Germany 3 1 Portugal 2006 Football Match Show Third place play off
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Germany 3-1 Portugal 2006 Football Match Show Third place play-off
Two long-range efforts from Bastian Schweinsteiger ensured hosts Germany overcame Portugal to claim third place.
Germany took the lead when midfielder Schweinsteiger cut in from the left and drilled in a swerving shot.
The Germans went two up when the lively Schweinsteiger's free-kick was sliced into his own net by Armando Petit.
Schweinsteiger sealed the victory with another rasping shot from 25 yards and Nuno Gomes headed Portugal a late consolation after a Luis Figo cross.
Goalkeeper Oliver Kahn came in for his 86th cap, while Figo, who was rumoured to have had an argument with coach Luiz Felipe Scolari before the match, was relegated to the substitutes' bench.
A great way for the hosts to finish the tournament, they deserved third place
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The hosts started positively with Sebastian Kehl going close with a shot through a crowded box that appeared to strike Nuno Valente's hand, while Klose slashed a drive wide on the counter.
With only pride at stake, Portugal expressed the kind of freedom that has deserted their play in their previous two outings against England and France.
But apart from Pauleta's curling shot from close range and Kehl's deft lob, neither team could muster the enthusiasm needed to seriously trouble the opposing keeper.
The referee, who was officiating his first game for three weeks, made up for his inactivity by regularly awarding free-kicks for tame fouls.
But the quality of the resulting set-pieces were poor, with only Lucas Podolski's stinging left-foot strike causing any problems.
Luis Figo and Luiz Felipe Scolari
Luis Figo was brought on for his final cap by Luiz Felipe Scolari
Michael Ballack's yawn from the bench summed up the first 45 minutes, but his boredom turned to delight 10 minutes after the restart when Schweinsteiger unleashed a fierce drive from long range.
Portugal keeper Ricardo will have felt he could have done better with the shot that was driven straight at him.
And five minutes later Germany were two up, with Schweinsteiger again at the heart of the attack.
The midfielder's low free-kick cannoned off Petit as he tried to clear and ended up in the back of the helpless Ricardo's net.
On 76 minutes the disappointing Pauleta made way for Figo who won his 127th and final cap for Portugal.
But even he was unable to lift the despondent Portuguese and Schweinsteiger again found the net from outside the box with a sweetly-struck drive that gave Ricardo no chance.
Both Miroslav Klose and Podolski were then withdrawn, leaving France striker Thierry Henry needing two to tie and a hat-trick to win the Golden Boot in Sunday's final.
Figo's last act in his number seven shirt for Portugal was to lay on a goal for Gomes who headed in from close range.
But the night belonged to the hosts who deservedly claimed third spot to the delight of the home support and coach Jurgen Klinsmann.