2:44 pm Jun. 18, 2012
The group stage of the Euro 2012 soccer championship is just about over, and the German team is somewhat ahead of schedule.
Historically, in big tournaments, they play unspectacularly in the early going, then end up making a run deep into the elimination rounds. Not infrequently, as was the case in three World Cups and three European championships, they go on to win the whole thing.
But they've been dominant right from the start in this year's tournament, winning all three of their games in Euro 2012's "group of death," against Holland, Portugal and Denmark, to get through to the quarterfinals.
German coach Joachim Löw was undoubtedly telling the truth here, when he explained to the international media that his team wasn't actually interested in anything but qualifying for the final rounds, and that he wasn't taking much from the preliminary wins.
Discussing the final group game against Denmark (a 2-1 victory) and the upcoming quarterfinal match against Greece on Friday, Loew said, "We showed maturity in the second half, but we can still improve."
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