Portugal’s spirited defense was finally unlocked in the 71st minute, courtesy a stunning header from Mario Gomez. That goal was enough to earn Germany the crucial three points and they are now joint leaders of the group along with Denmark, who earlier in the day created a major upset by defeating the Dutch 1-0.The Portuguese tried to sit back and defend for the majority of the game, trying to hit the Germans on a quick counter attack. The Germans had greater possession of the ball prior to the goal but failed to get past the Portugal defense and were mostly limited to shots from a distance. Overall, not a Euro classic by any means, but Germany will come out happy having won their first match of the tournament. Portugal will be left to do a lot as anything less than a win against Denmark would virtually extinguish all their chances of qualification to the second round. Here are the ratings for the players who participated in the match:
Manuel Neuer – 7.5
The big German goalkeeper did not have much to do the entire evening except when Ronaldo tested him from a distance. But his save to deny Varela was a genuine match-winner.
Phillip Lahm – 6
The German captain rarely made his trademark overlapping runs and seldom joined in attack. Could have been a ploy by Joachim Loew to negate Nani and the threat he possessed during counter attacks. The left back did well to stop the United player on most occasions.
Holger Badstuber – 7
The Bayern central defender was good last evening as he proved to be too strong for Portuguese forward Helder Postiga.
Matt Hummels – 8
The Dortmund defender was a rock at the back for Germany as he made countless crucial interceptions and put his body on the line to block various goal bound shots.
Jerome Boateng – 7
Entrusted with a job to keep Ronaldo at bay, he did a pretty good job. Stayed on his feet and never got fooled by Ronaldo’s bag of tricks. The last-ditch tackle to deny him a clear goal-scoring chance was sheer class.
Sami Khedira – 7
The Real Madrid man was perhaps the most domitable figure in the German midfield. He worked tirelessly, winning balls and linking up well with the attackers ahead of him.
Bastian Schweinsteiger – 6
A rare bad game for the talented midfielder who failed to impress except for the wonderful cross which resulted in the goal.
Mesut Ozil – 6
Ozil had a rather patchy game where he was good in short bursts but mediocre for the remainder. He made a series of wrong passes and uncharacteristically failed to produce the crucial final pass.
Thomas Muller – 6.5
A disappointing performance from the Bayern youngster as he got involved in the buildup play pretty often but failed to produce a quality cross which he usually provides.
Lukas Podolski – 5.5
The Arsenal-bound winger had a brilliant chance to put Germany ahead in the early minutes of the first half but skied the ball.
Mario Gomez – 6.5
The striker din’t have much to do for the first 70 minutes till he got at the end of a Schweinsteiger cross and headed it past Patricio. He had a golden chance to score his second minutes later but failed to reach the cross from Muller.
Miroslav Klose on(79’)
Toni Kroos on (86’)
Lars Bender on(93’)
Patricio – 6
Barely tested by the Germans, as his defenders did a good job in protecting the goal. Most of the German efforts were from a distance and never troubled him.
Pepe – 7
The Madrid defender had a fine day at the office and organized the defense pretty well. He was unlucky to see his shot go out after hitting the bar in the final minutes of the first half.
Bruno Alves – 6.5
Strong in the air, he won his headers well. Alves complimented Pepe perfectly and worked in tandem to neutralize the threats of Gomez and Ozil.
Fabio Coentrao – 8.5
The left back was nothing short of brilliant last evening. He was terrific going forward, linked up well with Ronaldo down the left and turned out to be the primary outlet for attack in the Portugal side. He defended well and hardly allowed Muller or Boateng to get past him.
Joao Pereirra – 7
The Portuguese right back was pretty strong and put in a decent performance.
Miguel Veloso – 6.5
Veloso worked hard in the midfield and did well to break down the German passing play. But his set pieces were not up to his usual standards and he often carelessly passed the ball straight back to the opposition.
Joao Moutinho – 7
The FC Porto midfielder was the one who was responsible for whatever little possession Portugal had. He passed the ball well and most of the attacks originated from him.
Raul Meireles – 6.5
Just like he does so often for Chelsea, he worked his socks off in the midfield, trying to win the ball, and passed it around well when he had it.
Nani – 4.5
Disappointing display from the United winger as he hardly contributed anything to Portugal’s attack. Over-indulgent and selfish at times, he gave the ball away after getting into a decent position to cross.
Cristiano Ronaldo – 6.5
A poor game by his standards. Came to life after Portugal fell a goal behind and came closest to finding an equalizer for the Portuguese.
Helder Postiga – 5
He struggled to find any support and hardly did anything worth notice during his stay on the field.
Nelson Oliveira (69’ on) – 3
Hardly did anything except for creating a wonderful chance for Varela to equalize but the latter fluffed his chances.
Silvestre Varela (80’ on)