GDANSK: For Germany skipper Philipp Lahm, his sublime goal against Greece that got his country off the mark in their 4-2 Euro 2012 quarter-final victory over Greece had a vintage flavour.
Lahm's sizzling 39th-minute strike to Greek goalkeeper Michalis Sifakis's left was a near carbon-copy of his opener against Costa Rica in the first game of the 2006 World Cup on home soil.
Lahm and his side took longer to get into their stride in the Gdansk Arena than against Costa Rica, however, given that the pocket rocket's goal six years ago came in the sixth minute.
Euro 2012 has underscored the 28-year-old Bayern Munich player's reputation as one of the world's leading full-backs.
He has shone on the left, where Germany coach Joachim Loew opted to play him, as opposed to his traditional Bayern right-side slot.
Thursday's quarter-final marked Lahm's 90th cap for his country and his fifth goal -- the last was in 2010 against Bosnia Herzegovina in a pre-World Cup friendly.
"We made life unnecessarily hard for ourselves," admitted Lahm after the final whistle.
"We created lots of chances and took the lead, but then gave it away again.
"We can be happy that we created more goals and are now in the semi-finals.
"We started really, really well, so we can be happy."
Lahm has worn the captain's armband since taking over from Michael Ballack when the latter was sidelined by injury ahead of the 2010 World Cup.
Loew recognised his value to Die Mannschaft as a leader, but also a scorer when it counts.
"Philipp Lahm is the man for the main goals at major tournaments," said the Germany coach. AFP