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.