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Germany completes Portugal hat-trick after thrilling 1-0 victory at Euro 2012


08:11, June 11, 2012

Bastian Schweinsteiger (L) of Germany vies with Joao Moutinho of Portugal during their Group B match at the Euro 2012 football championships in Lviv, Ukraine, June 9, 2012. (Xinhua/Li Jundong)

LVIV, Ukraine, June 9 (Xinhua) -- Mario Gomez's header propelled Germany to win their Group B opener against Portugal at the European Championship on Saturday, beating the old rival for the third time in the third successive major tournament.

With 18 minutes to the final whistle, just as the center-forward seemed to be replaced by the veteran Miroslav Klose, Gomez made a cool finish to beat Pepe in the aerial battle and head the Sami Khedira's cross into the right bottom corner.

The victory moved Germany to lead the dubbed "death group" together with Denmark, who upset the tournament favourite the Netherlands 1-0.

Portugal nearly levelled the score in the last two minutes when the substitute Silvestre Varela in the back post got the low cross from the left flank but failed to beat a desperate save from Manuel Neuer.

Portugal was also close to the opener in the last minute of first half when Pepe tried to fire into the top-right corner only seeing the ball rejected by the crossbar and down into the ground.

In their last two high-profile meetings from the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008 finals, Germany won both and extended their supremacy in the recent years.

On June 13, Germany will play with the Netherlands and Denmark will meet Portugal.


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