Germany triumph and victors celebrate with the defeated

26th June 2008, Comments 0 comments

A last minute win for Germany over Turkey ended an exciting match as Turks and Germans stood shoulder to shoulder on the streets of Berlin

Berlin -- Jubilant fans filled the streets in an explosive but peaceful celebration of Germany's 3-2 victory over Turkey in the European Championship semi-final after Phillipp Lahm scored the winning goal in the 90th minute. Turkey's Semih Senturk had brought the score to 2-2 just minutes before, nearly taking the tense match into extra time.

Despite initially appearing to lose the momentum to a more aggressive team, Turkey took an early lead, after Ugur Boral put the ball past goalkeeper Jens Lehmann in the 22nd minute of play. Germany levelled the score a few minutes later with Bastian Schweinsteiger reaching a low cross from Lukas Podolski and expertly slotting home. The team then took a late 2-1 lead, 11 minutes before the end of the second half, and managed to regain it just in time after Turkey equalised.

With a line up depleted by injuries and suspension, Turkey nevertheless made a strong impression with its fierce, determined performance against the eventual victor in a hard-fought game, leading many to think Germany did not deserve the win. Notable in the Turkey line up was English-born striker Colin Kazim Richards, who qualifies for the country through his Turkish-Cypriot mother

The high profile face-off -- which caused police concerns about potential violence between Germans and Turkish communities across the country -- was brought to a notably amicable end among fans.

In Berlin's Kreuzberg district, known for its large Turkish population, both national flags were waved in unison and “Deutschland, Tuerkei” was chanted as the two sides joined each other in celebration.

Jubilation was rife throughout the city -- drivers beeped their horns and cyclists rung their bells to celebrate the win, despite both being held up by amiable mobs of jubilant pedestrians, many wearing football T shirts and flag colours in face paint.

Turkish establishments in Berlin, such as some of the Doener kebab eateries, were noisy but untroubled by violence. Kreuzberg was not the only area swamped by fans, with the "fan mile" -- an organised viewing of the match in front of Brandenburg gate -- expected to have drawn around 500, 000 eager fans.

It is thought that the Turks in Germany, who cheered on the country's team in the 2006 World Cup in the absence of their own, will do the same now as the German team heads into the final against either Russia or Spain in Vienna on Sunday.

Dave Baxter

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