December 8, 2021

Germany beat Portugal to keep Euro 2020 hopes alive

3 min read

Joachim Low’s Germany bounced back from their opening loss as they stunned current holder Portugal following a 4-2 win courtesy of two own goals and scores from Kai Havertz and Robin Gosens in Munich. The three-time world champions kicked-off their Euro 2020 Group F campaign with a 1-0 defeat against France. Both Portugal and Germany now have three points in Group F, one behind France. 

“Altogether it was a class performance. Great attitude, great morale. We deserved to win by this amount,” said Löw, whose team lost its opening game to France. “I expected that we would do the things that we didn’t do so well against France better.” Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 107th his 107th international goal – leaving him two short of Ali Daei’s all-time record – to open the lead for Portugal.

It was followed by two own goals from Portuguese defenders Ruben Dias and Raphaël Guerreiro to give Germany a 2-1 halftime lead before Kai Havertz and Robin Gosens added two more goals for Germany early in the second half — becoming the first players within the squad to score at a European Championship. Diogo Jota got one back for Portugal in the 67th.

“It was important for us that we didn’t throw everything overboard after the lost game against France, but stuck to our plan,” Havertz said. “We trust the coach, we trust the system.” Gosens also expressed his disbelief from in only his ninth international were he netted his first goal. “I have to pinch myself, it feels unreal, an unbelievable evening on all levels for me,” said Gosens. “You couldn’t ask for more.”

The 4-2 scoreline is by far the highest-scoring game of the tournament, while Portugal has become the first team to score two own-goals in one game at the European Championship. This win extends their dominance against Portugal, whom they have now beaten five consecutive times at the World Cup or European Championship finals since Euro 2000.

“Germany was the better team and I take responsibility for this (defeat), but whether we progress now is up to us and how we respond,” said Portugal coach Fernando Santos. This is the first time Portugal have conceded four goals since losing 4-0 to Germany at the 2014 World Cup. A win over Hungary in Munich will guarantee Germany a place in the last 16.

In the group’s other game, Group F leaders France was held to a 1-1 draw by Hungary, with Attila Fiola’s goal just before halftime before goalkeeper Hugo Lloris’ long pass found Kylian Mbappe and deflected it to Antoine Griezmann for the equalizer in the 66th minute. “A point is not what we were hoping for from this match but we will take it in the circumstances,” admitted France coach Didier Deschamps.

Despite the draw, Les Bleus remained on top of the group with four points and needed only a draw when they faced Portugal in Budapest. Elsewhere, Spain and Poland’s 1-1 keeps all four Euro 2020 Group E teams hoping to qualify in the next round still alive as they head into the final round of matches. Sweden set to play Poland in their final game when Spain set  to meet Slovakia.

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