Germany 3-1 Portugal

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Germany earned third place at the World Cup following a 3-1 win over Portugal in Stuttgart.

Two long-range efforts from Bastian Schweinsteiger ensured the hosts finished the tournament on a high note.

Germany took the lead when midfielder Schweinsteiger cut in from the left and fired in a shot from the edge of the are that appeared to flummox Portuguese keeper Ricardo. The midfielder repeated the feat 11 minutes from time, while sandwiched between those efforts, Petit could only deflect another Schweinsteiger shot past Ricardo.

Portugal gained a consolation goal on the stroke of full-time when Nuno Gomes headed home a Luis Figo cross. Figo, who was rumoured to have had an argument with coach Luiz Felipe Scolari before the game, had come off the bench to make his final appearance for Portugal.

Germany looked the better side from the off, with Sebastian Kehl going close with a shot that appeared to strike Nuno Valente’s hand, while Klose, looking to win the Golden Boot as the tournament’s leading scorer, drilled a shot wide.

However, Portugal were playing their part in an open game, showing the kind of creativity that was missing in some of their earlier matches. However, as in those games, their lack of a cutting edge up front was proving costly, and the half ended goalless.

Ten minutes after the restart that all changed when Schweinsteiger unleashed a fierce drive from long range. Portugal keeper Ricardo appeared to see the effort late and the shot went straight through his hands to give Germany the lead.

Five minutes later Germany were two up, with Schweinsteiger again the instigator. The midfielder’s free-kick deflected off Petit as he tried to clear and ended up in the back of the net.

Scolari eventually brought on Figo for his 127th and final cap, but his arrival signalled another fine strike Schweinsteiger. The Bayern winger cut inside from the left and unleashed an unstoppable drive past Ricardo.

Figo’s final act in a Portugal shirt was to produce a wonderful curling cross for Gomes who headed in from close range. But that effort was a mere consolation, and the hosts deservedly held on to secure the win.

The victory was greeted with joy both on the German bench and among the masses of supporters who had come along to pay tribute to their team’s efforts over the past four weeks. It was only fitting that Klinsmann’s side, which had contributed so much to this World Cup, should finish the tournament on a high.

Germany: Kahn, Jansen, Nowotny, Metzelder, Lahm, Schneider, Kehl, Frings, Schweinsteiger, Klose, Podolski.

Subs used: Neuville 64 (for Klose), Hanke 71 (for Podolski), Hitzlsperger 79 (for Schweinsteiger.

Bookings: Frings 7, Schweinsteiger 79.

Portugal: Ricardo, Paulo Ferreira, Ricardo Costa, Meira, Nuno Valente, Costinha, Maniche, Deco, Ronaldo, Pauleta, Simao.

Subs used: Petit 45 (for Costinha), Nuno Gomes 69 (for Nuno Valente), Figo 77 (for Pauletta).

Bookings: Costa 24, Costinha 33, Ferreira 61.

Referee: Toru Kamikawa (Japan).

Germany: Schweinsteiger 56, 78, Petit 61 (og).
Portugal: Nuno Gomes 88.

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