Euro 2012: Germany Edges out Portugal in Narrow 1-0 Win

Michael KohCorrespondent IIIJune 9, 2012

L'VIV, UKRAINE - JUNE 09: Mario Gomez of Germany celebrates scoring their first goal during the UEFA EURO 2012 group B match between Germany and Portugal at Arena Lviv on June 9, 2012 in L'viv, Ukraine.  (Photo by Joern Pollex/Getty Images)
Joern Pollex/Getty Images

It was a war of attrition. Two teams fought each other valiantly on both sides of the pitch, but it was Germany who came out with the win against Portugal in the second game for Group B. 

Mario Gomez rose high and true to head the ball into the far right corner of the net in the 72nd minute as Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio was caught with his weight on the wrong side of the post. 

It was a very physical game as tackles were made time and time again, leading to two yellow cards for each side, Helder Postiga getting the first yellow for Portugal in the 13th minute, followed by German defender Holger Badstuber in the 43rd minute. The second half saw Portuguese midfielder Fabio Coentrao getting booked in the 60th minute and German defender Jerome Boateng seeing the yellow nine minutes later. 

An incredible 21 free kicks were taken by the Germans—15 taken by Portugal. Fourteen fouls were committed by Die Mannschaft, 20 by A Selecção.

Germany played their possession football, holding 56 percent of the ball for all 90 minutes and held the ball 60 percent at the height of their domination. 

The Germans had most of their shots during the first half, recording six shots on goal. Portugal didn't have a strike at goal until late into the half. Their second attempt at goal came from Pepe, whose shot bounced under the crossbar of the frame and out.

In total, Portugal had eight attempt at goal, five being on target. Germany had nine on target with just three on target—but it was enough to see them win their first match in the Euros. 

Surprisingly, Portugal took 11 corner kicks to Germany's two. 

Manuel Neuer made three saves—making his final incredible save to keep the Portuguese at bay.

Hummels was dominant in defense, as were many of the German defenders—Badstuber, Lahm and Boateng. They were crucial in keeping the Portuguese attack at bay.

Although it was touted to be an exciting match on paper, in reality, it ended up not as exciting as one would have thought.