third place.jpg

third place

The last hurrah

Germany v Portugal: 3-1

Jürgen Klinsmann’s team confirmed the good impression created at the tournament, by overrunning a Portuguese 11 that seemed to have accepted its role as sacrificial lambs on this occasion.

Even without playmaker, Michael Ballack, the German midfield combined well to keep the Portuguese defence under constant pressure, Ricardo being called upon to make several top class saves, to keep the first half goalless. At the other end, stand-in skipper, Oliver Khan, in his first appearance of the finals, was glad to gather a tame Pauleta effort from point blank range.

After the interval, the long overdue breakthrough came, two powerful Sebastian Schweinsteiger strikes from distance, sandwiching an unfortunate Emanuel Petit own goal. With Germany easing off, the substituted Luís Figo provided the cross, in his last game for the national side, which allowed Nuno Gomes to head in a late consolation effort.