v Turkey, 2008 European Championship Semi-Final
v Turkey, St. Jakob-Park, Basel (Semi-Final) 25.06.2008
Schweinsteiger 26., Klose 79., Lahm 90. / Uğur Boral 22., Semih Şentürk 86.
The German squad would remain in Basel following their thrilling 3-2 quarter-final victory over Portugal, where they would face the suprise team of the tournament – Turkey. The Mannschaft would have probably been mentally preparing themselves for a last-four repeat of their first-phase encounter with Croatia, but after a dramatic quarter-final that burst into life only in the dying moments of extra time Fatih Terim’s side had followed a stunning first-phase comeback against the Czech Republic to beat the Croats on penalties after scoring an almost miraculous equaliser with the very last kick of the match.
Although Turkey had been regular opponents for the Germans during both World Cup and Euro qualifying programmes – where they had met no fewer than eight times in eighteen years – it would be their first meeting at a major tournament finals since Germany’s 7-2 victory during the 1954 World Cup, also held in Switzerland. While the Mannschaft had an excellent overall record over their semi-final opposition, it was actually the Turks that would have the better recent record, having won two and drawn one of the last three games played between the two sides.
The Mannschaft had suffered no ill-effects during their quarter-final, and Joachim Löw was able to name the same eleven that had started against the Portuguese. The same cound not be said of the Turkish side, as Fatih Terim found himself facing a similar tide of injuries and suspensions as Berti Vogts had done with the German side at Euro 1996. The Turks had four key players out injured and further four serving suspensions, and Terim knew that it would take little short of a miracle to overcome a stable German side. However, given what had taken place during their previous matches nobody would have bet against the Turks pulling off another surprise.
Home-based referee Massimo Busacca led the sides out on what was a damp and humid evening in northern Switzerland, with the crowd of just under forty-thousand in attendance. Both sides would have a familiar look them, with Germany in their traditional Schwarz und Weiß and the Turks in all red.
Germany: Lehmann – Friedrich, Mertesacker, Metzelder, Lahm – Rolfes (46. Frings), Hitzlsperger – Schweinsteiger, Ballack (c), Podolski – Klose (90. Jansen)
Turkey: Rüştü Reçber – Sabri Sarıoğlu, Gökhan Zan, Mehmet Topal, Hakan Balta – Mehmet Aurélio – Kazim-Richards (90. Tümer Metin), Hamit Altintop, Ayhan Akman (81. Mevlüt Erdinç), Uğur Boral (84. Gökdeniz Karadeniz) – Semih Şentürk
Referee: Massimo Busacca (Switzerland)
Assistants: Matthias Arnet (Switzerland), Stéphane Cuhat (Switzerland)
Fourth Official: Peter Fröjdfeldt (Sweden)
Yellow Cards: – / Semih Şentürk
Red Cards: – / –