Germany managed to salvage some pride at the tournament hosted in their own country by winning the third-place playoff match against Portugal 3-1. Third-place matches are always viewed as lame-ducks but voth teams put up a brave face before the match begun and insisted that they will treat this just as any other competitive match. But it was the Germans who ran away winners inspite of some dazzling display by the Portugal players. The hero of the day was Bastian Schweinsteiger who scored twice, on either side of an own goal that went off Petit’s legs into the Portugal net. And the free-kick that orchestrated the own-goal was struck by Schweinsteiger himself!
The first half of the match did not yield any goals but both teams came out strongly in the second half, with Germany looking to attack and Portugal reciprocating the gesture after every attack! It was unfortunate for Portugal as they saw some crucial strikes being saved by Oliver Kahn, who probably played the last international match of his career! Luis Figo came on the 75th Minute for a last-time cameo and he orchestrated the solitary Portugal goal. A beauty of a cross from the right was met by Nuno Gomes’ head and at long last Portugal managed a goal which they thoroughly deserved. So, it was Germany who finish the 2006 FIFA World Cup as the third-placed side with Portugal fourth. But the all-important final will be played today between two richly-talented teams- Italy & France. May the best team win! And I mean Italy by that