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EURO 2012 LIVE: Germany 4, Greece 1

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2105: gdunbarap: Torrential rain this morning in Gdansk and most seems to have fallen in the Greece penalty area. Slippery and cutting up badly (via Twitter).

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2102: Giorgos Samaras has become the first player to be shown a yellow card tonight after three robust challenges. He ploughed through Khedira twice before clipping the ankle of Schweinsteiger, and he is eventually booked by the referee with the German captain down and in pain.

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2059: Reus now goes close for Germany. Khedira picks out his forward with a neat first-time through ball and Reus lets fly with a left-footed shot, but drags it wide of the near post.

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2053: The ball is in the back of the net already for Germany, but Klose’s effort is ruled out for offside. Khedira hits a low shot at goal from far out and Sofakis spills it out to the midfielder running into the area in anticipation of a mistake, but the flag is raised as the German captain pokes the ball in. Sofakis got clattered as he tried to claim the ball back and is down for a few minutes, but will be OK to continue. Very bright start from Germany, who are passing the ball around nicely.

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2045: And they’re underway. Both sets of fans respectfully listen to the national anthems. Tension? What tension?

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2035: Derek Gatopoulos, AP’s reporter with the Greek team: “The Greek fans were first to appear in force, a block of about 500 arrived chanting ‘Hellas, Hellas’. The atmosphere is overwhelmingly friendly. Again, many Greek fans appear to have traveled from Germany and there were loud boos from them as the German players ran onto the pitch to warm up. They unfurled a giant flag but it was upside down, so they rolled it back up again.”

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1955: German coach Joachim Loew must be confident of getting a result tonight! He’s dropped his three main forwards, including leading striker Mario Gomez who is replaced by veteran Miroslav Klose. Loew also drops Lukas Podolski and Thomas Mueller, giving Andre Schuerrle and Marco Reus their first starts at the tournament. A fourth change sees Jerome Boateng return as right back after serving a one-match suspension, with Lars Bender returning to the bench.

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1950: Tonight’s teams:

Germany: Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Holger Badstuber, Phillipp Lahm, Sami Khedira, Bastian Schweinstiger, Mesut Ozil, Andre Schuerrle, Marco Reus, Miroslav Klose.

Greece: Michalis Sifakis, Giannis Maniatis, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Vasilis Torosidis, Giorgos Tzavellas, Konstantinos Katsouranis, Grigoris Makos, Sotiris Ninis, Dimitrios Salpingidis, Georgios Samaras.

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1930: German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be in the stadium tonight, sitting next to UEFA chief Michel Platini. I wonder how the Greek fans will react when her image is _ inevitably _ beamed up onto the big screen. The new prime minister of Greece, Antonis Samaras, won’t be traveling. “The prime minister is a football fanatic and will be watching the game on television,” government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said. He is also due to undergo eye surgery on Saturday.

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