Netherlands, 13 June 2012 >

GERMANY 1 - 0 PORTUGAL

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Lviv
Euro 2012, Group B

"It's very important not to chase your own shadow - you have to win the first game."
7 June 2012 - 9 June 2012

Goalscorer:
Germany - Mario Gomez 72'

Gomez gives Germany edge over Portugal
Joachim Löw the big winner as Mario Gomez and Mats Hummels take the spot light for Germany

Germany begin Euro 2012 with a win

"It was a really close game, but it has given us a good start," said Löw, whose team now face the Netherlands on Wednesday in Kharkiv.
"We did well in defence, we worked hard which wasn't always the case in our warm-up game. We have work to do up front with the tempo; it was there in phases, but we have to be more consistent."
Joachim Löw insists Germany will get better at Euro 2012
"The important thing was to win. The European Championship is like a Formula One race but without a warm-up."
"You have to be ready straight away because every team is incredibly strong," he said. "There is no team like in the World Cup where you can acclimatise yourself (against them) - Portugal were right there straight away."
"Both teams knew the team that lost would have a lot to do in the next game - kind of like a knockout situation. We could have attacked a bit better, but we will do that. The main thing is that we won and we've got these three points."
"Gomez has lots of different qualities - one chance, one goal." said Löw.
(On selecting Mario Gomez over Miroslav Klose)  "I spoke with Miro," Löw added. "He still needs maybe a few per cent at this moment. He hasn't played for quite a while in the preparation.
They both trained really well but Gomez has been playing for the whole season, scoring lots of goals."

Post match interview with ZDF
Mario Gomez dedicates goal to Joachim Löw as Ronaldo misfires
Boateng helps Germany shut out Portugal

Der Jubel-Jogi - says Bild.de!
Germany's press hails header hero - a summary of the press headlines from thelocal.de

Löw: "Wichtig für das Turnier ist es, dass wir nicht der Musik hinterherlaufen" - post-match quotations on dfb.de

Löw's compromise pays off in Euro opener - Match report and tactical analysis from bundesliga fanatic
Match report and player ratings from goal.com




Post match interview on ARD

UEFA Post-Match Press Conference

"The European Championship is like a Formula 1 race without the warm-up. You have to make a good start and get off the grid straight away; there are no easy games. You have to win your first match and we did. Both teams were quite tense, especially after the Denmark v Netherlands game as for the loser it means knock-out competition from here on in.

Both teams were great in defence. We were much more compact at the back than we have been of late. We could have attacked better and we can work on that but the three points are the main thing. The back four were all very good, really vigilant and no balls got played behind them - tactically we were on the ball. I'm really pleased with that.

Gomez has played all season, scored lots of goals and tonight he had one chance, one goal. I wanted to bring (Miroslav) Klose on two minutes before he scored but it took a while to make the change - Gomez had run all evening and I needed to bring on someone fresh. Games like these are so intense that before you have to bring on fresh legs.

I told the guys at half-time that we had to up the pace. Portugal were breaking up our rhythm and eventually we picked it up. It is so intense, and if you make a mistake you will be punished - one chance, one goal - it was important to avoid the risky pass. It was about finding a rhythm, avoiding carelessness. At the end of the day it's winning that matters and we did. We can see where we need to go now. Germany have three points, Denmark have three points so it's good for both of us. But the onus is on the losing teams to recover so we have to be wary of the Netherlands."

Post match comments thanks to UEFA.com

The press conference can be seen on the UEFA website



And just when you thought we were concentrating solely on the football:
Joachim Löw led Germany to take fashion photos - photographs from the Stenesse shoot - 8 June 2012

Training, Arena Stadium, Lviv, 8 June 2012

UEFA Press Conference, 8 June 2012<

Löw ready to get party started against Portugal

"We're really looking forward to it all kicking off," he said. "We've had a long preparation period, and there is lots of planning behind us - we feel ready for anything. We are in a very strong group but the challenge is to measure yourselves against the best in the world."
Joachim Löw says he has a full squad to choose from tomorrow and Bastian Schweinsteiger has shaken off a knock. He adds: "For me the decision about the lineup is pretty much made. Of course, we have training tonight but tomorrow I will tell the team who is playing and who isn't"
"Portugal can beat anyone, they have big players at big clubs and they've done so well in final tournaments in recent years, especially for such a small country. They can switch from defence to offence in an instant. Cristiano Ronaldo is the stand-out star, but there are so many other players."
"Training has been great but that's all fine and dandy: this [looks at his surroundings] is the reason we are here."
Joachim Löw is revealing his duty in the hours before the game, saying "I drink an espresso - I've done my work by then."
Per Mertesacker and Bastian Schweinsteiger: "Both players are ready to start."
Summary with thanks to UEFA.com

Özil has raised his game at Real: Löw

"In these two years at Real Madrid, he's really developed as a player," Loew said Friday ahead of Germany's Euro 2012 opener against Portugal here Saturday. "He has just fantastic skills, and he has also developed as a person to become more mature," Löw added.

The press conference can be watched on the UEFA video section.

An interview with ARD - 7 June 2012

Arriving in Lviv, 8 June 2012

Press Conference, Gdansk, 7 June 2012

Germany's Lahm to play at left back versus Portugal
Germany captain Philipp Lahm will switch from his favoured right back position to the left for their Euro 2012 Group B match against Portugal on Saturday, said coach Joachim Löw.
It will not be the first time Lahm has changed positions, having played on the left for Germany before and even switching positions halfway through matches at Euro 2008.
Löw said on Thursday he had yet to decide whether to use Jerome Boateng on the right or youngster Lars Bender as he draws up his plans to stop Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo.
"It is very good for us that Philipp will play on the left," Löw told reporters. "On the right one alternative is Jerome Boateng but Lars Bender has been very good in training in that position. I like him there."

Löw angry at Boateng's late-night tryst

"Jerome Boateng is fully focused because after causing these headlines he is a little bit in my debt to me, because frankly I didn't like what I read," Löw said at Thursday's press conference.
"I spoke to him about this and while he was doing all this during his time off, I didn't like what he did. He is ready to give 100 percent to prove his critics wrong and he has to prove himself over the next few weeks."

"In a tournament, we must think step by step," he explained. "That is why our only focus has to be on the match against Portugal. The players are very focused and willing to win. I notice the tension is growing amongst them. The closer it gets to the tournament, the calmer I become."
"My thoughts are becoming clearer. The anticipation is growing at the start of the tournament."
"There are many thoughts, many conversations, but I am glad that it is finally starting." - from goal.com

Löw braced for Portugal task
"For me, Portugal are one of the best technical sides in the world," he told reporters.
"Pepe and Bruno Alves have international experience and that is why I have to say that this is a different team from the one in 2008. I expect an open game and a match on an equal footing. Both teams are willing to win the match.
"We will not speculate, but anticipate. Portugal are able to play very quickly and in a technical way. Cristiano Ronaldo is very good at running deep, so we have to close down the passing lanes.
"We must help each other, but that does not mean that we will have two men marking one specific player. We must stand against the players one-on-one, because otherwise there will be free players."
Löw wary of 'dangerous' Portugal
"Portugal are amongst the most dangerous teams when the opponent loses the ball," said Löw on Thursday in a press conference at their Euro 2012 base.
"They can switch from defence to attack at pace and there is hardly a team that does it better. If we give away possession easily, Portugal will be very strong and can be a threat, so we have to have a high-intensity playing forward and force them into their own half."
"We will have to anticipate and be mentally alert, you can't afford to switch off for a second," said Löw.
"Portugal are able to play deep balls and put in killer passes with incredible speed, so every player is called upon to deny them the space and shut down the centre. "We have to attack their wide players at a very early stage."
"Portugal have four or five players who can produce world-class performances and have had seen some major footballing battles.
Portugal are a different team from Euro 2008 and I expect an open match with both sides going for the win."
Live ticker from the press conference

The press conference with Jogi and Philipp Lahm can be seen in full on tv.dfb.de
Footage of Jogi arriving in the Mercedes SLS AMG E-Cell

An interview with Jogi, originally on the Nivea website - 7 June 2012


Training, Gdansk, 7 June 2012


Pedigree contenders relishing Group B test - 30 May 2012
"Against such a team you can only afford very few mistakes, and you must be able to control the game, have the courage to play forward and not wait for them," said Germany coach Joachim Löw. "I think that's the only way to beat that team."

(On Philipp Lahm and marking Christiano Ronaldo)  "In Poland, I will decide where Lahm plays," said Löw. "But I want a decision independent of where he played for Bayern, and it makes no sense to put one player against Ronaldo. Three or four players have to stop him. I don't want one-on-ones with him." from uefa

Netherlands, 13 June 2012 >

Last updated 11 June 2012
With thanks to everyone on the Group for their help and support, especially Silke, Rocio and Fanny!
See my Index Page for photograph credits.  Also thanks to UEFA.com
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