European Championship

June 29, 2008



0 - 1


European Championship

18:45 +00:00, June 29, 2008

Ernst Happel Stadion

Referee: Roberto Rosetti (ITA)

Game 31

  • 101'

    Well once again, and for the final time this term, thanks for your company. What a great tournament and what a fitting climax to a brilliant football season, showcasing exactly why we all love this beautiful game. Enjoy the break, keep it locked on soccernet for all the latest transfer news, and for comprehensive build-up to the big Premier League kick-off on August 16. Bye for now.

  • 100'

    Iker Casillas hoists the trophy aloft to an almighty roar from the hordes of Spanish fans massed inside the stadium, and it is official; Spain are the European Champions of 2008!

  • 98'

    And now, here come Spain. Their players have banished 44 years of hurt in 90 minutes and look utterly ecstatic with their night's work. Viva EspaƱa!

  • 97'

    Spain form a guard of honour as first the officials, then Germany troop forward to receive their medals. A nice touch.

  • 96'

    Steady on! The Spanish players are giving Aragones the bumps! Don't kill him seconds after the finest moment of his footballing life!

  • 95'

    Spain made Germany look ordinary tonight, because that is exactly what they are. They've got steel, and unbelievable tenacity, but that isn't enough when you come up against a side who are so well-oiled, fluid and potent as Spain.

  • 94'

    Spain have their first major trophy since 1964! Their players charge onto the pitch as their fans go ballistic in the stands. Quite simply, the best team have won the tournament, and you can't say fairer than that.

  • 94'

    The whistle goes and Spain are the champions!

  • 93'

    Lehmann has nearly gifted Spain a clincher! He received a throw-in from Jansen and passed it right to Cazorla, but under pressure from Friedrich he misses the ball!

  • 92'

    Spain are carving Germany open here as Cazorla, Alonso and Senna open them up again. Alonso belts into the area but fouls Lehmann as he slid in for the ball.

  • 91'

    Capdevila gives Aragones a coronary by giving the ball away to Ballack but his cross is over Schweinsteiger and Gomez. Very poor.

  • 90'

    At last! A positive contribution from Kuranyi! He dispossesses Ramos and clears, then as the ball is pumped into the Spanish box Schweinsteiger fouls Capdevila, much to Ballack's fury, and Spain have a free-kick. Three minutes added...

  • 89'

    A hush descends on the ground as Spain's fans realise how close they are to triumph and Germany's feel the trophy slipping away from them.

  • 88'

    This is squeaky bum time for Spain as Aragones waves his arms around wildly. Oh, Kuranyi's involved again, this time crashing into Senna and getting a booking. Hapless!

  • 87'

    Spain are sitting uncomfortably deep now as Germany press. Their only outlet ball is Guiza, who is up top alone. Kuranyi is flagged again for offside. Does he not understand the rules?

  • 86'

    Xavi's effort is uncharacteristically poor and Germany breathe again. Just four minutes left for them to unearth a leveller.

  • 85'

    Spain play the corner short again, and Xavi floats a ball from Senna before Kuranyi crashes into him. Free-kick, 30 yards out, just to the right. Another great chance for Spain to wrap it up.

  • 84'

    Guiza finds more space down the left but has no support. Five German defenders converge, but Guiza wins a corner off Frings.

  • 83'

    Xavi takes a free kick after Guiza took a bump in the face and picks out Alonso who had casually strolled to the edge of the area without a German marker in sight. His shot is nodded clear by Mertesacker.

  • 82'

    Germany look shattered here, but you just know they'll get one more chance to equalise. Spain HAVE to finish them off in this spell when chances are emerging almost every minute.

  • 81'

    What a chance! Xavi crosses for Guiza, he nods back for Senna, and with the goal gaping, the Villarreal man has JUST failed to connect! Think Gazza against Germany in 1996!

  • 80'

    Spain's bench all jump to their feet after Lehmann looked to have handled the ball as Guiza chased Alonso's pass. The replay shows he did handle the ball, and he did look suspiciously outside the box.

  • 79'

    Xavi gets free in acres of space after a ball from Iniesta but doesn't make the most of his cross. Spain can wrap this up if they play their cards right.

  • 78'

    More changes. Daniel Guiza, who scored in the semi-final, is on for the ever-lively Torres, and Germany bring on Mario Gomez for Klose.

  • 77'

    Torres is at it again as Spain exploit the space Germany have left at the back. He gets inside the area but Mertesacker blocks his attempted cross. Twice.

  • 76'

    Torres has nearly negotiated himself clean through again, after surging past Metzelder his touch is just too heavy which allows Lehmann to slide out.

  • 75'

    Schweinsteiger has been poor this evening. He's just wasted possession in a great area, when Podolski was in acres of space on the left. Poor.

  • 74'

    Torres gets a nothing booking for an aerial challenge on Mertesacker. What has the ref seen there?

  • 73'

    Germany are going all out for this now, as you'd expect. Kuranyi and Klose up front, with Podolski and Schweinsteiger pushed so far up they almost make a four up top.

  • 72'

    Kuranyi has definitely made an impact, in an ungainly, lumbering, not-very-assured sort of way. He's rattled Spain's centre-halves without actually doing anything to warrant it, if that makes any sense.

  • 71'

    Frings delivery is much better but it's still too near Casillas, who punches clear.

  • 70'

    Another soft free-kick. Jansen runs right into the back of Ramos after pushing the ball past him and the ref puts whistle to lips almost immediately. Free-kick, wide left.

  • 69'

    Now Iniesta is roaming free on the right! He bends a shot round Mertesacker and although Lehmann fumbles, he gathers at the second attempt.

  • 68'

    Then the Germans were caught napping at the corner, allowing Xavi to take it quickly to Iniesta who smashes in a shot at the near post prompting Lehmann to save again!

  • 67'

    Xavi swings in a free-kick, Sergio Ramos is all alone and powers a header at Lehmann, forcing the keeper into a fine reaction save!

  • 66'

    Another Spain change; Santi Cazorla is on for Silva, perhaps to prevent any more violence.

  • 65'

    The free-kick is finally taken and it was absolutely abject, yet again. Schweinsteiger needs a slap for that.

  • 64'

    More argy-bargy as Podolski goes down off the ball, then goes face-to-face with Silva who gives him a little stun-style headbutt. The ref has words but doesn't produce any cards, somewhat surprisingly.

  • 63'

    Spain change, Fabregas is off and Xavi Alonso is on.

  • 62'

    That double-chance has buoyed Germany's fans, who can smell an equaliser here. And well they might. Germany then break, but the move ends with Schweinsteiger's shot hitting Klose and diverting wide.

  • 61'

    Kuranyi has a chance to make an immediate impact as Frings finds him charging into the box. The Schalke forward's first touch is poor and the chance is lost, then Ballack crosses and Casillas can only get his fingertips to it, claiming at the second attempt.

  • 60'

    Puyol gifts Germany the ball by the corner flag as Jansen put him under pressure. Jansen then finds Schweinsteiger who lays off for Ballack and his volley hits the side-netting. Much better from Germany.

  • 59'

    Another lovely move from Spain, Iniesta feeds Fabregas, then Silva moves the ball on smartly to Ramos who fires a cross-cum-shot just wide of the far post.

  • 58'

    Hitzelsperger comes off and Kuranyi is on. a positive move from Loew.

  • 57'

    Kevin Kuranyi is getting instructions from Joachim Loew, as Puyol goes down like he's been shot after a slight brush from Klose. What a drama queen he is.

  • 56'

    Xavi finds Torres again, in almost a replica of the move that produced Spain's goal in the first half. This time Lehmann is out swiftly to claim the ball after Torres had eased past Mertesacker.

  • 55'

    The corner breaks to Silva on the angle of the box. He fires one in and Sergio Ramos, six yards out, just can't get a touch on the ball to divert it into the net.

  • 54'

    Torres gets down the right channel, squares for Xavi, whose shot screwed wide of the target. The ref, inexplicably, awards Spain a corner. Lehmann didn't get near it.

  • 53'

    Super defending from Marchena as Hitzelsperger looked for Podolski.

  • 52'

    Klose is back on, but he looks white as a sheet.

  • 51'

    Klose leaves the field and Spain charge down the left. Silva gets to the byline but despite having numbers in support, his cross is poor.

  • 50'

    Klose is down, and no wonder. Marchena's swinging boot has clocked him right in the family jewels, and I'll bet the entire male population watching the replay on television made a similar, "oooaaaahhhhh," sound.

  • 49'

    Torres finds himself one-on-one with Mertesacker - who seemed to be ten yards behind his other defenders - but as Torres tried to hook the ball over him, he falls over theatrically and gets nothing but scorn from the ref.

  • 48'

    The general concensus at soccernet HQ is that Spain will never have a better chance to win the European Championship.

  • 47'

    Klose is flagged offside as Ballack looked for him over the top.

  • 46'

    We're off again. A German change to tell you about, Philip Lahm, who was at fault for the goal, is removed and Marcell Jansen, who has given away a million goals in his career I'm sure, is on.

  • 45'

    Half time and a fair reflection of the game so far. Spain, after an early wobble, got on top and stayed there. Much work for Joachim Loew to do at half time. Fear not though, he's well used to that in this tournament. See you in 15 minutes...

  • 45'

    Spain take the corner short and waste it, quite frankly. One minute added...

  • 44'

    Iniesta is slipped in by Xavi but shows a lack of confidence on his left foot again. He tries to cut inside, Germany get men back and he has to settle for a corner.

  • 43'

    Spain actually wanted the advantage as Fabregas had released Silva but the referee wasn't switched on to the possibilities.

  • 42'

    Oh hello! A bit of argy-bargy here involving, guess who? Yep, Ballack. Fabregas is pulled back but still manages to get his pass off, then is clattered by Ballack. Puyol and Marchena object, as does Casillas who sprints out to chat to the ref. The upshot is a booking for both Ballack and Casillas.

  • 41'

    Controversy here. The ref delays the free-kick, saying Germany must wait for the whistle. The pause allows Ballack to return to the field which gets Aragones wound up. Anyway, the corner is punched clear by Casillas, so no harm done.

  • 40'

    Xavi slides a ball into the area for Silva, but his first touch is poor and the chance is lost. At t'other end, Germany win a free kick on the right flank.

  • 39'

    The ref is making Ballack leave the field again because there is claret visible on his face and neck. Germany down to ten. Again.

  • 38'

    Ballack is back on and announces the fact by taking down Fabregas right in front of the ref. Cynical.

  • 37'

    Klose wins a free kick out to the right for Germany. Schweinsteiger stands over it ... and delivers an awful ball in. Far too deep.

  • 36'

    Ballack is down getting treatment after a clash of heads with Senna. Germany down to ten men for the time being.

  • 35'

    Another great chance for Spain! Iniesta gets inside the area, feigns to shoot before lofting a ball to the back post where Silva arrives and blasts a volley well wide.

  • 34'

    What a finish from Torres! He's ducked past Lahm on the outside, used his strength to get in front of the defender then chipped Lehmann delightfully. Quite brilliant.

  • 33'

    Torres gallops after a through ball from Xavi, brushes Lahm out of the way and clips the ball over Lehmann and into the net to give Spain the lead!

  • 33'

    GOAL! Torres!

  • 31'

    Fab unleashes his first punt on goal but Lehmann is down well to gather.

  • 30'

    This is a good, open game. Fantastic stuff.

  • 29'

    Senna chops down Ballack before Frings takes the free-kick quickly to find Lahm. He bursts past Ramos and as the ball careers way from him Capdevila miscontrols, and the ball bounces up and brushes his arm.

  • 28'

    Klose picks up the ball in the hole and feeds Podolski who had space on the left edge of the area, but his one-footed-ness is glaringly obvious as he desperately tries to turn outside onto his left when there was a shot on inside.

  • 27'

    Then Torres shrugs off Mertesacker before Capdevila gets to the byline and fizzes in a low cross that Lehmann does well to cling on to.

  • 26'

    The corner is cleared before Lahm crosses deep, Metzelder nods back and Ramos jumps high to block a Ballack volley. Germany screamed for handball, but it clearly hit Ramos's ribs.

  • 25'

    Podolski relieves a bit of pressure by winning a corner from Puyol.

  • 24'

    Spain are looking a bit tasty here; nice passing and plenty of movement. Silva just overcooks a ball through for Torres there.

  • 23'

    Torres has hit the post! Silva twists and turns, then lofts in a brilliant ball; Torres meets it and nods down but the ball cannons back off the foot of the post!

  • 22'

    Now Ballack is penalised for a late kick on Xavi. A bit malicious that.

  • 21'

    Now it's Germany who look a little devoid of ideas. Mertesacker lumps a long ball downfield that Puyol shepherds back to Casillas. The German centre-back's distribution is nothing short of pathetic at times.

  • 20'

    Torres climbs well to win the header but can't direct it goalwards.

  • 19'

    Torres wins the ball down the right flank, then megs Metzelder smartly before getting a kick for his troubles. Free kick wide on the right.

  • 18'

    Spain look far more settled after that flurry of activity at the German end. Torres still looks isolated though, as Fabregas seems to be sitting a little deep.

  • 17'

    No-one met Xavi's free kick and Lehmann takes it on the bounce. The game has started very promisingly. More of the same please.

  • 16'

    Frings blocks Iniesta's path and hands Spain a free kick, 40 yards out to the left of centre.

  • 15'

    What a good save from Lehmann. He's a shadow of his former self in my opinion, but he can still produce the odd touch of class, as he did there.

  • 14'

    Spain's first attack nearly ends with an own goal! Xavi slips the ball inside Friedrich, Iniesta cuts in, his shot flicks off Mertesacker forcing Lehmann into a superb reaction save! Corner.

  • 13'

    Spain may have to be a little more patient than usual in this game. Germany's system seems to be working at both ends of the field so far.

  • 12'

    Klose wins the game's first corner, after closing Marchena down, but Casillas punches clear firmly.

  • 11'

    Fabregas gets a chunk of space in midfield before crossing a hopeful ball in search of Torres. Needless to say, it didn't arrive.

  • 10'

    Germany are making all the running early on; they're having some joy down the left flank, putting the nervy Sergio Ramos under pressure.

  • 9'

    Klose turns and shoots, but straight at Casillas.

  • 8'

    The temperature is 27 degrees apparently. Don't worry though, there's bound to be a biblical storm before too long.

  • 7'

    Ballack's first involvement ends with a cross that flashes past the face of goal. Casillas was happy to let if fly past though.

  • 6'

    Germany look far more compact in these first six minutes than they did in the whole game against Turkey. Methinks Joachim Loew has been making them watch the semi-final tape on loop until about 20 minutes ago.

  • 5'

    Philip Lahm makes his first forray of the evening, swapping passes with Schweinsteiger, before hooking a cross over Casillas' net and out for a goal kick.

  • 4'

    First chance of the game! Klose has wasted a great opportunity after Sergio Ramos presented him with ball on the edge of the area. Klose delayed getting a shot off and finally overran the ball. A big let off for Spain!

  • 3'

    Spain spraying the ball around early on, but mostly in their own half. Germany sitting deep, and solid.

  • 2'

    The true tournament anthem is getting a hearty rendition, you know the one, Seven Nation Army.

  • 1'

    The Euro 2008 final has begun!


    Not really, but I must say I'm highly discomknockerated. His murder of the tournament's anthem eventually comes to a close, to a ripple of light applause. Yawn. Anyway, here come the teams!


    Just when you thought this was going to go down in history as one of the finest finals of recent times the organisers go and plop Enrique Iglesias on a stage and give him a microphone. All of a sudden the footballing world glazes over. Well, that's it from me, I'm going home. A disgrace.


    Spain have, unquestionably, been the team of the tournament; they've been irresistable at times. They stuck seven goals past Russia, showed their toughness when edging past Italy, and have conceded just three goals in the competition. But have they got what it takes when the stakes are at their highest? We shall find out in less than 20 minutes...


    ..their best performance of the tournament came in the quarters against Portugal. Perhaps that sums them up, fearsome when it comes to the big boys, with a formidable mental steel and winning mentality but slow and disjointed against the less fancied sides. Will that formula prove correct this evening?


    A quick peek in the form calendar suggests only one winner, and it ain't Germany. They laboured through their group, beating a very poor Poland side, losing to Croatia, and sneaking past a hugely limited Austria side. Then in the semi-final, Turkey ran them ragged, before they got out of jail with a last gasp winner. But....


    So, few surprises in our starting teams. Frings comes in for Rolfes, who played like he was concussed for a half in the semi-final, then actually got concussion after a clash of heads. Ballack is passed fit, and Fabregas, who has been in superlative form, replaces the tournament's top scorer, David Villa.


    The one obvious change for Spain, as Fabregas replaces the injured Villa. Casillas, Marchena, Puyol, Sergio Ramos, Capdevila, Senna, Iniesta, Xavi, Fabregas, Silva and Torres.


    The teams are in, and injury doubt Michael Ballack STARTS for Germany: Lehmann, Friedrich, Lahm, Mertesacker, Metzelder, Frings, Hitzelsperger, Ballack, Schweinsteiger, Klose and Podolski.


    The stage is set for a monumental final. In a tournament where free-flowing, attacking football has been the winner, let's hope the competition's pinnacle reflects the delectable feast of end-to-end action we've had in the month of June.


    Good evening one and all. As Bloc Party once sang, so here we are. Three weeks of sizzling-hot footy action boils down to one sultry evening in Vienna as Spain face Germany in Euro 2008's final. It should be a belter, and its all live with me, Chris Murphy.


    Join us for the climax of Euro 2008, as Germany take on Spain for the right to call themselves the European Champions. It should be a belter. Kick off is at 1945 UK time.