After a couple days off, Euro 2008 has returned with the first of two semi-final matches. Today is pre-tournament favorite Germany against Turkey, easily the biggest surprise thus far.
This could be where the Turkish Cinderella-dream comes to an end: Turkey will be missing six players from their wild win over Croatia in the quarterfinals, and possibly more, depending on how they respond to treatment before kickoff.
Experience is also on the German side today: This will be only the second major championship semi-final that Turkey have played, after their 1-0 defeat to eventual champions Brazil at the 2002 World Cup. The Germans, of course, are old hands at this semi-final malarkey. This will be their 16th appearance in a major tournament semi-final, but Turkey can take heart from the fact that Germany have not beaten them in the last three meetings between the sides.
Kickoff is at 2:45pm ET. Follow along after the jump, and feel free to offer your comments as the match moves along. Videos of goals will be going up as soon as I can get them posted. http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/football/euro-2008/2008/germany-turkey-134455.html
4:45pm - What a match (from what I could see, anyways). We'll be back here tomorrow for the other semi-final match, Spain and Russia. The winner of that will have to deal with a very tough German team in the finals. I'll leave you with video from Germany's game-winner in the 90th minute.
4:38pm - That's it! At least, I think it is. The German fans in the "Fan Zone" are celebrating. And yes, just received word from Adrian Healey that it's official -- Germany moves on to final of Euro 2008.
4:34pm - GOAL!!! Of course, as soon as I type that extra time is on the way, Germany slices down the side with a great give-and-go. The ball ends up on the foot of Lahm, and he drills it into the net. It's Germany leading, 3-2, with just minutes to play!
4:34pm - In the 90th minute now, tied at 2-2. Looks like we're headed for extra time.
4:33pm - Not going to be able to get videos of those past two videos (sorry), but here's how Turkey just scored: "Sabri beats his man on the right and plays in a low cross that Semih sneaks past Lehmann at the near post! Incredible stuff! Semih's done it again!"
4:30pm - Absolutely unbelievable. Turkey refuses to die. They've just leveled this match again. It's 2-2.
4:25pm - Here's how it happened, in the 79th minute: "Lahm crosses from the left, Rustu gets absolutely nowhere near it and Klose heads it home! From nowhere Germany lead!"
4:24pm - GOAL! Or so Rece Davis tells us. No video evidence of it, at all. Apparently, this lack of a TV-feed is not just in America, but everywhere. Must be some unhappy fans in Germany tonight...and Turkey. Germany leads, 2-1.
4:23pm - In the 76th minute, still 1-1.
4:21pm - Sigh. Another loss of video.
4:09pm - And we're back! Apparently a lightning strike took out the video feed. Don't worry, haven't missed much. It's the 66th minute, and the score remains 1-1.
4:04pm - And we're now back to the gang in the studio. Still no game updates.
4:02pm - Great, technical difficulties. ESPN has lost the video feed from the game, which is a problem, because the announcing team is calling the game from a studio in Bristol, Connecticut. So, yeah, they have no idea what's going on either.
4:01pm - Ballack breaks away and begins an attack, but is tackled from behind and a free-kick has been awarded to the Germans, from just outside the box, a "menacing position" according to the announcer (Adrian Healey?). Ballack takes the kick, but it's turned away by the wall.
3:59pm - A blast delivered by Germany's Hitzlsperger rockets just over the top of the net. Germany is really applying the pressure now.
3:55pm - Germany's Lahm was just taken down inside the box, but the official let play continue. A questionable no-call there by the referee and the crowd is letting him hear it.
3:53pm - Cheap foul there on Germany, free-kick coming for Turkey.
3:51pm - Lastly, a quick shot of Turkish fans celebrating after their goal.
3:50pm - Officially underway in the period number two. Here's Germany's goal to level the match.
3:49pm - About to get underway here in the second half. Finally got some videos coming. First, Turkey's goal
3:35pm - That's the whistle for the first half. We go into halftime level at 1-1, after an exciting 45 minutes of play.
3:29pm - Turkey refuses to go away. They refuse to believe they don't belong here.
3:22pm - Podolski with a break-away opportunity, tearing down the left side, but his shot sails high. A missed chance there for the Germans.
3:19pm - Lehmann with a leaping save made off a bending kick on net.
3:14pm - GOAL!!! The Germans wasted no time in leveling this match! Podolski played the ball down the left side and sent it in the box to Schweinsteiger, who deflected it ever so slightly with his foot into the back of the net. Amazing play there by the high-powered German offense.
3:10pm - GOAL!!! The Turkey dream may not be over just yet! A shot put on goal rebound off the crossbar, right to the foot of Ugur Boral (friends call him "UgBo"), who mishits it, but he knocked it hard enough to get it past a surprised German keeper. It's 1-0, Turkey here in the 25th minute now!
3:05pm - The Germans are finally showing life, making runs down the field. Their effort has earned them a corner, which is punched away.
3:01pm - Amazing chance there for the Turks. An absolute blast unloaded from inside the box, and it was narrowly waved away by Lehmann over the crossbar at the last instant. Germans escaped that attack, but Turkey still threatens with a corner.
2:59pm - In the 12th minute now, and Germany has still yet to really get going.
2:50pm - Do you think the coach of Germany has just one plain, white dress-shirt? Or a closet full of them? It's the same outfit for every single match of Euro 2008.
2:49pm - We're officially underway now, live from Basel (that's in Switzerland).
2:44pm - The national anthems are done and it's almost time to begin.
2:40pm - The stadium is being filled with "Seven Nation Army," by The White Stripes.
2:36pm - An odd stat, from those at Yahoo! who know soccer than me: Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger already has a goal, an assist, a yellow card and a red card to his name in this tournament. The only other player to achieve this feat was Denmark's Klaus Berggreen in 1984.
2:30pm - Welcome back everyone to another live blog. Should be exciting today, as the mighty Germans square-off against the surprising Turkish side.