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World Cup bronze medal

09 July, 2006 | Written by Patchay at 11:19 PM in

Indeed, the first half was not very pulsating. Michael Ballack of Germany was even caught on camera yawning on the bench! Nevertheless, Portugal did show a willingness to keep the German goalkeeper, Oliver Kahn anxious at all times.

The game changed dramatically in the second half. In the 56th minute, Bastian Schweinsteiger cut in from the left and unleashed a long range right footed shot. The ball swerved in mid-air, going through Ricardo’s gloves on the way to goal. Four minutes later Schweinsteiger struck a low free kick from the left. Petit's accidental intervention (own goal) put the host nation two goals up.

To prove the first effort was no fluke, Schweinsteiger cut in from the left again after 78 minute and hit another right footed shot beyond Ricardo. Portugal continued to attack but it was a lot of individual effort. When Germany took the ball, they quickly played the ball forward. The counter attacking passing game looked so deadly! Too often, the Portuguese players were content to give either Deco or Cristiano Ronaldo the ball, then they stood back and watched them dribble near the German defense.

With 12 minutes to go, veteran Luis Figo came off the bench and minutes later he found Nuno Gomes at the far post with a perfect cross. Gomes headed home to give Portugal a consolation goal. It was a fair game but in the end, the Germans claimed a well deserved third place.

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