Did you miss me?
If you missed the first match of the day you missed the first real upset as the Netherlands fell tamely to Denmark 0-1.
Portugal will be looking to handle Germany the same way though you’d have to say it would be less of a shock should Ronaldo and company take down Die Mannschaft.
Still, Germany are probably the most common pick to win this championship and they’ll be desperate to avoid the fate of their group co-favorites.
Germany qualified much more comfortably than Portugal but have struggled in recent group stages, even before their run to the final in 2008.
It was Portugal they defeated 3-2 in the semi-final in that tournament but this will be only the 4th time they meet at the Euros.
Fingers crossed for more quality in this second match. I’ll be back with line-ups and all the rest at kickoff. After the jump!
Germany: Neuer; Boateng, Hummels, Badstuber, Lahm; Schweinsteiger, Khedira; Muller, Ozil, Podolski; Gomez
Subs: Wiese, Gundogan, Schmelzer, Howedes, Schurrle, Klose, Bender, Mertesacker, Kroos, Gotze, Reus, Zieler
Portugal: Rui Patricio, Pereira, Bruno Alves, Pepe, Coentrao; Meireles, Veloso, Moutinho; Nani, Postiga, Ronaldo
Subs: Eduardo, Custodio, Almeida, Quaresma, Nelson Oliveira, Ricardo Costa, Rolando, Ruben Micael, Varela, Miguel Lopes, Hugo Viana, Beto
Pregame: Love me some Derek Rae.
Pregame: Spirited singing from both sides. Except for the foreign players and Podolski on Germany who don’t know the words.
Pregame: Gotta love the French. That referee even found a way to make that coin toss dramatic.
Here we go!
2nd Minute: Gomez with a clean header. Tough-ish angle, saved by Patricio, but a warning from Ze Germans.
3rd Minute: Portugal corner. Lots of garbage near the spot. Strong punch away from Neuer.
6th Minute: Both teams being very physical early on here. You must feel Germany have the advantage on set-pieces.
9th Minute: Podolski stings Patricio’s palms with a low effort.
11th Minute: Both teams asking some questions, Germany drives into the box before the Portuguese botch a decent chance to counter.
13th Minute: Postiga collides with Neuer who charged out to play it. Yellow card. Neuer made the most of that.
17th Minute: Still waiting for a moment of quality to open this game up a bit.
18th Minute: Ronaldo gets in a dangerous cross. Cleared for a corner that Meireles maybe should have got a shot off of.
21st Minute: Portugal enjoying some good possession. Ball ends up in Neuer’s hands again.
24th Minute: Why doesn’t the referee play advantage there? Germany score past a Portuguese defense who gave up at the whistle, which should have been delayed.
25th Minute: Still, a dangerous free kick for Germany results. Slammed into the wall by Podolski.
28th Minute: Podolski more in the mix than Gomez who has been a bit of a ghost since his early header.
30th Minute: Podolski again skies over. He was clear near the top of the box. Must do better to test Patricio in the Portuguese net.
33rd Minute: Ronaldo finally sees some involvement, but his foray forward ends without incident.
34th Minute: Good defending from Coentrao, he’s had a good match on the Portuguese left side.
37th Minute: Disappointed with the camerawork today. You’d think with the 4 nations in action we’d have seen plenty of good looking fans.
40th Minute: Podolski with a speculative cross. Cleared by Portugal, who have been solid defensively.
43rd Minute: Yellow card to Badstuber who blew on Nani who then fell over. The German did get a piece but Nani took like 3 steps after before falling. Free kick goes straight to Neuer.
45th Minute: Portugal corner. And Pepe hits the underside of the bar! So close from the Madrid man! Lucky for Germany that ball did not cross the line.
HT – 0-0. The whistle blows after just one extra minute: A very tame half but Portugal very unfortunate not to take the lead very late.
Ronaldo has not had the influence you might expect and no one on Germany has stepped up to take control.
45 minutes left for us to see any kind of quality football this afternoon.
HT – What a sportsgasbord left on the plate though today. NBA ECF Game 7. Stanley Cup Finals. Pacquiao v. Bradley. Meaningless horse race.
46th Minute: And we’re back underway. No subs to report. The decisions of the managers will be crucial.
And Germany threaten right away! A few outside shots end in a corner.
47th Minute: Khedira heads the corner wide.
48th Minute: Nani’s cross cleared for a corner now. A bit more intensity from both sides to start the second frame. The Germans clear.
49th Minute: Ronaldo shoots from range, low and harmlessly into Neuer’s arms.
50th Minute: Ronaldo again making trouble for the German defense. Corner to Portugal. CR7 finding the game now.
53rd Minute: Portugal finding more room down the left side. They win another corner. Seems they think they can take Boateng.
55th Minute: Refereeing has been a bit soft in this match. Let them play.
59th Minute: Moutinho down on the pitch. A quick respite before we head to the final 30 minutes of the match.
60th Minute: Coentrao takes out Schweinsteiger from behind. Some tired challenges out there.
64th Minute: Boateng with a great challenge or else Ronaldo was through! He was hurt in the process but how necessary that was.
69th Minute: Good handling from Patricio on a tricky cross. And a Yellow for Boateng who has been really tested tonight.
70th Minute: Portugal Sub – Oliveira on for Postiga.
71st Minute: Muller does great job to carry into the Portugal box before totally wasting the chance with a poor cross.
72nd Minute: GOAL! 1-0 Germany! GOMEZ with a textbook header! Well it’s been a lackluster match really but that’s how Germany can beat you. The Munich man rose highest and finished sweetly into the side netting past Patricio.
75th Minute: Well what changes will Bento make now? Portugal need some more urgency here.
77th Minute: Muller just misses a connection with Gomez who couldn’t stretch enough to get touch on net. Portugal will be vulnerable to the counter now.
80th Minute: Germany Sub – Gomez off for Klose
81st Minute: Portugal Sub – Varela on for Mereiles.
82nd Minute: Safe play from Neuer leads to a corner from Portugal. And another.
83rd Minute: Ronaldo feed Coentrao whose strike from the top of the box is deflected over for a corner. Well punched away by Neuer in the end.
84th Minute: Sigh of relief from Neuer after Nani’s wayward cross strikes the top of the bar!
86th Minute: Nani shoots wide from range.
Germany Sub: Ozil removed for Kroos.
88th Minute: Huge save from Neuer! Oliveira holds up play well from a long ball and the ball eventually slips to Varela who is stopped by a hard rushing German keeper.
91st Minute: Would be nice to know how much extra time we’ll have…
93rd Minute: Nani strikes it off Badstuber out for a corner after some good work on the goal-line. Good defending. Corner to Portugal.
Germany Sub: Muller off for Bender.
94th Minute: Alves heads the corner over. Should be the last effort from Portugal.
FT – That’s it! 1-0 to Germany.
Not the great game we were hoping for today but Germany is on top of the group as expected. Joined of course by Denmark who surprised Holland earlier today.
No real stars for either side, but the Germans were resilient enough to find a way through.
Thanks for joining me today everyone!
I won’t be able to liveblog again until the knockout rounds, but enjoy 452’s continuing coverage of the group stage tomorrow and all next week.