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    Loew gamble pays off as Germans gain semis

    Jun 23, 2012

    Germany sent in an entirely different attacking line and went off to an anxious start but the gamble paid off in the end as it earned a 4-2 win over Greece on Saturday, Manila time, and a semifinal spot in the European Championships.

    Mario Gomez, Germany's top forward and co-leader on the tournament's individual scoreboard, and another top attacker Thomas Mueller didn't start while Lukas Podolski was left out by manager Joachim Loew.

    That resulted in some anxious moments for Germany, which looked in control but couldn't convert until the 39th when Philipp Lahm found the net on a long swerving shot at Arena Gdansk in Poland.

    Greece started the second half much better and evened things when Georgios Samaras hit a Dimitris Salpigidis past Germany 'keeper Manuel Neuer in the 55th.

    But Germany went to work with three goals in 13 minutes.

    Jerome Boateng sent in a cross for Sami Khedira to volley in for a 61st-minute goal, Miroslav Klose headed in a Mesut Oezil free kick in the 68th then Marco Reus completed the rout when he slammed in a rebound from a Klose shot that Greece goalkeeper Michalis Sifakis couldn't handle.

    Salpigidis scored the final goal of the game with a penatly for Greece in the 89th minute after Boateng was called for handball.

    Germany has now won all four matches in Euro2012 and waits in the last for for either England or Italy, which play in the last quarterfinal on Monday.

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