Germany’s domination in the attacking third of the field Friday against Greece sparked the Germans to a 4-2 win in the quarterfinals of EURO 2012.
No other team since group play began in 1980 had
more touches in the attacking third of the field (349) and completed
more passes into the attacking third (271) in a single game than Germany
did against Greece. In contrast, Greece set group-play era lows with 26
passes completed into the attacking third and 43 touches in the
Attacking midfielder Mesut Özil directed
Germany’s forays forward at an extremely high level. No player, since
group play began in 1980, had more touches in the attacking third of the
field (90) and completed more passes into the attacking third (72) than
Özil did Friday.
Özil also created the second-most scoring
chances (passes that led directly to shots) in a single EURO game since
1980, bested only by the 10 each from Gary McAllister for Scotland at
EURO ’92 and Holland’s Wesley Sneijder in the group stage earlier this
Germany created 22 scoring chances overall against
Greece, its highest total of the tournament and equal to its combined
total in its three group stage games.
Left back Philipp Lahm
was also vital for Germany going forward against Greece. Lahm scored
Germany’s first goal with 26-yard swerving shot from outside the box and
completed 30 of 35 passes into the attacking third, the most by a
defender in this tournament and third-best single-game total since 1980.
Only fellow defender German Andreas Brehme (83 in EURO ’92) has
completed more passes into the attacking third in a single tournament
Greece was able to create its only true danger by
crossing the ball, especially over its last two games. Greece completed 7
of 25 crosses in its last two games and created six scoring chances
from those crosses, including a cross from Dimitris Salpingidis that
Georgios Samaras finished off against Germany.