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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 10:37, July 09, 2006
Germany beat Portugal 3-1 for World Cup bronze
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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.

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 78th 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 corner of the net.

Portugal managed to gain some consolation in the 88th minute by pulling one goal back.

A beautiful cross from the right wing by Luis Figo was perfect for substitute Nuno Gomez to finish with 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.

The hosts 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 goalbound 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 is expected to announce 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.

Source: Xinhua

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