich
Defender Heiko Westermann
Midfielder Tim Borowski
Midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger
Midfielder Simon Rolfes
Midfielder Piotr Trochowski
Forward Kevin Kurányi
Forward Oliver Neuville
Forward David Odonkor

Comments:

- Croatia fielded their youngest ever starting line-up in the competition. At an average age of 27 years and 138 days, they were 85 days younger than the starting eleven that faced Portugal on 19 June 1996. - Josip Simunic, Robert Kovac, Nico Kovac and Ivica Olic all appeared in their fifth European Championship match, accounting for a new Croatian record. - Darijo Srna's goal in the 23rd minute marked the 450th goal in the history of the European Championship.

Comments:

- Germany suffered their eighth defeat in European Championship history and their first at Euro 2008. It was only their third defeat in 24 matches under head coach Joachim Low and only their second in competitive matches, following a 3-0 home loss against the Czech Republic in qualifying. - Lukas Podolski collected his 50th cap for Germany since making his debut on 6 June 2004. Podolski joined Spain's David Villa at the head of the Euro 2008 top scorers table on three goals. - Bastian Schweinsteiger received the first red card at Euro 2008 and the 30th in the history of the competition. The only other German to be sent off in a European Championship match was Thomas Strunz during the goalless draw between Italy and Germany on 19 June 1996.