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June 9, 2012
• L'viv Arena, L'viv
Referee: S. Lannoy
• Attendance: 32990
M. Gómez 72'
I've been Alex Mott, thanks for joining me here in Lviv for this Group B encounter. Make sure you join us tomorrow here on Goal.com for Spain vs Italy and Republic of Ireland vs Croatia.
Luis Mira with his take on the game: "It is all over at the Lviv Arena, and Portuguese suffered a defeat in their first match at the Euros. It was a combative display from the Seleccao, who reacted well to Mario Gomez's header. However, it was too, little, too late, as the Germans were able to hold on to the lead."
A second half Mario Gomez goal was enough to give the Germans the three points, as they join Denmark at the top of Group B.
90' + 5'
And that's it! The referee blows for full time here in Lviv, and the scoreline is Germany 1-0 Portugal.
90' + 4'
90' + 3'
The corner comes in from Nani, towards the head of Bruno Alves, but the header goes over the bar.
90' + 3'
ANOTHER CHANCE FOR PORTUGAL! Ronaldo, on the left-hand byline, cut the ball back to Nani, who's shot smashed the back of Badstuber and went out for a corner.
90' + 2'
More musings from Martin Langer: "Jose Mourinho irritably gesticulates after the ref whistles a very close foul against Portugal. The Special one has witnessed a brave effort by his countrymen but that won't be enough to beat the determined Germans. Surely things would be different if he was on the Seleccao bench..."
There will be three minutes of added time here in Lviv.
OH, HE HAS TO SCORE!! Nelson Oliveira, on the left-hand touchline, cut the ball back to Nani. The Manchester United man missed the ball sliding in, but it managed to get to the feet of Varela. 10 yards out, all he has to do is slip it into the back of the net, but Neuer comes out and smothers the ball before he can get a shot away.
More analysis from Mr Langer: "The Portuguese are all over the Germans now, trying to get an equalizer and, surprisingly, Bento, who was shouting and gesticulating during the whole match, seems now calm, waiting for things to happen with his arms folding. We're on for a very exciting final phase of the game."
Another superb ball from Nani, but it just doesn't look like being Portugal's day. Again, from the right, the Manchester United man whipped it in, but this time Mats Hummels had to be there to deny a clear goalscoring opportunity for Varela.
OHHH! He didn't mean it, but Nani has just hit the bar from 35 yards. A cross from the right-hand side looked to be going over the bar, but the curl on the ball brought it back, and it slapped the top of the woodwork.
Portugal come forward this time, as Ronaldo wins a corner on the right-hand side. Moutinho takes the set piece himself, but it's cleared away by Boateng.
AND GERMANY BREAK AGAIN....but the linesman adjudges Ozil as offside. They're definitely looking for a second here.
Germany's record when scoring first at the European Championship is, won16, drawn two and lost one. Their only defeat was against Czech Republic in group stage in 2004.
And again Germany come forward! Muller, down the right, whipped in a great ball, low across the box. But Mario Gomez couldn't stretch long enough to just knock it in.
Not content with sitting on their lead, Germany attack again and win a corner from the left. Ozil whips it in, but it's cleared away by the head of Pepe.
Martin Langer's take on the goal: "As Klose was ready to substitute him, Mario Gomez breaks the deadlock with a great header. A lucky break for the Germans who were having their worst stint of the game. Still, it was anyone's game and Germany made the most of their chance, so it can't be said that it was undeserved. Klose now heads back to the bench."
Assist Sami Khedira
Goal M. Gómez
GOALL! And it's Mario Gomez who opens the scoring for Germany! A cross from the right-hand side was aimed right at the Bayern man's head, and he headed it into the bottom right-hand corner of the net. 1-0.
Oh, that is poor. Thomas Muller had made a superb run down the right, cut back, and looked to play a cross into the path of Gomez and/or Podolski. The pass though, was absolutely rubbish, and went out on the far side for throw in.
Ronaldo looks to power forward now, but Boateng pulls back the Madrid man and concedes a free kick inside the centre circle. And gets a yellow card for his troubles.
Yellow Card Jerome Boateng
Martin Langer on the German fans: "The German fans decide to leave their slumber and start a massive chant to push their team forward, they have been singing for the last two or three minutes as the outcome of the match seems to be unpredictable at the moment."
It's becoming a really bity game now. There seems to be niggly fouls every 30 seconds or so. What this game needs is a moment of individual class.
Ronaldo gives the ball away inside the centre circle, but gets it immediately off of Khedira, and attempts a counter-attack. He plays it out to Nani, but Badstuber comes steaming across, and knocks the ball out of play.
RONALDO....can't finish. He was laid through by Moutinho, but Boateng came charging back, and made a superb sliding challenge to dispossess him.
"The air could be cut with a knife now. Both sets of fans really tense at the moment as the game hangs on a very delicate balance. The Germans try to kill their nerves by timidly singing as the Portuguese watch and wait," so says Martin Langer, on the ground here in Lviv.
Schweinsteiger makes a superb overlapping run around the outside of Muller, and puts in a decent ball from the right-hand side. Rui Patricio though, who hasn't really had a lot to do, comes out and collects easily.
Coentrao goes in heavy on Khedira, and receives a deserved yellow card.
Yellow Card Fabio Coentrao
Our Portugal expert Luis Mira: "After a flying start from Germany, Portugal have given a good response. The match is very even right now and perhaps only the substitutions will break the balance here."
Germany are slowly getting back into this game now. That time, Muller had the ball on the right-hand side, whipped a great ball into the area, but Podolski couldn't quite get his head on the cross.
Ozil looks to weave his magic now for the Germans. He drifts past Joao Pereira, and then lays in Podolski inside the area. The Arsenal man's touch is a bit too heavy though, and the ball goes out for a goal kick.
More analysis from Martin Langer: "Cheered by their fans, the Portuguese are trying to get the game in their hands. They have already generated a couple of half chances and for the first time in the match they look closer to scoring that Joachim Low's side."
The throw in is taken quickly back to Coentrao, and the Madrid defender plays a decent ball into the box. It comes off a defender though, and is deflected behind for a corner. This time the set piece is played short, but once again, Neuer comes out and collects easily.
Coentrao comes forward now for the Seleccao. He uses his pace to get round Boateng, but the Bayern man tackles the ball out for a throw in.
The corner is whipped in from the left, but once again, it's too easy for Germany, as Neuer comes out to punch away.
Ronaldo has opened his legs for the first time in this half, and he's managed to back Boateng into a dangerous corner. On the left-hand side of the German area, the Madrid man puts in a decent ball, but Hummels heads out for a corner.
Martin Langer on the Portuguese fans: "And now the Portuguese fans are letting themselves to be heard after their team manages to create a couple of decent chances. It's the first time in the match that they are louder than their German counterparts."
The corner comes in from the right, but Germany head the ball away easily.
Meireles has it for Portugal now. Inside the centre circle, he fires a fantastic ball out to Nani on the right-hand touchline. The Manchester United man does a few step-overs, and gets round the outside of Lahm rather easily. He then puts in a cross but Badstuber heads out for a corner.
The corner comes in from the right, but Portugal clear away the danger unchallenged.
And already Germany are piling on the pressure! Muller down the right, plays a cross into the box that goes all the way through to Podolski. HIs shot is blocked, but only as far as Khedira, who plays it back out to Muller. The Bayern man puts in another cross, but this time it's deflected out for a corner.
Here we go then. The players are back from the tunnel, and the second half is underway. Germany kick us off, going from right-to-left.
Some analysis from Cristian Nyari: "Germany have had an awful lot of possession in the first half, completed 255 passes, but mostly nowhere near Portugal's box. Gomez has played only three passes to his teammates, less than any other player. He is visibly isolated and not involved enough. Podolski also misfiring, most shots off target. Germany's back line plays very high, susceptible on the counter against much faster Portugese wingers. Germany's failure to practice defending and taking set pieces nearly cost them in the first half."
Portugal expert Luis Mira is not a fan of Joao Moutinho: "Tension was high in the last minutes of the first session at the Lviv Arena, as Pepe almost gave Portugal the lead, only to see his shot went straight against the bar. Aside from that, it was not the most entertaining of halves. Germany enjoyed more possession of the ball, but they were not able to create much danger close to Rui Patricio's goal. Paulo Bento's men are missing quite a few passes here, and there is no one to control the attacking flow in the team. Surely Joao Moutinho is the one to blame?"
Missiles were being constantly thrown at the Portuguese players in that half, and Clark Whitney has an announcement: "The PA announcer again warns the German hooligans: "The game may be abandoned and your team may be punished"
Martin Langer on THAT chance: "Good call by the assistant as Pepe's fantastic shot bounced off the bar and in the goal line. The ref waved play on even if the whole Portuguese team called for a goal. Spectacular effort by the Real Madrid defender and caps a quite decent first half siplay by Paolo Bento's lads."
And that's it. The French referee blows for half time, with the scoreline here in Lviv: Germany 0-0 Portugal.
AHHHH! What a chance! A corner from the right is whipped in by Veloso. The ball ends at the feet of Pepe, who, from the penalty spot, curls it past Neuer and off the underside of the bar. So, so close.
Podolski does well on the left to get round Joao Pereira, but the Arsenal man's cross from the byline is blocked. Immediately though, Portugal break with Nani. Down the right, he knocks the ball past Badstuber, who completely takes out the Manchester United man, conceding a free kick on the halfway line.
Yellow Card Holger Badstuber
OHH! A host of chances for Germany! A cross from the right-hand side by Muller is aimed towards Gomez's head, but it's just inches over his head. The ball though, goes through to Podolski on the far side, who smashes it back across goal with hsi first touch, into the path of Muller. With his first touch, the Bayern man strikes, but the shot goes pathetically wide.
A goal kick from Rui Patricio goes straight to Schweinsteiger, and the Bayern man gives it straight to Ozil, 30 yards from goal. The Madrid midfielder tries to drift past Pepe, but his team mate puts in a crunching challenge and dispossess the 23-year-old.
Khedira tries to instigate a counter-attack for Germany, but his pass through to Podolski on the left-hand side is blocked by Moutinho.
Podolski has only scored three goals in his last 18 matches for Germany. No wonder he missed that sitter earlier!
Good defending there from Coentrao. Muller, on the right-hand side of the area, looked to get down the outside of the Madrid man, but the 24-year-old went to ground and produced a stunning slide challenge to dispossess him.
Martin Langer, who's also here in Lviv, says: "The first good move for Germany in a long time, but Podolski's shot sails way off the bar. Still, that could be the way for Joachim Löw's boys to open the wall, short and fast one-twos, like the one that generated this chance."
And right up the other end, Podolski skies a chance over. A neat passage of play down the left, resulted in Schweinsteiger playing a square ball to the new Arsenal signing inside the area. But from 15 yards, he puts it well, well over the bar.
It's Joao Pereira, the right-back, coming forward for Portugal now. He gets to the byline and manages to put in a decent ball, but Hummels manages to head away the danger.
Luis Mira, our Portugal expert, has some more analysis of the game: "Portugal are having more possession of the ball now, but so far they only seem to be able to get the ball to the attackers is by playing it long. Surely not the best way to do it, considering the height of Germany's players."
Cristian Nyari, our other Germany expert gives us an insight into why Podolski's free kick was so bad: "Podolski's free kick goes right into the wall. Not surprising since Low admittedly does not put much of an emphasis on set pieces in training."
It's Muller now for the Germans down the right. Just over the halfway line he plays a deep, deep cross into the box for Gomez, but the ball is overhit and goes out for a throw in on the far side.
Podolski hits the free kick, but it smashes against the wall and runs away.
Lahm saunters forward now for the Germans. Down the left-hand touchline, he crosses the halfway line and comes inside. He plays a one-two with Schweinsteiger, and continues forward. The Bayern man then looks to pass it into the path of Sami Khedira who's bombing forward. The Madrid midfield powes his way past Meireles, and the Chelsea man give away a free kick just outside the area.
Veloso has it for the Seleccao now. Inside the centre circle, he looks up and tries to play an ambitious through ball into the path of Ronaldo. The pass though, is overhit, and Neuer collects it easily.
The corner comes in from the right, but it's overhit, and runs all the way out the far side for a throw in.
It's Ronaldo now for Portugal on the left-hand side of the area. He does a million step-overs and then flashes a ball across the box. It almost runs all the way through for Nani, but Badstuber knocks it behind for a corner.
Podolski and Lahm exchange passes down the left flank, but Portugal have got plenty of men behind the ball, and are cutting off any space the Germans may find.
Our Portugal expert Luis Mira is not happy with his nation so far: "Portugal have got off to a slow start and are having a hard time to enter Germany's midfield. On the other hand, every time that Joachim Low's men push forward, they wreak havoc in the Seleccao's defence, especially when they do it from the flanks."
Clark Whitney is running his eye over Cristiano Ronaldo: "Cristiano Ronaldo visibly frustrated after an overhit pass fails to take advantage of his excellent forward run over Boateng down the left flank. It seems that the German right back will have his hands full with the now Portuguese captain."
OHH! That is a dreadful challenge! A backpass from Hummels is short to Neuer, but Helder Postiga comes diving in, and completely takes out the Bayern man. A free kick is given, but Neuer looks ok.
Yellow Card Hélder Postiga
Jerome Boateng has it in his hands now for the Germans. He throws it down the line to the halfway line, but Muller and Moutinho clash heads, with the referee giving a free kick to Low's side.
It's Portugal coming forward now. Moutinho has it just over the halfway line, inside the Germany area, and looks to play a cross to Ronaldo inside the area. It's long, overhit and not very good, and Neuer comes and collects it easily.
Germany are just keeping it along their backline now. Hummels, on the edge of his own area, plays it square to Badstuber. The Bayern man looks up though, and plays the ball into midfield and the feet of Khedira. The 25-year-old then plays it out to Podolski on the left-hand side, but the new Arsenal winger runs into a blind alley and loses the ball.
It's Jerome Boateng again for Germany. He's bombed on upfield, and manages to whip in a deep ball towards Podolski on the far side of the area. Rui Patricio reads the flight of it though, and comes out to catch.
Clark Whitney is once again impressed by the fans in Lviv: "The German fans are amazing, their chants fill the stadium now while the Portuguese remain to be heard. Also, their green kit is the best shirt ever, even if the team itself is not using it tonight."
Portugal come back up the other end though, and win a corner on the left. 'Missiles' are being thrown from the stands, so the kick is slightly delayed. Eventually though, Miguel Veloso whips it in, but Neuer comes out and punches clear.
OHHH! Already a chance for Germany! A cross from the right-hand side by Boateng goes in towards Mario Gomez, but his header from 12 yards is saved easily by Rui Patricio.
And already Portugal have got the ball in the German half. A pass down the right-hand side is played up to Helder Postiga, but the referee blows for a free kick after the Real Zaragoza man is adjudged to have pushed Badstuber.
Right, here we go then. We're finally underway, and it's Portugal who will kick us off going from right-to-left.
Joachim Low and assistant Hansi Flick NOT in matching knitwear. Rubbish.
And now the German anthem. Efficiently sung may I add.
Here we go then, the teams are entering the pitch, with kick off just moments away. First though, we'll have the Portuguese anthem.
Clark Whitney loves a pre-match ceremony: "The pre-match ceremony is ongoing now, with about 50 dancers dressed in gold robes that look like something out of Liberace's closet. In fairness, it's quite a brilliant show - a group in the centre just presented a banner that reads: "Lviv: Open to the World." Says a lot about the country and how hard the locals are trying to be hospitable."
Cristiano Ronaldo will obviously grab the headlines tonight for Portugal, but the Seleccao conceded the most goals of any nation that qualified. Does that mean goals galore? Tweet me @goal_intl and tell me.
There's seven Bayern Munich players in the Germany line up tonight, will they still be sulking after events a few weeks ago? Let me know what you think by tweeting @goal_intl.
Jose Mourinho is a pundit for Al Jeezera for tonight's game, and here's what he has to say on Portugal: "Nani said that Portugal is not only Ronaldo and I hope he's right .. Portugal have to prove that they're not just a one-man team .. any team has to play well as a unit, and to defend and attack well .. you can't build a team around one player."
Germany's assistant coach Hansi Flick on why Hummels and Gomez got the edge over Mertesacker and Klose: "Mats Hummels gained way more match experience during the last season and Per Mertesacker had to come back from a long injury break.“ "We know, what we get from Miro. When he comes in, he will be there. But Mario played a great season and he played way more matches than Miro. That is why we took this decision.“
Arsene Wenger has been spotted in the stands this evening, presumably to check out his latest signing Lukas Podolski. Or someone else perhaps?
Clark Whitney, again, and he's given his take on the fans here in Lviv: "My, the German fans are out in number tonight! The teams just came out of the tunnel - Mannschaft first, to a deafening round of applause. The Portuguese took to the pitch shortly thereafter, with an initial roar responded to with jeers. There's a very Bundesliga atmosphere here in Lviv: looking around the tribunes (even in the Portuguese section) there are banners from clubs around the country - from first division teams like Monchengladbach and Hamburg to less-known regional sides like Lamstedt and Sassenberg. Though out-numbered, there is a cluster of Portuguese fans in one corner, all dressed in green and red, waving the national flag.
Ok, so how much are you looking forward to this? Let me know by tweeting @goal_intl. If you're like me, you might be just about ready to wet yourself.
For Portugal meanwhile, Nani is over his supposed injury scare, and starts in a front three with Helder Postiga and Cristiano Ronaldo. Our Portugal expert Luis Mira has had his say: "Portugal coach Paulo Bento has not made a single change to his usual starting XI, as Miguel Veloso is placed in front of the defence despite having a terrible game against Turkey last week. There had been doubts about the physical condition of Nani, but as expected, the Manchester United winger will start. The only surprise is perhaps in the inclusion of Helder Postiga, as Hugo Almeida's physique would certainly be a plus in the middle of Germany's towering centre-backs."
Perhaps a few surprises there in the starting XI's. Low has gone for Boateng at right-back over Lars Bender, whilst Mats Hummels and Mario Gomez are given a starting berth over Per Mertesacker and Miroslav Klose - on his birthday as well!
Portugal (4-3-3): Rui Patricio; Joao Pereira, Pepe, Bruno Alves, Coentrao; Miguel Veloso, Moutinho, Meireles; Nani, Postiga, Ronaldo.
The team news is in, and it looks like both sides have their full-strength XI's to choose from. Germany (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Boateng, Hummels, Badstuber, Lahm; Khedira, Schweinsteiger; Muller, Ozil, Podolski; Gomez.
Our Germany expert, Clark Whitney, has been in and around Lviv all day, but unfortunately the weather hasn't been too kind: "It was a beautiful day in Lviv until about two hours ago, then the clouds set in. The roads to the stadium are closed to taxis and cars, with fan buses designated to transfer fans from the city centre to an area near the stadium - but still with 30 minutes' walk. The rain started to come down in torrents around an hour ago, and the more athletically-inclined fans ran, while others shimmied and waddled to the gate. One Germany fan exclaimed: "das its Fritz Walter Wetter!" alluding to the national legend who captained his team to an improbably victory in the 1954 World Cup final. Since the initial downpour the rain has subsided, though the pitch remains very slick.
These two nations met of course, in the last European Championship. Die Mannschaft beat Luiz Felipe Scolari's Portugal 3-2 at the quarter-final stage in 2008. Goals from Schweinsteiger, Klose and Ballack giving Germany the victory.
As for qualifying though, Joachim Low's side were - along with Spain - one of only two teams to go the entire campaign unbeaten, scoring 34 in process. As for the Seleccao, they struggled in a group containing Denmark and Norway, finishing second behind the Danes.
Although these are two of the biggest names in the competition, they both come into Euro 2012 with a mixed recent record. Germany have won just two of their last five matches, including a less than resounding 2-0 win over Israel. Portugal meanwhile, have only won one of their last six games, with three of them remanining goalless.
Good evening everyone, and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE, play-by-play coverage, of Germany vs Portugal all the way from Lviv. I'm Alex Mott, and I'll be your commentator for this clash of the titans.
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