9th of June 2012 Author: Johnny Karp
Mario Gomez's second-half header was enough to earn Germany maximum points at the end of a hard-fought match against Portugal in Lviv.
Gomez appeared absent from the game, his team mates were not feeding him with good passes and the game seemed to be heading for a goalless ending. But the striker did what he knows best 17 minutes from time when he pushed Sami Khedira's cross into the back of the net with a perfect header. Portugal, who had been denied by the woodwork in the first half on Pepe's effort, tried to lay siege on the German defence in the final moments of the game but substitute Silvestre Varela was denied by a fabulous Manuel Neuer two minutes from time.
Both teams started the game with a cautious attitude and the first chance of the game fell to Helder Postiga but the Portuguese forward was stopped in his tracks by a very precise piece of defending from Mats Hummels. Lukas Podolski replied for Germany but he seemed to lack the finishing touch that has made him famous throughout Europe. It was Portugal who had the biggest chance on the stroke of half time when Pepe rattled the crossbar following a corner kick.
Germany had the better start in the second half but then the game returned to its initial dull state. Gomez bagged the winner though and Germany lead Group B, tied on 3 points with Denmark, before facing the Netherlands on Wednesday. Portugal will have to win against wonder makers Denmark, also on Wednesday, if they want to stay in with a chance of reaching the quarter finals.
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