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Germany beat Portugal 3-1 for World Cup bronze
Latest Updated by 2006-07-10 09:20:59
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Bastian Schweinsteiger missed the tournament's first hat-trick but made a double to help hosts Germany beat Portugal 3-1 in their World Cup third place match here on Saturday.

Thanks to the Bayern Munich forward's second half brace and a Petit own goal in the 62 minute, the hosts enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 lead 11 minutes from the final whistle.

Portugal managed to score a consolation goal through substitute Nuno Gomes's shot in the 88th minute.

"What happened here were absolutely crazy, what this team showed in this world cup can't be described by language," said German coach Juergen Klinsmann.

"In each day of the past seven weeks, we lived with emotions. I can't find a word to acclaim our team."

The hosts started the third place match without captain Michael Ballack, defender Per Mertesacker and right-back Arne Friedrich. Klinsmann opted to give opportunities to as many reserves as possible.

"We believe the players on bench have the same value. We always give them confidence. We together trained very hard throughout the whole seven weeks for the moment," he said.

After a goalless first half, Schweinsteiger broke the deadlock in the 56th minutes as the Bayern Munich forward fired home a scintillating shot from the edge of the area after cutting in from the left.

Only six minutes later, Lukas Podolski earned hosts a free kick. Schweinsterger drove a low cross and Petit's attempt to clear went right into his own net.

In the 79th minute, the 22-year-old scored his second goal of the night with another spanking strike.

He received the ball on the left and took a couple of touches towards the middle before firing a swerving ball just inside the right post from 25 yards.

Portug managed to gain some consolation only two minutes from the end. A beautiful cross from the right wing by Luis Figo was perfect for substitute Nuno Gomez to finish with a diving header.

Germany were held to a 0-0 tie with Portugal at halftime, although both sides were relaxed to play attacking football when their World Cup tour came down to the bronze medal battle.

Germany pushed very hard at the very beginning and posed a real threat in the fourth minute.

A Bastian Schweinsteiger corner was headed into the path of Sebastian Kehl by Christoph Metzelder. Metzelder's volleyed goal bound effort appeared to hit the hand of Nuno Valente inside the area, but referee Toru Kamikawa waved play on.

Portugal also displayed some lovely one-touch passing sequence and in the 16th minute, Pauleta run onto a wonderful through ball from Sabarosa and was alone facing Oliver Kahn, but the keeper made the save.

Kahn, who had sit out Germany's previous matches, replaced Jens Lehmann in the German goal for his first appearance at this summer' s showpiece tournament.

The 2002 Gold Ball winner showed some fine touches to the ovation of the predominantly Germany-supporting crowd.

"The atmosphere here was so wonderful. Just imagine what it would be if we had got the world champion," said Kahn.

The 37-year-old announced his retirement from the international arena after the match.

"This was my last game with the national team. I can't imagine a previous game more beautiful than this. It was one of the greatest moment if not the greatest. I will cherish it in my memory," he said.

Figo, who announced his retirement from international football after the end of the tournament, was a surprise exclusion from the starting line-up to face Germany.

He came on in the 77th minute, substituting ineffective Pauleta.

Portugal's coach Luiz Felipe Scolari took an easy line after the defeat.

"It's a wonderful game. We didn't made many mistakes. But the German were very effective and we couldn't help that," he said.

"We had some chances but not convert them. Now I can't say anything about my future."

Editor: Donald

By: Source: China View website
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