Germany overpower Greece in Gdansk
Philipp Lahm, Sami Khedira, Miroslav Klose and Marco Reus struck to send the 2004 winners home, though Greece were briefly level in Gdansk.
Greece's hopes of repeating the miracle of 2004 vanished with a 4-2 defeat against Germany, who marched on to the UEFA EURO 2012 semi-finals on the back of a fourth straight victory at these finals.
Germany took a deserved 39th-minute lead through Philipp Lahm and although Giorgos Samaras's equaliser ten minutes after the restart hinted at something unexpected, Joachim L�w's men reasserted their authority as Sami Khedira, Miroslav Klose and Marco Reus all found the net prior to Dimitris Salpingidis's late spot-kick.
It was a world-record 15th consecutive competitive win for a German side bidding to end a 16-year wait for a major honour, and should leave their confidence levels sky-high entering their Warsaw semi-final against England or Italy next Thursday.
For Greece, by contrast, this is the end of the road. They had entered the game without the suspended Giorgos Karagounis and Jos� Holebas, and with worries over the fitness of left-back Giorgos Tzavellas � hardly the most promising backdrop to their biggest game since the final of UEFA EURO 2004, a victory famously overseen by a German coach, Otto Rehhagel.
That summer they kept upsetting the odds but in the first half there seemed zero likelihood of any surprise against opponents they have still never beaten. Germany's vibrant display certainly justified the team selection of coach Joachim L�w, who had sprung a surprise by introducing Reus and Andr� Sch�rrle in the wide positions previously occupied by Thomas M�ller and Lukas Podolski, as well as Klose for Mario Gomez at centre-forward.
L�w's plan was to provide some unpredictability along with speed and mobility and it worked, with Reus particularly impressive. The first scare for Greece came when Michalis Sifakis failed to hold Khedira's shot, and Klose turned in the rebound only to be flagged offside. If Sifakis collected a cut to the head in the process, very soon the whole Greece team had a headache as Germany, watched by Chancellor Angela Merkel, dominated.
The 23-year-old Reus had already sent one shot wide when, midway through the half, a slick interchange between him and Klose ended with Mesut �zil testing Sifakis. Klose and Reus both threatened again before Lahm struck, with his fifth goal in 90 appearances. Collecting �zil's pass 25 metres from goal he cut inside and sent in a swerving shot that brushed Sifakis's fingertips on its way into the far corner.
Greece have been slow starters in this tournament but they came to life at the start of the second half, equalising when Salpingidis put a low ball across goal and Samaras got there ahead J�r�me Boateng to squeeze it under Manuel Neuer.Source : UEFA 2012