Germany v Portugal, 09 June 2012

Score1-0 to Germany
RefereeStephane Lannoy
CompetitionUEFA European Championship Finals Group B
VenueArena Lviv, Lviv
Attendance33,591
Kick-off: 9.45pm local Assistant referees: Frédéric Cano (France) Michaël Annonier (France) Fourth official: Marcin Borski (Poland) Additional assistant referees: Fredy Fautrel (France) Ruddy Buquet (France) Man of the Match: Mesut Özil (Germany) Mario Gomez's second-half header earned Germany the spoils in a tense UEFA EURO 2012 Group B opener, but Portugal pushed them all the way in Lviv. Starved of supply all evening, Gomez feasted when Sami Khedira's delicious deflected cross found him five metres out, nodding it back across Rui Patrício. There were still 17 minutes remaining, enough time for Portugal, who had struck the bar through Pepe before the interval, to lay siege to the German goal. They almost broke through the barricades, too, when two minutes from time substitute Silvestre Varela found space at the far post – only Manuel Neuer's quick interventions kept it 1-0. Caution had been the watchword in the early stages, with both teams content to sit back and invite the opposition to come forward and let their guards down. Not that it was all about soaking up the blows as one by one players had a jab, searching for a weakness. Fábio Coentrão almost found it when he drifted into a central position early on but, as he sought to punch the ball through to Hélder Postiga, Mats Hummels blocked well. If that meant swift involvement in the game for the centre-back, Germany's other surprise starter Gomez, preferred to birthday boy Miroslav Klose, would have to wait rather longer after an opportunist early header. It was Lukas Podolski, playing on the left, who posed the biggest threat as he drew on his attacking wiles to twice lose his marker even if his finishing belied a man with 43 goals in 98 international appearances. Germany were gaining the upper hand, but on the cusp of half-time Portugal almost conjured up an almighty sucker punch. Cristiano Ronaldo's corner from the left looked innocuous enough but the half-clearance fell straight to Pepe. The defender cushioned the ball beautifully, set himself and fired in a shot that hit the crossbar, bounced on the line and away to safety. The half-time whistle promptly blew and the players walked off to Madness's One Step Beyond – how Portugal wished Pepe's effort was. Germany had 15 minutes to dust themselves off and they came out for the second round all guns blazing. It took desperate last-ditch blocks from Coentrão and Raul Meireles to deny them inside the first minute, but the game soon reverted to type. Neither midfield was able to really take the initiative, and though Khedira perhaps had most success, his slack pass almost cost Germany. The ball was quickly fed to João Moutinho and he delivered a sumptuous pass into the path of Ronaldo. The Portugal skipper shaped to shoot but, from nowhere, the excellent Jérôme Boateng slid in with the timeliest of interventions. Ten minutes later Gomez turned near despair into triumph and Germany will go into Wednesday's meeting against the Netherlands with a quarter-final place almost in sight. Portugal have it all to do on their return here to face Denmark.

1  Germany

Manager: Joachim Low

0  Portugal

Manager: Paulo Bento

Goals:

Mario Gómez 73 G

Goals:

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer
Defender Holger Badstuber
Defender Jérôme Boateng
Defender Mats Hummels
Defender Philipp Lahm (captain)
Midfielder Sami Khedira
Midfielder Mesut Özil
Midfielder/Forward Thomas Müller
Forward Mario Gómez
Forward Lukas Podolski

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Rui Patrício
Defender Bruno Alves
Defender Pepe
Defender/Midfielder Fábio Coentrão
Defender/Midfielder Miguel Veloso
Midfielder João Moutinho
Midfielder João Pereira
Midfielder Nani
Midfielder Raul Meireles
Midfielder/Forward Cristiano Ronaldo (captain)

Substitutions:

Miroslav Klose for Mario Gómez 80
Toni Kroos for Mesut Özil 87
Lars Bender for Thomas Müller 90

Substitutions:

Nélson Oliveira for Hélder Postiga 70
Silvestre Varela for Raul Meireles 80

Cards:

Holger Badstuber 43 Y
Jérôme Boateng 69 Y

Cards:

Hélder Postiga 13 Y
Fábio Coentrão 60 Y

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Tim Wiese
Goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler
Defender Per Mertesacker
Defender Marcel Schmelzer
Midfielder Lars Bender
Midfielder İlkay Gündogan
Midfielder Toni Kroos
Midfielder/Forward Mario Götze
Midfielder/Forward Marco Reus
Forward Miroslav Klose

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Beto
Goalkeeper Eduardo
Defender Miguel Lopes
Defender Rolando
Defender/Midfielder Ricardo Costa
Midfielder Custodio
Midfielder Rúben Micael
Midfielder Silvestre Varela
Midfielder Hugo Viana
Midfielder/Forward Ricardo Quaresma
Forward Hugo Almeida