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Euro 2008: Germany downs Portugal to reach semis


Just when you thought Germany had met it’s match, zee Germans found another way to win at a big tournament.

Portugal came into today’s quarterfinal as favorites but Germany proved too poised, too strong and too good for the Portuguese, who let shoddy set-piece defending and poor finishing doom them to a quarterfinal exit. Goals from Bastian Schweinsteiger, Miroslav Klose and Michael Ballack helped Germany score a 3-2 victory and earn a place in the European Championship semifinals.

Now Germany will face the winner of the Croatia/Turkey quarterfinal, which means the Germans could get a chance for revenge against Croatia, which beat them in the group stage.

Back to today’s game. Here are the people who deserve credit, and blame, for today’s result:

Man of the Match: Bastian Schweinsteiger. The German midfielder was active all day. Eager to make up for his dumb red card against Croatia that forced him to sit the crucial Austria match, Schweinsteiger responded with a goal and assist.

Goat of the Match: Ricardo. I’m sure the Cristiano Ronaldo haters will want to roast him for losing his mark on Germany’s second goal but for my money the Portuguese goalkeeper looked flat lost on Germany’s second and third goals, particularly the third.

Missed call of the Match: Michael Ballack’s double shove on Paulo Ferreira to give him room for what wound up being the game-winning goal. Perhaps Ferreira didn’t do enough of a sell job but it was clear he was pushed, though it is a tough play for a linesman to see.

Missed chance of the match: Joao Moutinho’s knee shot in the first half was a wasted opportunity while Pepe’s close-range header should have also been a goal.

Best performance by a coach not on the sidelines: Joachim Low. Okay, so he was in a luxury box for this one, but Low still put out the starting lineup and the group he started played very well together. Except for his lumbering center back tandem, which looked shaky at times, Low’s squad looked as good as they have all tournament.

What did you think of today’s quarterfinal? Share your thoughts and opinions on Germany’s victory below.


  1. @John

    I’m more familiar with Brazilian Portuguese, and there are some accents in Brazil that turn an “s” into an “sh”. The word “festa” (party) in Sao Paulo is pronounced “festa,” but if you go north up the coast (to at least Rio or Bahia), it’s more like “feshta”. I would guess that Healy is following how Nuno Gomes himself pronounces his name.

    Likewise, in Spain, those s/c sounds in the middle of words are often turned into “th” sounds. Most Latin American accents don’t have that (they think all Spaniards speak with a lisp).

  2. I don’t know why so many people thought Portugal would win this game. Their first team had 8 days rest before this game while the Germans had 3 and a must win game against Austria. I am so happy Portugal got dumped for all the years of diving, faking injuries and pure unsportsmanship.

    This comment by Ives says it all and just about wraps up the cheatingest team in International Football.

    “Perhaps Ferreira didn’t do enough of a SELL JOB but it was clear he was pushed”

    For once a Portugese player didn’t flop and you see the end result. Goodbye Portugal, please don’t come back for 2010.

  3. While we are one the subject, can anyone explain to me why Adrian Healy can’t pronounce ‘s’….for instance Nuno Gomes pronounced new-no go-mesh? Followup was Healy the same commentator that drove me crazy pronouncing Luis Garcia as Gar-thee-a

  4. Obviously im pleased to have been so wrong.

    Could make our way to the finals, especially after that (need tighter defense but still…)

  5. Germany were on purpose and efficient. Portugal were talented but unkempt. Loew got his team more prepared. Scolari either didn’t or the players thought they could swashbuckle their way through. i am not saddenned by the departure of the Portuguese nor surprised by the fine performance of teh Germans. Schweinsteiger was sublime- Ronaldo lacking.

  6. No sense of urgency from Portuguese players and no belief that they CAN do it. That separates them from Turks, who pressured Czechs non-stop.

    So far, there was no winner who did not deserve it. Congrats to Germans. They looked good today.

  7. Foul or no foul,…Ricardo closed his eyes and tuck his arms in when he approached Ballack. What a girl! No team with a goalie like that (read this Mexico fans) can win a tournament. Can you imagine what the other Portugese GKs are like if this guy a the national team keeper? Incredible!

  8. The portuguese defensive line just wasn’t there period. Kudos to Germany for taking advantage of it and for the big win.

    I still belive Portugal is the most talented team on paper, but this is why games are played on the pitch and not just on paper.

    Once again, congrats to Germany for a well deserved win!

  9. Foul?? I’m no fan of the Kaiser’s team and I didn’t think that was a foul at all, that was pure gamesmenship…

  10. Aw come on Ives…

    Ballack’s push was the same one Jan Koller did on Pope in ’06 WC.

    It’s what a forward is supposed to do. I would say, “Ballack did his job, Ferreira didn’t.”

  11. @Posted by: KingSnake | June 19, 2008 at 05:48 PM


    On that note also, it’s not ‘Joachim Low’ it’s ‘Joachim LOEW’ 2 completely different words.

    It really is simple to remember as they are contractions like “don’t” is:

    ö = oe

    ä = ae

    ü = ue

    ß = ss

  12. “zee Germans” not funny the first 40 decades of its existence, still not funny.

    The right team prevailed today. Strength, power and determination will defeat aimless stepovers and ‘men’ more concerned with their hairdo any day.

    Avenging the loss to Croatia would be sweet, but smashing Turkey would be even sweeter.

  13. Portugal’s chances went out the door when Scolari decided Gomes, Deco, and Simao HAD to play regardless. Gomes was nonexistant, while Deco and Simao had fits over which player should do what. In the absence of Figo, Deco and Simao ruined this team.

  14. The winner of the tournament will come from the Germany-Croatia match. Germany finds ways to win. Spain always chokes. Netherlands always choke. (Though I hope they win …)

  15. *cough* called just about everything including the line-up changes, save Rolfes instead of Fritz (which was a great idea, btw. I forgot about Simon!)

    Germany v. Croatia v. Spain v. Netherlands

    Germany v. Netherlands

    Netherlands (just look too strong and gelled)

  16. Ricardo seems to have lots of trouble on set pieces. Ballacks goal reminded me of the goal Charisteas scored in the euro 2004 final. He seems so unsure of himself, and always comes late. Schweinie changed the game. I was so surprised he didnt start the first game. He provides so much service from the flanks, and isnt scared to take on players. I also like that Friedrich started, he was everpresent in the 2004 side, and won most of the challenges he entered in. I honestly think Germany can beat Croatia, but id rather play Turkey.

  17. Portugal did not play with any sense of urgency today. They may be more marginally more talented, but they played too casually for my taste, even after going down 0:2. Where was Ronaldo in all of this?

    I’ll give all kinds of props to the German team for playing a focused, determined, and entertaining game.

  18. Not that this has anything to do with Germany-Portugal, but please tell your ESPN broadcast cohorts that the proper pronuncuation of Guus Hiddink is “hoose” not “goose” …


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