Thursday, June 19, 2008

Germans First Semifinalists

Portugal's finesse simply could not move past the powerful German side as Michael Ballack's played the hero role for the second consecutive game when his 61st minute header provided the final margin in a 3-2 game. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Miroslav Klose each scored in the first half, giving Germany an early two-goal advantage. But a Nuno Gomes rebound off a Ronaldo miss brought the score to 2-1 just before halftime. Ballack's header off a free kick pushed the Germans ahead before Postiga header made it 3-2 in the 87th minute. But the tough German defense held tough through four grueling minutes of extra time to preserve their spot in the semifinals. The return of Schweinsteiger was crucial for the Germans and the continued brilliance of Ballack has carried them through once again.

Germany will face either Croatia or Turkey in the next round, either one a matchup they have to prefer more than the Portugal side they just faced.

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