Friday, June 20, 2008
Germany Advance to the Semi's
Even while sitting in the stands, Joachim Loew was still a factor in the Germany vs. Portugal game.
Loew's pregame decision to start Bastian Schweinsteiger proved to be a deciding factor in this game, as the Bayern Munich midfielder scored a goal and assisted on 2 others in Germany's 3-2 victory over Portugal.
Germany controlled the play for most of the game, and all of their goals were scored due to soft Portugal defense.
The 2nd goal that Germany scored in particular, a Klose header in the 26th minute, could have been easily saved if Cristiano Ronaldo seriously attempted to play defense. He simply pretended to mark Klose, let him get by him, and then waved his arms in disgust to his teammates after Klose scored an easy header.
Portugal got a goal back before halftime to cut the lead to 2-1 after Nuno Gomes put in a rebound off a Ronaldo miss.
German captain Michael Ballack put the game away in the 62nd minute off another unmarked header. This goal could have been saved, if not for Ricardo's lack of decision making in goal.
Postiga's goal in the 87th minute for Portugal was simply a tease from a Portugal team that could have played much better then they did.
I have to think that the difference in time between games could have played a factor in the form of both teams. For the Portugal starters, this game came 8 days after their last one, while Germany played this game only 72 hours after their last game. The extended time off could have affected Portugal's performance.
Overall this was a very enjoyable game to watch as a soccer fan, but I don't think the Portugal side we saw today was the team that everyone hoped we would see. It's a sad ending to the coaching reign of Felipe Scolari.
Germany's win sets up a matchup with the winner of the Croatia vs. Turkey game.
What did you think of the game?