GDANSK, Poland — With Chancellor Angela Merkel cheering every step of the way, Germany dominated Greece — on the soccer field.

GDANSK, Poland — With Chancellor Angela Merkel cheering every step of the way, Germany dominated Greece — on the soccer field.

The Germans reached the European Championship semifinals for a record seventh time by beating Greece 4-2 Friday in a match played amid the contentious political backdrop between the countries.

But just as in the real world, where Germany has been a major contributor to economic bailouts for Greece, the three-time champions were in control at the Arena Gdansk. And after the match, Merkel visited the players in the changing room.

Philipp Lahm put Germany in the lead in the 39th minute as his team controlled nearly every facet of the game.