After yesterday's Euro snooze fest, today see's the return of Group B. After this series drew some criticism yesterday for a lack of realism, the author would like to point out he is attempting to inject much needed humor into BR and many people are fans of it.
Now that the statements have been made, Germany, Poland, Austria and Croatia return to action. The Germans came back from 2-0 down to secure a point and Croatia edged out Austria.
Germany v Croatia
This fixture is set to define who will top this group, but with the Germans failing to beat Poland, qualification is a doubt. A win would send Croatia through to the quarter finals.
The Germans kick off and began at a pace previously unseen, Podolski and Klose look dangerous and Ballack and Frings are pulling the strings. After a few half chances, Croatia break from a German corner. Kovac and Modric exchange passes before the latter feeds Petric and he slots the ball home on 25 minutes.
Half time comes and the Germans are staring at elimination, Croatia nearly puts the issue to bed with Kranjcar striking the foot of the post. Modric looks dangerous, but the game swings. Ballack wins a free kick and plays it to Frings. He launches it to Podolski and he knocks it down for Klose at 68 minutes. 1-1.
Germany continue their all out attack and substitute Gomez, who comes close before he feeds Lahm arriving and his strike is good enough to beat the goalkeeper and Germany leads at 79 minutes. 2-1.
Just as the game looks to finish in the Germans favor, Croatia begins creating chances again. Srna nearly draws them level, but he becomes influenial in the next move. He starts a one-two with Modric and crosses deep to Klasnic. His header drops onto the line where Olic hammers it home for safety at 88 minutes. 2-2.
Austria v Poland
This Austrians need a victory to keep their hopes alive and they start well when Hoffer and Linz get early shots in. Poland is just defending for the lives and is lucky when Korkmaz plays a ball across the six yard area, but no one is there to finish.
The first half ends scoreless with Austria having the lions share of possession and most of the chances. Poland can be dangerous on the break, but aren't showing much.
Just as it begins to fade out, Poland strikes the bar. Zurawski gets a pull back and beats the goalkeeper, but not the woodwork. Austria, roared on by their fans, win a corner with little time remaining. The ball is lofted towards Vastic and his strong header beats Boruc on 78 minutes. 1-0.
Some manic defending ensues, but they manage to hold on despite various corners and goalmouth scrambles to secure a famous "virtual" win.
Germany faces a do or die match with Austria to qualify next week, but mathematically all sides can still qualify going into the final match day.
The Group Of Death returns with Holland set to play Les Bleus and the Azzuri to take on Romania. The Dutch and Romanians must win to keep their hopes alive while wins for the World Cup finalists will see them home a round early.