Germany thrash Portugal to resurrect Euro 2020 hopes

An action-packed day saw Germany win 4-2, Hungary hold France, and Poland earn a draw with Spain.

Germany have beaten Portugal five consecutive times at World Cup or European Championship since Euro 2000 [Alexander Hassenstein/Reuters]

Germany got their Euro 2020 campaign back on track and blew Group F wide open with a 4-2 win against Portugal in Munich on Saturday, after world champions France were forced to settle for a draw with Hungary.

In Saturday’s late match, Robert Lewandowski’s second-half header secured Poland a 1-1 draw with Spain in Seville, forcing the hosts to settle for a second straight draw in Group E as the second round of group stage games at the tournament drew to a close.

France’s 1-1 draw with Hungary earlier in Budapest and Germany’s win mean there is all to play for in Wednesday’s final Group F games when the Germans host Hungary and the French meet holders Portugal.

“Overall, it was a great performance: great attitude and great morale,” said Germany coach Joachim Loew.

“We must play every game like today. We need to put pressure on the opponent and then we can go step-by-step,” he added.

After Cristiano Ronaldo claimed his 107th international goal – leaving him two short of Ali Daei’s all-time record – to give Portugal an early lead, the Germans roared back with four unanswered goals.

Germany’s Robin Gosens, left, celebrates Germany’s Mats Hummels after scoring his side’s fourth goal against Portugal [Matthias Hangst/Pool/AP]

Portuguese defenders Ruben Dias and Raphaël Guerreiro both put the ball in their own net to give Germany a 2-1 halftime lead in their Euro 2020 match in Munich.

Portugal has become the first team to score two own-goals in one game at the European Championship.

A goal by Kai Havertz underlined Germany’s dominance before left-back Robin Gosens capped his man-of-the-match display by heading in Germany’s fourth to add to his two assists.

Portugal hit back when Diogo Jota tapped in Ronaldo’s hooked volley to make it 4-2 with 23 minutes left.

Germany continued their domination of Portugal, whom they have now beaten five consecutive times at World Cup or European Championship finals since Euro 2000.

“Germany were 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.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 107th international goal, leaving him two short of Ali Daei’s all-time record [Christof Stache/Pool/AP]

Germany created a huge number of chances compared with Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat by France, while Portugal lacked the composure of their 3-0 win over Hungary the same day.

Germany nearly claimed a late fifth goal when Havertz’s replacement Leon Goretzka fired over after another surging attack by the hosts.

This is the first time Portugal have conceded four goals since losing 4-0 to Germany at the 2014 World Cup.

Hungary holds France

Earlier in the day France, the pre-tournament favourites, were thwarted by Hungary in the intense heat and before a hostile crowd of almost 56,000 in Budapest, having to come from behind to draw 1-1.

In the only Euro 2020 venue without restrictions on capacity due to COVID-19, Attila Fiola gave the hosts a shock lead in first-half stoppage time after catching out the France defence.

But Antoine Griezmann, the Golden Boot winner at Euro 2016, equalised on 66 minutes as an unconvincing France avoided a first competitive defeat since June 2019.

Hungary’s Roland Sallai is airborne as he challenges for the ball with France’s Benjamin Pavard [Alex Pantling/Pool/AP]

“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.

Les Bleus top the group with four points, one ahead of Germany and Portugal, with Hungary bottom on one point.

France therefore just need a draw when they face Portugal back in Budapest on Wednesday to go through, but Portugal are at real risk of being knocked out if they lose and Germany avoid defeat against Hungary.

Qualification remains a long shot for the Hungarians but their goal-scorer Fiola said it had been “one of the best days of my life, even the best”.

Spain struggle against Poland

Late on Saturday, Spain and Poland’s 1-1 draw ensured all four Euro 2020 Group E teams can still qualify as they head into Wednesday’s final round of matches.

Spain striker Alvaro Morata broke the deadlock in the 25th minute, pouncing to sweep home Gerard Moreno’s driven ball into the box and, though a linesman’s flag for offside delayed the celebrations, the goal was awarded following a VAR review.

Lewandowski equalised with a towering header from Kamil Jozwiak’s cross in the 54th minute and four minutes later a Moreno penalty came cannoning off the left-hand post, with Morata missing the rebound and several more second-half chances.

The draw leaves Sweden top of Group E on four points, with Slovakia second with three, Spain third on two points and the Poles bottom with one. Sweden play Poland in their final game on Wednesday when Spain meet Slovakia.

Source: News Agencies