Euro 2012

Germany's Loew expects tough battle with Greece

Germany's Joachim Loew said he expects another tough battle against Greece in Friday's Euro 2012 quarter-final after the Germans confirmed their place in the last eight by beating Denmark.

Right-back Lars Bender celebrated his first international start with his first goal for Germany on Sunday with the winner ten minutes from time to seal the 2-1 victory over Denmark which confirmed the Germans as Group B winners.

Having won the so-called "Group of Death" with three victories, having also seen off Portugal and Holland, Loew's team now face a quarter-final against Group A runners-up Greece in Gdansk, their Euro 2012 base, on Friday.

"Against Greece, it will be a completely different type of match," said German head coach Loew.

"Nevertheless, they play a very similar game to the Danes, as they are very dangerous in attack and strong in defence. It will be tough.

"We need to be a little better in attack, but we have completed three tough games and now we don't have to travel."

The Germans have certainly spent much of their Euro 2012 campaign so far on the road having flown to the Ukraine from their base in Gdansk, north Poland, for all their group games.

Having only made his debut in the 2-2 friendly draw with Poland last September, Bender was making only his ninth appearance for Germany, while twin brother Sven, who plays for Borussia Dortmund, was cut from the final squad.

"Apart from my goal it was a great day for me," said the 23-year-old Bayer Leverkusen star.

"It was my first appearance at the Euro and I scored the winning goal to help us reach the quarter-finals.

"I will remember this day for a very long time."

Lukas Podolski, who was making his 100th appearance for Germany, celebrated his century with the opening goal on 19 minutes which was cancelled out by Denmark's Michael Krohn-Dehli five minutes later before Bender's late winner.

"Reaching the quarter-finals was the most important thing," said Arsenal-bound Podolski, who made his debut as a teenager just before Euro 2004, and scored his 44th international goal here.

"It was a hard-fought game against a good opponent.

"It was a special goal for me as I hit it with my right foot.

"We are delighted to have three wins from three games and we are looking forward to preparing well for the Greece game."


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