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Turkey Downed By Lahm And Luck
Guardian, June 26th, 2008 12:45PM
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The media consensus is that brave Turkey outplayed Germany in Wednesday's European Championships semifinal, and that the Germans were lucky to come away with the 3-2 win. Paul Doyle writes effusively that Turkey eschewed the tactics of sitting deep and playing long, as they did against the Czech Republic, and instead "sought to dominate every sector of the pitch, their intelligent aggression borne of heroic hearts and top-notch fitness."
Doyle lauds the "perpetual motion" of the Turks, which made "lumbering oafs" of the Germans. Sebastian Schweinsteiger's equalizer was the only time in the first half that the Germans looked to be in the same class as their opponents, and in the second half Germany pinned its hopes on superior height. Lahm's goal, he admits, was brilliantly taken, and "a suitable way for this fabulous game to culminate. Except that it came for the wrong team."
Yet his colleague John Ashdown, doing the minute-by-minute commentary, countered this one-sided view of the game. "Listening to some of the pundits on the TV," he wrote at the final whistle, "you'd think Germany are the worst side in the tournament. But, hang on. They've scored three goals, and against a Turkey team who, if you believe the experts, just produced one of the performances of the tournament."

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