Croatia stun Germans


Darijo Srna and Ivica Olic scored for Croatia, while Lukas Podolski netted for the Germany, who also saw Bastian Schweinsteiger receive the first red card of the tournament.

The Croats, who have only ever beaten Germany once before, endured a slow start to the match and their opponents had the ball in the back of the net via a Mario Gomez strike, but the striker’s effort was ruled out after he was adjudged to strayed into an offside position.

Croatia went ahead two minutes later when Srna slotted home at the far post from Daniel Pranjic’s cross from the left.

Germany almost leveled matters three minutes later, but Gomez sent his header over from Marcell Jansen’s cross.

Loew’s men continued pushing forward, Michael Ballack and Christoph Metzelder going close in quick succession just before the break.

The score remained 1-0 at half-time.

Germany continued in the same vein in the opening stages of the second half, but failed to break down the Croatian defence.

Croatia went 2-0 up in the 62nd minute when Ivan Rakitic’s deflected cross beat Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehman to rebound off the post, for Olic to tap home from close range.

Germany pulled a goal back in the 79th minute through a Podolski strike following a good knock-down by Ballack.

Germany’s night went from bad to worse in the closing stages when Schweinsteiger received his marching orders for pushing Jerko Leko, after the Croatian had fouled him.