Germany benefited from two own goals as they came from behind to seal a thumping 4-2 win over Portugal in Euro 2020 Group F on Saturday.
Cristiano Ronaldo had put holders Portugal ahead early on with a strike that took him level with Miroslav Klose as the European player to have scored the most combined goals (19) across the World Cup and European Championship.
Joachim Low’s side stormed back before half-time, however, courtesy of two own goals in the space of four minutes from Ruben Dias and Raphael Guerreiro.
The 2014 world champions wrapped up an emphatic first victory of the tournament in the second half thanks to strikes from Kai Havertz and the impressive Robin Gosens, with Diogo Jota pulling one back for Fernando Santos’ men.
Left-back Gosens thought he had handed Germany a fifth-minute lead but his acrobatic effort at the back post was ruled out for offside against Serge Gnabry.
Despite Germany’s dominant start it was Portugal who struck first, Ronaldo tapping home from close range in the 15th minute following a flowing counter-attacking move involving Bernardo Silva and Jota.
Germany pulled level 10 minutes before half-time, though, when Dias diverted Gosens’ mis-hit volley past Rui Patricio from just outside the six-yard box.
Things got even better for Joachim Low’s side four minutes later when Guerreiro turned into his own net from close range after Joshua Kimmich had pulled the ball back across the face of goal.
They extended their lead further six minutes after the interval, Havertz turning in Gosens’ cross from close range.
Gosens then added his name to the scoresheet on the hour mark, leaping highest at the back post to head home Kimmich’s cross from the right.
Liverpool striker Jota gave Portugal hope of pulling off a memorable comeback when he fired home from Ronaldo’s pull-back in the 67th minute, but Germany held on to inflict just a third defeat in their last 31 matches for Portugal. who hit the post late on through Renato Sanches.
What does it mean? Low’s side up and running
Few could have predicted the final score when Ronaldo put Portugal ahead early on, but a brittle defensive display helped Germany gain their first win of the tournament and move up to second in Group F, one point behind leaders France.
Portugal, who conceded four goals in a European Championship match for the first time, have the same number of points as Germany, but are beneath them in third by virtue of an inferior goal difference.
Gosens shines for Die Mannschaft
Gosens, who enjoyed a stunning 2020-21 campaign for Serie A side Atalanta, was at his marauding best at the Allianz Arena. He brushed off the disappointment of an early disallowed effort to tee up Havertz for Germany’s third – one of two key passes – before adding a fourth with one of his three shots on target.
Fernandes well off the pace
Bruno Fernandes’ sparkling form for Manchester United over the past 18 months was nowhere to be seen in Munich. The 26-year-old failed to have a single shot and made just one key pass before he was hauled off for Joao Moutinho shortly after the hour mark.
Key Opta Stats: A first for European champions
– Portugal became the first reigning champions in European Championship history to concede four goals in a single match in the competition.
– Germany have conceded first in three consecutive European Championship matches for the first time since a run of five across Euro 1996 and 2000.
– Portugal became the first European nation ever to concede two own goals in a single match at a major tournament (World Cup/Euros).
– There have been five own goals scored at Euro 2020, two more than in any other previous edition. In fact, this match was the first in European Championship history to see two own goals scored.
– Aged 22 years and eight days old, Havertz became Germany’s youngest ever goalscorer in a European Championship game.
Both sides finish their Group F campaigns on Wednesday, with Portugal facing France in Budapest and Germany taking on Hungary in Munich.
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