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Euro 2008

19.06.2008 22:54

Portugal out of Euro 2008 (2-3)


Germany are the first nation through to the Euro 2008 semi finals after a spectacular 3-2 win over Portugal, Deco was the best player in Scolari’s side.

Basle was the venue for a top class match, with goals and excitement right to the end. Germany made their chances count with strength in the air and strategic plays, but suffered right up to the final whistle.

Germany draw first blood

Joachim Löw’s side deployed a 4-4-2 with Schweinsteiger back from suspension and hungry to impress. That he did in the 20th minute when a clever move involving Ballack and Podolski down the wing resulted in a cross being fed to Schweinsteiger to slot home. Five minutes later Miroslav Klose was free on goal to beat Ricardo following a well-taken Schweinsteiger free kick. Germany were well on top at this point.

Deco delights

Luis Felipe Scolari had opted for a 4-2-3-1 with Nuno Gomes as a lone striker. Deco had freedom of the midfield, and played a fine match. He created pressure, won balls and was generally the lynchpin of all Portugal’s attacking moves. It was a simply amazing performance, and spearheaded the Portuguese reaction, with Deco himself starting the move that led to Nuno Gomes pulling one back.

Germany officious

In the second half, Portugal did all they could but were short of ideas up front. Pepe could have scored from a corner, but Germany never looked troubled and once again their strength in the air paid off as Schweinsteiger sent a 61st minute free kick onto the head of Ballack to knock home and make it 1-3.

Final flurry

Portugal were limited to long attempts on goal, and never looked like scoring until Nani was sent on to change the game, and they found a new lease of life when Postiga made it 2-3 with just three minutes to go. It was a gripping finale but the Portuguese goal didn’t come and Germany go into the last four.

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