BITTER PHIL TO SWALLOW... Thrills and Spills: Klose (Left) Celebrates Germany's Second as Rustu Plunges the Depths of Despair but Turkey Levelled before Lahm's Winner (Above)

Article excerpt

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 Thomas Hitzlsperger, was especially cruel asSemih had levelled for the Turks just four minutes earlier after Miroslav Klosehad 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 in the UK,was terrific here and so was a Turkish side torn apart by injuries andsuspensions.

They might have fought back when it seemed all was lost against Switzerland,the Czech Republic and Croatia but, on this occasion, they were said to befinished 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 theopener. Expect a player now contracted to Fenerbahce to be joining an Englishclub anytime soon.

Unfortunately for Turkey, taking such an early lead represented unchartedterritory in this tournament. In progressing to this semi-final, they had beenin front for just nine minutes of their four matches.

Only a further four minutes were added to that remarkable tally before BastianSchweinsteiger levelled the scores.

The Germans will also point to what probably should have been a penalty in the51st minute when Sabri Sarioglu brought down Lahm inches inside the Turkisharea.

For Turkey, the situation had appeared desperate at kick-off.

Only three of the seven substitutes that Terim named were fit and one of thosewas his third-choice goalkeeper, and possible makeshift centre-forward, TolgaZengin.

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 fit-again 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.

In Kazim-Richards, they appeared to have the best player of the opening 15minutes. …