Germany Bounce Back To Thrash Defending Champions Portugal
After losing their opening fixture to France, Germany were on a knife-edge going into their game against defending champions Portugal, where a loss could have sent them crashing out at the group stage for the second tournament in succession.
However, despite going a goal down early, the Germans roared back into life, scoring four unanswered goals to run out comfortable 4-2 winners in Munich.
“Overall it was an outstanding performance from the team, great attitude, great spirit, we had many chances, outstanding.
“We have spoken about a few things over the past few days. We were still looking for balance after the France match and knew that we had to add a gear to create more chances. We fought brilliantly and showed great spirit. We had a lot of good attacks against really strong opponents.
“We wanted better movement up front. From the start there was tempo, good combinations, from the wings with [Joshua] Kimmich and Gosens… That was our plan and it worked,” said Germany coach Joachim Low after the game.
In Munich, Germany attacked from the beginning, thriving on the dynamism of their wing-backs.
Despite finding the net early with a well-taken finish, Robin Gosens was ruled offside after a VAR check.
The Portuguese repelled wave after wave until Cristiano Ronaldo kicked off and finished a thrilling counterattack, giving the reigning champions an unlikely lead.
Once Die Mannschaft recovered from their shock, they resumed their barrage.
Late in the first half, two own goals in five minutes proved disastrous with Ruben Dias and Raphael Guerreiro inadvertently beating Rui Patricio.
Portugal was stunned, unable to respond; and things got much worse before they got better.
By the hour mark it was 4-1 and the holders were floundering as Kai Havertz tapped in before the brilliant Gosens headed in a cross from Joshua Kimmich.
With one eye on Wednesday, Joachim Löw made the changes, and Portugal improved, getting a goal back from Diogo Jota. A stunning strike from Renato Sanches rattled the post as well, but it was too little too late for Portugal.
After staring down the barrel of an early exit, a victory in the final game could see Germany top Group F should France and Portugal draw in their match.