Euro 2008 Today
VIENNA, Austria (AP)—A look at Day 6 of the 2008 European Championship on Thursday:
Croatia 2, Germany 1, Group B (Croatia advances)
Austria 1, Poland 1, Group B
Croatia played a solid game at both ends, building a 2-0 lead and upsetting pretournament favorite Germany 2-1. The Croats got goals from Darijo Srna and Ivica Olic and clinched Group B.
Austria’s Ivica Vastic converted a penalty kick late in extra time for a 1-1 tie with Poland. Mariusz Lewandowski pulled the shirt of Sebastian Proedl in the area on a free kick and the referee awarded the Austrians the penalty kick that Vastic sent to goalkeeper Artur Boruc’s right.
Croats Darijo Srna and Luka Modric. Srna scored the opening goal and played a strong role helping on defense, while Modric played more defensively than usual, controlling the midfield with his superior skills.
Poland goalkeeper Artur Boruc was superb, making a series of spectacular saves in the first 20 minutes and keeping his team ahead until the injury time penalty kick that Austria used for a 1-1 tie.
Sweden fullback Niclas Alexandersson ruled himself out of Saturday’s match against Spain because of a calf injury, further depleting the team’s right flank. Midfielder Christian Wilhemsson is already out, probably for the whole tournament, after pulling a hamstring.
Unlike its co-host, Switzerland, Austria still can advance. The Austrians tied Poland 1-1 and are alive in Group B going into the third series of opening-round matches. Switzerland lost its first two games in Group A and cannot advance.
GOAL OF THE DAY
Croatia’s second score in a 2-1 win over Germany had some luck to it, but was decisive. Ivica Olic made it 2-0 in the 63rd minute after a shot from Ivan Rakitic on the right flank was deflected by Germany forward Lukas Podolski and bounced off the post right, forcing goalkeeper Jens Lehmann to be out of position when the ball fell at Olic’s feet.
World Cup champion Italy,coming off its worst loss in European Championship history—3-0 to the Netherlands—plays Romania, which tied France 0-0. That game will be in Zurich, Switzerland. The Dutch, with a chance to clinch advancement with a victory, takes on the French in Bern.
“This match showed that we can play with everyone. We dominated the field, never letting them develop their own game.”—Croatia midfielder Niko Krancjar after a 2-1 victory over pretournament favorite Germany.