Germany plans to outrun Greeks
GDANSK - Reuters
Gomez (L) is congratulated by his teammates after a goal against the Netherlands. AP photoGermany is planning to bide its time and eventually wear down defensive-minded Greece when the two countries meet tonight.
The Germans advanced through Group B with three wins from three games but are bracing for a much tougher defense than what they faced against Portugal, Netherlands and Denmark.
The Greeks conceded only five goals in 10 qualifiers, though they also let in three goals in three Group A games, advancing as runners-up behind the Czech Republic.
“We got a small taste of what we can expect when we faced the Danes,” said Germany holding midfielder Sami Khedira of their 2-1 victory on Sunday.
“Greece are a very compact team, tactically very strong, well organized and aggressive. They are also fast on the breaks and if you see that they had three or four chances in the tournament so far and scored three goals you can tell they are masters of efficiency.
“So patience will be necessary from our side. We have to move because if we remain static it will be very difficult against them. We have to wear them out, tire them out and keep moving.”
Germany has yet to find the form that took it to third place in the World Cup two years ago but the team has shown it has matured into a team that may lack spark but can be equally effective when it comes to winning games.
“We are calmer now, more clever and we keep our composure for longer,” said Khedira when asked to compare this team with that of two years ago. “We are more concentrated over 90 minutes.”