In easily one of the most dramatic games of this year's Euro 2008 competition, Germany's Philipp Lahm scored a 90th-minute goal to put the favored Germans into the finals.
Although the Germans were outshot and outplayed, they continued to be resilient. Turkey got on the board first in the 22nd minute, but the Bastian Schweinsteiger struck back just four minutes thereafter to tie the game at one.
The Germans looked as though they had won the game when forward Miroslav Klose found the back of the net in the 79th minute, but the Turks stormed ahead in the 86th minute to knot the game up once again.
The pre-tournament favorite, Germany, had been struggling mightly in group play, but had seemed to find their second wind against Portugal in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals against the heavy underdog Turks, the Germans were outshot 22-9, but were efficient, placing five on-goal and three in the net.
The last display of resiliency came when Lahm hit one past the Turkish captain Rustu for the winner.
A beautiful service from Schweinsteiger for Klose's header goal in the 79th figured to be enough, but the Germans ended up winning by the skin of their teeth.
Lahm, the young Munich resident, was all smiles after the game. Rightfully so, as his country reached the Euro finals for the first time in 12 years.
The Germans have passed many tests, but the last one may be the toughest. They know they will be facing a proven opponent in either Spain or Russia, so they must limit the amount of mistakes to take the title.
This was a huge hill to climb, but now that the Germans have made the ascent, I see no turning back.
As I predicted before the tournament, my beloved Germans would be hoisting the trophy at the end of this long and tiring competition.
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