Byline: MATT LAWTON
GERMANY 3 TURKEY 2
PHILIPP LAHM'S 90thminute winner took Germany into the European ChampionshipFinal at the expense of a courageous Turkey side which deserved at least thepossibility of extra time.
Lahm's winner from a one-two with Sebastian Schweinsteiger was especially cruelas Semih had levelled for the Turks just four minutes earlier after MiroslavKlose had given Germany the lead for the first time.
Inspired by a lad from Leytonstone who was nicknamed the Coca-Cola kid when aBrighton fan once won [pounds sterling]250,000 to buy his club a player, Turkey had constantlythreatened to achieve what had been considered impossible last night.
Colin Kazim Kazim, or Kazim- Richards as he is more commonly known, wasterrific here and so was a Turkish side torn apart by injuries and suspensions.
They might have fought back when it seemed that all was lost againstSwitzerland, the Czech Republic and Croatia, but on this occasion they weresaid to be finished before they had even started..
No one told the players Fatih Terim selected, however, and after the incredibleKazim-Richards had twice hit the crossbar Ugur Boral landed a most unexpectedblow in the 22nd minute.
It was from a Kazim-Richards rebound that his team-mate actually struck. Expecta player now contracted to Fenerbahce to be joining an English club anytimesoon.
Unfortunately for Turkey, taking such an early lead represented unchartedterritory in this tournament.
In progressing to this semi-final they had been in front for just nine minutesof their four matches.
Only a further four minutes were added to that remarkable tally, Schweinsteigerlevelling the scores.
The Germans will also point to what probably should have been a penalty in the51st minute when Sabri Sarioglu brought down Lahm what appeared to be inchesinside the Turkish area.
For Turkey, the situation had appear desperate at kick-off. Only three of theseven substitutes that Terim named were fit and one of those was histhird-choice goalkeeper and possible makeshift centre-forward, Tolga Zengin.
Two of them, Servet Cetin and Emre Gungor, did not even take part in thewarm-up..
For Germany, it was nothing like as desperate. Joachim Loew named the same sidethat so impressed against Portugal, which was understandable even if it didmean Torsten Frings remained on the bench.
Yet it was the Turks who started the brighter of the sides. They had thecourage to venture into Germany's half and remind their illustrious opponentsthat, for all their injury and suspension problems, they had made it to thelast four for a reason. …