Germany only need a point against co-hosts Austria to join Croatia in the quarter finals of Euro 2008.
Co-hosts Austria will cling to their slim hopes of qualification as they face fallen giants Germany in the final match of Group B. The group decider will determine the fate of the Germans, who need to win to ensure they progress, but if Austria can emerge victorious they stand a good chance of advancing to the quarter finals.
Dubbed pre-tournament favourites, they Germany made an impressive start to Euro 2008, but stuttered against Croatia, losing 2-1. A disappointing performance all around, their shame was worsened by a late red-card given to star midfielder Bastian Sweinsteiger after he reacted to a late challnge by Jerko Lenko. Veteran goalkeeper Jens Lehmann will feel partly responsible, as his slip up cost the Germans dearly, leading to their second conceded goal, and he will be eager to make amends against Austria. Lukas Podolski, who scored a consolation goal in the 79th minute, is now on 3 goals in 2 games and will be the target man in this fixture.
Austria will feel they deserved a win against Poland, but settled for a last minute draw, with Ivica Vastic’s extra-time penalty saving a point and rekindling hope of qualification for the home side. Despite outplaying an uninspired Polish outfit, they found themselves 1-0 down courtesy of a Guerreiro finish in the 30th minute, but managed to score with only moments remaining after Prodl won a penalty in the a 93rd minute.
They played with spirit and courage but will need more discipline in the back and precision on attack to overcome a steely German side. They will hope their fans will provide them with the inspiration they need to emerge victorious.