SHARE
COPY LINK

FOOTBALL

Croatia stuns Germany

A dominating Croatia stunned an unfocused Germany 2-1 on Thursday in one of the biggest surprises of the Euro 2008 tournament so far.

Croatia stuns Germany
German coach Jogi Löw not looking happy. Photo: DPA

The Croats were well worth their victory – which came 10 years after the biggest result in their history when they beat the same opponents 3-0 in the World Cup quarter-finals – as they took charge of the group and are now almost guaranteed a place in the next round.

It will be back to the drawing board for the Germans, who ended the match with 10 men.

Skipper Michael Ballack said the Germans had to recognise they must improve. “Our movement was not fluid enough throughout the match and as a consequence we eked out few chances. We played below our level in all departments. Now we absolutely have to win our last match against Austria,” said the Chelsea star.

After a cagey and dull opening the game burst into life midway through the opening stanza. Croatia took the lead on 24 minutes with a move of delightful fluency.

Quick, zipped passes and intelligent running off the ball created space for left-back Danijel Pranjic and his pin-point cross picked out Darijo Srna at the back post. He beat the hesitant Marcell Jansen to the ball to prod home with an outstretched leg.

Another sweeping Croatia move on the half hour should have resulted in a goal as Ivan Rakitic chipped the ball into Ivica Olic, who cushioned a header back for Portsmouth’s Nico Kranjcar but he slipped as he shot and fired miles over with the German defence opened up like a tin.

Germany hit back with a 25-yard Michael Ballack free-kick that Stipe Pletikosa in the Croat goal palmed to safety before also repelling a shot from Miroslav Klose moments later.

The Germans were pushing for an equaliser and centre-back Christoph Metzelder headed narrowly over from a Torsten Frings corner. But Croatia should have doubled their lead three minutes before the break as Vedran Corluka left Jansen for dead and crossed into the box where Olic teed up Kranjcar once again only for Jens Lehmann to make a stunning point-blank save from the midfielder’s left-foot volley.

On the stroke of half-time Germany had the ball in the net but Klose’s effort was ruled out as Mario Gomes was penalised for the slightest of contacts with Pletikosa.

Early in the second period Germany didn’t really look like getting back into the match despite a Ballack snap shot that sailed over the bar. On 62 minutes the lead was doubled as Rakitic’s right wing cross took a huge deflection off Lukas Podolski and beat Lehmann at his near post, coming back off the upright and presenting Olic with a simple tap in.

Germany did at last come alive and Pletikosa had to divert behind a fierce cross-shot from substitute Bastian Schweinsteiger. Podolski gave them a life-line with 11 minutes to go as he thrashed home a loose ball in the box on the half-volley but it wasn’t enough.

And Germany’s misery was complete in stoppage time when Schweinsteiger was dismissed for a push on substitute Jerko Leko.

FOOTBALL

British football teams allowed to skip Germany’s quarantine for Euro 2020

Germany's government announced on Tuesday it will allow England, Scotland and Wales to enter the country without quarantine to play at Euro 2020 despite a recent rise in cases linked to the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

British football teams allowed to skip Germany's quarantine for Euro 2020
One of the venues for Euro 2020 is in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

The three teams could potentially reach the quarter-final held in Munich on July 2nd.

If that were the case, they would be exempt from the rule that travellers from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland must currently observe a 14-day isolation period due to the virus strain of concern – Delta – first identified in India.

“The people accredited for the European football Championship are exempt from the quarantine obligation, even after arriving from an area impacted by a variant” Berlin said in a statement.

“This exemption concerns all the people who have been accredited by the organising committee for the preparation, participation, the holding and the follow-up of international sporting events,” it added.

The exemption does not include fans, who will be obliged to follow German government self-isolation rules.

Germany declared the UK a ‘virus variant area of concern’ on May 23rd due to rising cases linked to the Delta variant in parts of the country. 

READ ALSO: Germany makes UK ‘virus variant area of concern’: How does it affect you?

This reclassification came just seven days after the UK was put back on Germany’s list at the lowest risk level, and barely a month after it was taken off all risk lists completely.

The ban was put in place despite the UK’s relatively low Covid rates as a precautionary measure.

A general ban on entry is in place for people coming from countries on the ‘virus variant’ list – such as India and Brazil – the highest of Germany’s risk categories. 

There are some exceptions for entering from these countries – for example German residents and citizens. However, anyone who does enter from Germany is required to submit a Covid-19 test before boarding the flight and must quarantine for 14 days on arrival, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

READ ALSO: Germany’s new relaxed quarantine and testing rules after travel

Euro 2020 starts on Friday as Italy host Turkey in Rome with the Bavarian city hosting three group games as well as the last-eight match.

Around 14,000 fans will be allowed into the Allianz Arena for the fixtures.

SHOW COMMENTS