The first of the Quarter finals was played last night and it set some what of a precednet for the rest of them. A fantastic display of counter attacking football.
From the kick-off, Germany were at it, the Portugese were just not out of the starting blocks. For the frist 25 minutes Bastian Schweinsteiger terrorised the Porugal defence with intelligent running, pace and strength. He was rewarded with a goal for his efforts which was the culmination of wonderful passing and movement from the commanding Ballack and the ever lively Podolski. 4 minutes later a free kick from Schweinsteiger meet with Kloses head and he opened his account in this tournament - a bit late from a man who seems to make it his thing to score for his country in major championships!
From that point on though Portugal looked to get back into the game - Big Phil on the side must have made it very clear that he was not happy just by the expression on his face! Ronaldo showed flashes of what he was able to do, but was inconsistent; Nuno Gomes looked like a spent force (a part from his goal); the player that most impressed was the Chelsea bound Jose Bosingwa. I think we could be hearing a lot more about him. As an attack minded full back you'll struggle to see any better at these Euros. He has electric pace a good cross on him, and he can defend - well when he's down that end of the pitch! They did manage to pull a goal back through Nuno Gomes which then meant for an exciting last part of the match.
The Germans once again turned up the heat and the brilliant Ballack stole a header and got a deserved goal. For the fianl 10 minutes, Potrugal threw everything biut the kitchenb sink at the Germans but to no avail. It was not until the dying seconds that Helder Postiga scored a late consolation.
On reflection this was a match that Germany won, but also one that Portugal lost as at times their defence fell to pieces. I said at the beginning of the tournament that Germany were favourites - I still think the Dutch will win, but if the Germans play like this then who knows!!!