[GERMANY-PORTUGAL REPORT CARD]
regained its favorite status by downing Portugal, 3-2, in the first quarterfinal of Euro 2008. The Germans came out on all cylinders and took a 2-0 lead on goals Bastian Schweinsteiger and Miroslav
Klose before the Portuguese scored five minutes before the break. Despite taking better charge of the game in the second half, Portugal fell further behind on Michael Ballack's 62nd minute header and
didn't strike back until the 87th minute.
Schweinsteiger, on red-card suspension for Germany's dismal performance in a 1-0 against Austria to clinch the quarterfinal spot, poked home
Lukas Podolski's low cross - after a one-two with Ballack - for Germany's first goal and set up the other two with free kicks from the midfield.
Schweinsteiger's goal in the 22nd minute
came shortly after Joao Moutinho missed a golden opportunity for Portugal. Unable to decide whether he should meet Bosingwa's cross with a diving header or a shot, he let the ball bounce high off his
Miroslav Klose, leading scorer at the 2006 World Cup, headed home Schweinsteiger's 26th minute free kick.
Nuno Gomes narrowed the deficit by shooting past Jens Lehmann
after the German keeper's deflection of a shot from Cristiano Ronaldo.
German captain Ballack, who scored the winner against Austria, had his best game of the tournament and capped it
with a header after Schweinsteiger replicated the free kick that set up Klose's goal.
Ballack cleared space for himself by pushing his Chelsea teammate Paulo Ferreira out of the way in an
action missed by the referee.
Although the Portuguese dominated possession in the second half, they relied on futile long-range shots.
Helder Postiga hammered home a 87th
minute header from Nani's cross to make it 3-2 but the Germans held on.
Soccer America's Mike Woitalla
grades the players. Germany Player Ratings GRADE PLAYER (CLUB) GP/G6 Jens
(Arsenal) 59/05 Arne Friedrich
(Hertha Berlin) 59/06
(Werder Bremen) 47/16 Christoph Metzelder (
Real Madrid) 45/05 Philipp Lahm
(Bayern Munich) 45/29
(Bayern Munich) 54/146 Simon Rolfes
(Bayer Leverkusen) 11/09 Michael Ballack
(Chelsea) 85/386 Thomas Hitzlsperger
(VfB Stuttgart) 36/57 Lukas
(Bayern Munich) 52/287 Miroslav Klose
(Bayern Munich) 79/40 Subs:5 Tim Borowski
(Werder Bremen) 33/2nr Clemens Fritz
18/2nr Marcell Jansen
(Bayern Munich) 25/1 Portugal Player Ratings GRADE PLAYER (CLUB) GP/G3
(Real Betis) 79/05 Jose Bosingwa
(Real Madrid) 7/14 Ricardo Carvalho
(Chelsea) 51/13 Joao Moutinho
(Sporting) 17/15 Armando Petit
(Benfica) 57/45 Cristiano Ronaldo
(Man. United) 58/216 Deco
(Barcelona) 59/46 Simao Sabrosa
(Atletico Madrid) 64/157 Nuno Gomes
(Benfica) 72/29 Subs:6 Nani
(Man. United) 16/25 Ricardo Quaresma
(Porto) 24/37 Helder Postiga