Germany produced a scintillating attacking performance to cast aside a sorely under equipped Greece 4-2 in Gdansk.
The two-goal margin perhaps flattered Greece as Germany attacked with unrelenting vigor for almost the duration of the ninety minutes.
After several near misses, Philipp Lahm gave Germany the lead late in the first half with a fine long-range effort. Against all odds Greece temporarily restored parity with Georgios Samaras' strike at the start of the second half. But Sami Khedira, Miroslav Klose and Marco Reus struck in quick succession to apply a more fitting ring to the scoreline. before the Greeks netted a late consolation through Salpingidis' penalty.
From the outset, Germany looked in imperious mood as the passing and movement of the likes of Mesut Ozil, Reus and Khedira bamboozled a Greek side that were never allowed to find any kind of comfort zone.
The fact that Greece was allowed a temporary way back into the match and looked threatning on their few forays down field were the only concerns in what was otherwise a performance that did little to dispel the consensus that Germany and Spain are the real class of this competition.
Coach Joachim Low shook up his starting lineup with three changes designed to take advantage of the particular requirements of taking on a stubborn Greece. Marco Reus, Andre Schurrle and Miroslav Klose were all heavily involved as Germany cut Greece open time and again in the opening period.
Khedira and Schweinsteiger were both allowed almost total license to go forward at will, pegging Greece back deep inside their half.
The clever movement of Reus almost created the opening as Schweinsteiger found him drifting in off the right, but the new Borussia Dortmund signing badly miscued his shot.
The Germans play was epitomized by a move involving some wondrous one-touch give and goes between Reus, Klose and Ozil, that saw the latter side-foot an effort toward goal that Sifakis bundled wide at his near post.
For all Greece was doing their upmost, there was just nothing they could do to get near the Germans in such form.
That they had somehow held out for 39 minutes was a surprise, particularly given some less than secure goalkeeping from Michalis Sifakis. It would be harsh to criticize the Aris stopper's effort to stop a fine strike by Lahm to finally break the deadlock. Lahm was able to receive a cross-field pass and come inside onto his favored right foot too easily and he struck cutting across the ball to produce a swerve that took the ball fying into the net off of the outstretched fingertips of Sifakis.
Schurrle came close to producing a carbon copy on the stroke of half time, but his 20-yard effort ruffled the wrong side of the netting at the near post.
Though it was only 1-0 at the break, Greece you felt already needed a miracle to get back into the contest. With half-time substitutions producing a dramatic upturn in Greece's first two matches in the competition Fernando Santo rolled the dice once more, bringing on both Theofanis Gekas and Giorgios Fotakis.
And the trick worked once again. Greece began the half infinitely more positive and it paid almost immediate dividends. Such was Germany's comittment to attack from midfielders and full-backs that there were oppotunities to be had on the counter, which is precisely how Greece dragged themselves back onto level terms.
Salpingidis burst forward down the right was found with a neat pass in behind Lahm and the diminutive forward crossed low across the face of goal where Samaras had gotten ahead of Jerome Boateng to slide in and bundle the ball into the net.
Greece's parity would last all of six minutes, though, as Germany quickly regained the initiative. Boateng in part atoned for his lapse on the goal as he got forward to provide a right-wing cross that Khedira powered home with a leaping volley from six yards.
Less than 10 minutes later Germany's progress was all but secured as Greece was exposed once again from an aerial ball into the area. Ozil this time was the provider as his free-kick caught Sifakis rushing out into no-man's land and Klose got up above Kyriakos Papadopoulos to head into the unguarded net.
Germany was now turning on the style and Reus produced a memorable strike to make it four in the 74th minute. Klose rushed onto the end of Ozil's through ball and poked a shot that Sifakis blocked but only as far as Reus who showed no hesitation in lashing in a screaming volley that soared in off the underside of the crossbar.
Greece, who can be proud of their efforts in simply reaching the last eight and for trying to make a game of it in the second-half, got some late solace from the penalty spot. Boateng handled a cross into the box and Salpingidis slid the spot kick home in the final minute.