Germany Vs. Portugal: Mario Gomez Delivers German Win

Germany were not good and Portugal came close, but Mario Gomez's goal propelled the Germans to a 1-0 win in Lviv.

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Germany Vs. Portugal, Euro 2012: Final Score, Mario Gomez To The Rescue In 1-0 Win

Germany and Portugal were both far from their best on Saturday evening, but the Germans were able to grind out a goal even though they were far from their best. Mario Gomez didn't have a terrific game and appeared to be on the verge of being substituted for Miroslav Klose when he finally struck in the 72nd minute, netting the winner for his team in a 1-0 victory.

The first half was largely uneventful, with Lukas Podolski failing to make the most of a couple of decent chances. Portugal didn't do much going forward, but generated the best chance of the half just before halftime on a corner kick, with Pepe hitting the crossbar. The ball bounced off the underside of the bar and hit the line, but never went over.

Germany looked slow by their standards in the first half, and didn't look much quicker in the second half. Mesut Özil tried to run the show from the center like he usually does for the Germans and for Real Madrid, but the three forwards in front of him weren't making the right runs, and Özil wasn't exactly at his best either. The Germany that showed up to play Portugal looked nothing like the Germany that destroyed Turkey and Belgium in qualifying, and as the game wore on, things looked more and more dire for the favorites.

In the 72nd minute, lightning struck. When all else fails, it's not a bad idea to just throw some bodies and some balls into the penalty area, and Germany found their goal on a hopeful move that fit that description. Sami Khedira provided the cross on the game-winner, swinging a ball towards the center of the box for Gomez. The Bayern striker hadn't done much to that point, but he rose up and met the ball with a great header, directed into the back of the net at the far post to put Germany ahead 1-0.

Portugal pushed for an equalizer and almost found it on a few occasions, but were denied by the woodwork, Manuel Neuer and the Germany defense. On one occasion, Nani managed to hit the crossbar with what appeared to be cross, but ended up looking like an odd, but effective shot. Neuer was forced into a late save on substitute Silvestre Varela, while Mats Hummels made a number of impressive clearances in the final 20 minutes of the match.

Germany have plenty to work on heading into their match against the Netherlands, but they still ended up grabbing the result that they were expected to produce. Depending on the result of that match, Portugal's match against Denmark could be a near must-win.

We have live coverage of the game in our Germany vs. Portugal, Euro 2012 StoryStream. For more on Euro 2012 and the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter.

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Germany Vs. Portugal, Euro 2012: Neuer Preserves German Lead

Portugal should be level against Germany. Cristiano Ronaldo starts a sad-looking attack, feeding Fabio Coentrao deep in his own half, but his Madrid teammate picks out a wonderful forward pass that finds Nelson Oliveira ahead of Mats Hummels. The substitute secured possession and eventually cut the ball back to the danger zone. The pass somehow goes through Holger Badstuber's legs and straight to Varela in space, but his shot is well saved by the onrushing Manuel Neuer.

Neuer hasn't had a good game, but that was a vital stop. With the match at 1-0 and already into injury time, Portugal won't get many more chances like that to avoid an opening-game loss that they probably don't deserve on the balance of play. They'll really be ruing the Varela miss and Pepe's crossbar hit from the first half if they do end up losing this one.

We have live coverage of the game in our Germany vs. Portugal, Euro 2012 StoryStream. For more on Euro 2012 and the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter.

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Germany Vs. Portugal, Euro 2012: Mario Gomez Opens Scoring

Finally! Germany hadn't been doing anything at all for the past 20 minutes or so, but they've got a breakthrough now. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Mueller combine on the right, and the ball eventually finds its way to Sami Khedira, who hits a decent cross into the Portugal box. It takes an unlucky (for one team, anyway) deflection and ends up being met by Mario Gomez's head. He doesn't miss, which I have to admit was a major surprise -- instead the effort is superbly placed into the bottom corner, leaving Rui Patricio with no chance whatsoever.

So it's 1-0 Germany and it turns out that Joachim Loew didn't need to substitute everyone all at once and that we might have been overreacting a little bit. Now that they've got a goal, Germany might be able to play a little bit of football and put this match to bed. We shall see.

We have live coverage of the game in our Germany vs. Portugal, Euro 2012 StoryStream. For more on Euro 2012 and the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter.

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Germany Vs. Portugal, Euro 2012: 2nd Half Kicks Off

Who's ready for more? Pepe's Grand Tour of Manuel Neuer's Woodwork, which in retrospect sounds like a very odd adult film, has spiced things up in Portugal vs. Germany, which has just kicked off in the second half. It's 0-0 still, but Germany have already been much more positive than they were in the first. Lukas Podolski and Thomas Mueller have already had shots well blocked in the first two minutes, and it looks like the favourites are going to push very hard for a goal.

If Portugal were disconcerted by the fast start, they didn't show it. Nani cuts past Philipp Lahm to open up space for a cross, which Mats Hummels heads clear for a corner, but they're still on the attack and Cristiano Ronaldo eventually skims a low shot straight at Neuer. Not his best effort, that.

We have live coverage of the game in our Germany vs. Portugal, Euro 2012 StoryStream. For more on Euro 2012 and the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter.

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Germany Vs. Portugal, Euro 2012: Halftime Score, Poor Match Tied 0-0

Update: Germany 1-0 Portugal, Final Score

It hasn't been a terrific 45 minutes of football in Lviv, which will suit Portugal just fine. Germany, one of the big tournament favorites, haven't looked anything like the team that dazzled at the World Cup and coasted through Euro 2012 qualifying. They're having quite a tough time creating chances against Portugal, and it's 0-0 at halftime.

Lukas Podolski has been poor for the Germans, regularly shanking shots and making the wrong runs off the ball when his teammates attempt to locate him. Here is a summary of Podolski's performance thus far.

Failkick_medium

Bastian Schweinsteiger, who hasn't looked like a world beater since he broke his collarbone in February, is looking a bit off the pace as well. He was dominant for Germany throughout qualifying, but looks like a shell of his former self at the moment.

Portugal aren't brilliant, either. It's just generally been a poor match. Portugal are sitting back and countering, but they're not getting the ball to Cristiano Ronaldo on the counter, while their center forward Helder Postiga has put in a poor performance thus far.

Just before the stroke of halftime, Portugal created the only great chance of the entire first half. On a corner kick, the ball deflected off the head of Mario Gomez and fell to Pepe, who was completely unmarked. He tried to place a shot into the top corner, but hit the underside of the crossbar. The ball bounced on the line, but didn't cross it as Germany dodged a bullet.

Nearmiss_medium

Basically, other than the late Pepe chance, neither team looks like scoring. Both managers are going to have to make changes to their team at halftime, or at least give some kind of fiery speech. This really has not been one for the neutrals, and both teams' supporters have to be disappointed.

We have live coverage of the game in our Germany vs. Portugal, Euro 2012 StoryStream. For more on Euro 2012 and the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter.

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Germany Vs. Portugal, Euro 2012: Pepe Hits Crossbar

And suddenly the game gets a lot less boring. Another Portugal counterattack requires Holger Badstuber to clear Joao Pereira's cross for a corner kick, and the Germans make a complete mess of their marking. The ball gets loose and eventally falls to the feet of Real Madrid defender Pepe, and, scowling, he rips a shot towards the top corner. Manuel Neuer is well and truly beaten, but the ball ricochets off the bottom of the crossbar, bounces off the post, onto the goalline, and is eventually hacked to safety. Yikes.

Unlike Frank Lampard's effort in 2010, this definitely wasn't a goal, although Portugal did their best to pretend as though they were sure. it's a good warning for Germany right before halftime though. They need to pick up their game or they could waste a huge opportunity to cement their status as Group B favourites in this match. Still 0-0 here.

We have live coverage of the game in our Germany vs. Portugal, Euro 2012 StoryStream. For more on Euro 2012 and the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter.

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Germany Vs. Portugal, Euro 2012: Match Underway

We're off and running in Germany vs. Portugal, where one of the pre-tournament favourites is taking on the best individual player in Euro 2012. Will the Germans make use of their phenomenal depth everywhere on the pitch? Will Portugal finally provide the support that Cristiano Ronaldo needs to thrive? We'll find out... well, now.

Portugal kick us off, with Helder Postiga rolling the ball to Joao Moutinho. It takes all of ten seconds for play to be stopped for a throw-in, with Nani falling over slightly theatrically in the process. Germany recover possession shortly thereafter. It doesn't take long for the favorites to attack, with right back Jerome Boateng fizzing in an early cross for Mario Gomez. The Bayern Munich forward gets his header on target, but Rui Patricio is able to dive to his right to make the save.

A few seconds later, Mats Hummels is forced to make a crucial interception as Fabio Coentrao looks to pick out Ronaldo in the box. The subsequent corner is delay by people throwing things on the pitch. Why?

We have live coverage of the game in our Germany vs. Portugal, Euro 2012 StoryStream. For more on Euro 2012 and the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter.

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