Two own goals help rejuvenated Germany thrash Portugal
Two own goals in four first-half minutes helped a rejuvenated Germany to a crucial 4-2 comeback thrashing of Portugal in a sweltering hot Euro 2020 Group F blockbuster in Munich. The pressure was on
Two own goals in four first-half minutes helped a rejuvenated Germany to a crucial 4-2 comeback thrashing of Portugal in a sweltering hot Euro 2020 Group F blockbuster in Munich.
The pressure was on the hosts after their opening match loss to France and, after a positive start, they went behind to a brilliant counter-attack from Portugal, with Cristiano Ronaldo tapping in his 107th international goal and first against Germany after good work from Bernardo Silva and Diogo Jota.
There were just 15 minutes on the clock but Germany were frustrated and their hopes of a place in the knockout stages was in doubt - but the game then flipped on its head when Portugal defenders Ruben Dias (35) and Raphael Guerreiro (39) each turned the ball into their own net.
It is the first time in major tournament history a team has scored two own goals in a game and was the lift Germany needed, with Kai Havertz (51) converting from close range to become their youngest-ever scorer at a Euros before Robin Gosens - who had put in crosses for two of the earlier goals - nodded in a free header at the back post on the hour.
There was hope for Portugal when an unmarked Ronaldo set up Jota (67) to pull one back and Renato Sanches crashed a shot against the woodwork but the defending champions had left themselves too much to do and, after a heavyweight match-up which lived up to its billing, an ominous-looking Germany moved second in the pool, ahead of Portugal on head-to-head records.
Portugal: Patricio (5), Semedo (5), Dias (4), Pepe (5), Guerreiro (4), Carvalho (5), Danilo (5), Bernardo Silva (6), Fernandes (6), Jota (7), Ronaldo (7).
Subs used: Sanches (7), Moutinho (6), Rafa (5), Andre Silva (N/A)
Germany: Neuer (6), Ginter (6), Hummels (7), Rudiger (6), Kimmich (8), Gundogan (5), Kroos (7), Gosens (9), Havertz (8), Muller (8), Gnabry (8).
Subs used: Halstenberg (6), Sule (6), Can (6), Goretzka (7), Sane (N/A)
Man of the match: Robin Gosens (Germany)
How Germany turned their tournament around...
With France drawing against Hungary earlier in the day, Germany knew they needed to take the game to Portugal and they did that emphatically inside five minutes, with Gosens acrobatically converting Matthias Ginter's cross at the back post - but an offside flag against Serge Gnabry curtailed the hosts' celebrations.
Havertz then tested Rui Patricio from the edge of the box, with Gnabry latching onto the rebound but unable to find the net, before Dias threw himself in the way of a Toni Kroos strike as Germany's fast start continued.
Portugal and Germany were unchanged from their opening games, with Cristiano Ronaldo leading the line for the visitors in Munich and the hosts hoping Chelsea’s Champions League match winner Kai Havertz could do the damage for them.
Thomas Muller was next to hit the target as Germany piled on the pressure - but then a clinical break from Portugal undermined all of the hosts' good work.
Bernardo Silva broke clear from a Germany corner, picked out Jota with a delicious diagonal into the box and the Liverpool man expertly diverted the ball into Ronaldo's path for an easy close-range finish.
It was Portugal's first shot of the game but it inspired the players in red, with Ronaldo pulling out some showboating and Dias heading just wide from a corner soon after.
A cross at the other end just evaded Mats Hummels but after a drinks break midway through the half due to the 30C heat in Munich, Portugal were causing problems again, with Jota heading over from a wide free-kick.
Germany's frustration began to show, with Dias and Pepe drawing boos from the home support as they took their time to get up from fouls - but then two own goals transformed the contest.
First, Dias turned Gosens' smashed cross into his own net under pressure from Havertz, and then Guerreiro fell into the same trap, with Joshua Kimmich this time providing the delivery into the six-yard box.
Gnabry almost capped a winding run with a finish on the stroke of half-time but Germany didn't have to wait long after the restart for more celebrations.
A fine, sweeping move through Portugal's half was instigated by Muller and found Gosens in acres on the left side of the box to cross for 22-year-old Havertz to tuck in from four yards out and make his mark in the record books.
Gosens then got reward of his own with a free header at the back post from Kimmich's cross as Germany took complete control of the contest.
That measure of comfort was short-lived, as a lapse from Ginter played Ronaldo onside from a free-kick and the unmarked Portugal captain hooked a short-range pass across goal for Jota to make it 4-2.
Sub Sanches then almost set-up a grandstand finish, firing a thunderbolt of a shot against an upright from distance with 10 minutes to play, but Leon Goretzka clipped the crossbar himself with a fine drive at the other end as Germany finished on top - and emerged as contenders to take Portugal's crown.
Opta stats - unwanted records for Portugal
- Portugal became the first reigning champions in European Championship history to concede four goals in a single match in the competition.
- Germany became the first side in European Championship history to both score and benefit from an own goal in the same edition of the tournament.
- There have been five own goals scored at Euro 2020, two more than in any other previous edition of the European Championships. In fact, today's match was the first in European Championship history to see two own goals scored.
- Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 19th goal at the World Cup and European Championships combined; no European player has ever scored more across the two competitions (level with Miroslav Klose).
- Aged 22 years and eight days old, Kai Havertz became Germany's youngest ever goalscorer in a European Championship game, and youngest at any major tournament (World Cup/Euros) since Thomas Müller against Uruguay at the 2010 World Cup (20y 300d).
Portugal's final group game is against France in Hungary, while Germany play Hungary in Munich, with both games kicking off at 8pm on Wednesday.