Euro '08: Day 6 ReviewPosted on: 13 June 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves
Croatia join Portugal in the quarter-finals after beating Germany while Austria snatch a late draw against Poland.
Croatia claimed a surprise win over pre-tournament favourites Germany in Klagenfurt to reach Euro 2008’s quarter-finals.
Slaven Bilic’s side join Portugal in the last eight after making it two wins from two but the defeat for Joachim Low’s side has cast serious doubts over the Germans credentials this summer.
Co-hosts Austria were seconds away from joining fellow hosts Switzerland in an early exit from their own party, but a last-minute penalty handed them a lifeline against Poland in Vienna.
The Austrian draw sets up a fascinating clash with Germany to decide who will join Croatia in the quarter-finals from Group B with Poland also in the running to take the runners up spot.
Your one stop shop for profiles, previews and reviews on Euro 2008.
Croatia stunned Germany Euro 2008 favourites Germany with a 2-1 victory to take control of Group B.
Darijo Srna broke the deadlock between the two teams on 24 minutes when he sneaked in front of German defender Marcell Jansen to poke Danijel Pranjic’s cross home.
The Croats were then gifted a second goal midway through the second half when Ivan Rakitic’s cross came off Lukas Podolski and rebounded off the post for Ivica Olic to slot away.
Low’s side were putting in an uncharacteristic performance as they looked poor in defence and simply couldn’t find a way past the resolute Croatian side.
Bayern Munich striker Podolski did manage to pull a goal back with a late volley, his third of the tournament, but club-mate Bastian Schweinsteiger was shown a straight red card in the final stages to end German hopes in injury time.
Croatia 2-1 Germany
Austria 1-1 Poland
Germany 2-0 Poland
Austria 0-1 Croatia
Germany were impressive when despatching Poland in their opening game but they didn’t find things quite as easy against Croatia who proved they are genuine title contenders.
The Germans will still be fancied to qualify – they face co-hosts Austria in their final group match – but in a likely runners up spot they will go into the last eight to face the fancied Portuguese.
Austria earned a dramatic 1-1 draw against Poland after an injury-time penalty in Vienna.
The co-hosts were given a lifeline when English referee Howard Webb ruled that Mariusz Lewandowski hauled down Sebastian Proedl.
Substitute Ivica Vastic slammed the penalty past Artur Boruc in the Poland goal to save Austria from an early elimination.
Boruc had earlier made a string of stunning saves to deny Austria, with Martin Harnik wasting two fine chances.
Austria were rampant in the over half hour, taking advantage of some woeful defending from the Polish back four but it was the Poles who opened the scoring.
Roger Guerreiro, who only gained Polish citizenship in March, converted a first half cross from an offside position three yards out.
Austria Vs Germany (7.45pm BBC)
Poland Vs Croatia (7.45pm BBC)
Both sides’ chances of qualification for the quarter-finals remain slim, though Vastic’s goal did send Croatia through to the last eight.
Austria will be disappointed they didn’t take all three points after a sensational start to the game in which they could have 3-0 up with only 15 minutes on the clock.
The draw does set up a fascinating clash with Germany in a winner-takes-all clash in Vienna on Monday night.
Poland have it all to do and will need to rely on Germany slipping up against Austria. The Polish will still need to beat Croatia in Klagenfurt to stand any chance of qualification.
Did you see either of these games? Were you suprised Croatia beat Germany? Was Austria's penalty a fair decision? Who do you think will win Euro 2008? Share your thoughts in the 50connect forums.
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