Lahm Fires Germany Into Final

Philipp Lahm fired a last minute winner to give Germany a 3-2 victory over Turkey in a thrilling Euro 2008 semi-final in Basel.

The match looked set for extra-time at 2-2 before the Bayern Munich wingback fired home to give Germany a shot at a fourth European Championship title.

Germany coach Joachim Low named an unchanged starting line-up which saw Simon Rolfes preferred to influential midfielder Torsten Frings, who was returning from a rib injury.

Turkey coach Fatih Terim had several selection headaches and were without several players through injury and suspension. Tuncay Sanli, Arda Turan, Volkan Demirel and Emre Asik were all banned, while Nihat Kahveci, Emre Gungor, Servet Cetin and Emre Belozoglu were nursing injuries.

Turkey could well have taken an early lead through former Sheffield United forward Kazim Kazim (known as Colin Kazim-Richards in the UK), who drilled a right-footed shot against the bar.

The Turks were rewarded for their early attacking trust with a goal from Ugur Boral after 22 minutes. The Fenerbahce favourite out-foxed veteran goalkeeper Jens Lehmann seconds after Kazim hit the bar for the second time in quick succession.

But Germany hit straight back just four minutes later following a crisp cross from Lukas Podolski from the left wing, picking out Bastian Schweinsteiger in the box. The Bayern Munich hitman had little trouble sliding the ball past quarter-final penalty hero Recber Rustu in the Turkey goal.

Frings got his chance at the start of the second period, coming on for Simon Rolfes.

Germany could have been awarded a penalty seven minutes into the second stanza as Philipp Lahm was chopped in half by Sabri Sarioglu close to the box but referee Massimo Busacca waved play on as Turkey looked to get physical in the tackle.

But the three time champions hit the lead when veteran striker Miroslav Klose beat Rustu to a Lahm cross for a 2-1 lead after 79 minutes.

Turkey had other ideas and beat Lehmann for the second time as Semih Senturk nipped in at the near post to slot home for the equalizer with just four minutes remaining.

Just as the game looked destined for extra-time, Lahm played a quick one-two with Thomas Hitzlsperger, before unloading a fabulous shot to sink Turkey at 3-2 with seconds remaining.


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