Thomas Hässler's awesome free-kick set the stage for Germany to eliminate hosts Sweden in the EURO '92 semi-finals, as Berti Vogts proved their defeat by the Netherlands was essentially a blip brought about by injuries.
When Karlheinz Riedle was brought down by Jan Eriksson, Hässler hit the 11th-minute free-kick with so much whip on the ball that it cleared the wall easily but was barely off the ground by the time it passed a motionless Thomas Ravelli. Riedle (59 and 88) kept the goals coming, with Tomas Brolin's penalty and Kennet Andersson last-gasp effort giving the final result a flattering tone for Sweden.
Without the abrasive Stefan Schwarz through suspension, Sweden needed an injured Jonas Thern to carry the midfield, but never looked comfortable once Hässler had put Germany ahead. The little master left the next two free-kicks to Andreas Brehme, who hit the crossbar and forced Ravelli to save at the foot of a post.
Sweden, already on the ropes, seemed to have been knocked out when Hässler dispossessed Thern and gave the ball to Mattias Sammer, whose cross made it easy for Riedle to double the lead. Brolin converted from the spot after Klas Ingesson tangled with Thomas Helmer, who redeemed himself with some good work to set up Riedle's cross-shot from inside the five-metre area for his side's third.
Straight from the kick-off, Ingesson hit a long ball and Kennet Andersson rose to head past Bodo Illgner, but this had been a match too far for developing Sweden, who were to do so well in the next FIFA World Cup. For Germany it was onwards and upwards, to their fourth final in six UEFA European Championships. Surely the two-time winners would be too strong for Denmark?
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