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By Caroline Cheese
A Champagne Moment? That will be Germany's first goal, a lesson in bold, incisive attacking. Lukas Podolski passes to Michael Ballack and chases after the return before squaring for Bastian Schweinsteiger to slot home. Schweinsteiger, in his first start of the tournament, goes on to stamp his mark on Euro 2008 in as spectacular fashion as Andrei Arshavin for Russia on Wednesday.
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Schweinsteiger's sizzling opener
2151: Luiz Felipe Scolari's record since becoming Chelsea boss reads: Played Two, Lost Two. At least with Portugal out, we might finally reach the end of the world's most boring transfer saga. Cristiano Ronaldo, I beg of you, stay or go, just don't drag it out any longer. Thanks!
2148: I know some people were worried that after the feast of football in the group stage, the quarter-finals might be tight, tense affairs - but with these ropey defences, that was never going to happen was it? When even the supposedly 'efficient' Germans get involved in a five-goal thriller, you know you're witnessing a special tournament. I Jogi Low it.
2143: No doubt about the man of the match from that game, according to those kind users of Player Rater. It's Bastian Schweinsteiger, whose goal and two assists earns him 8.18. He was quite simply unplayable - for Portugal anyway. Portugal keeper Ricardo - at fault for two goals - is the man with egg on his face with a miserable 4.65. Portugal v Germany player rater
2138: Germany begin the celebrations in Basel, as some shell-shocked Portugal players trudge off. Joachim Low's side will meet Croatia or Turkey back in Basel on Wednesday.
2136: FULL-TIME Portugal 2-3 Germany
2133: Nani, Nani, Nani. With the Portugal players queuing up in the box, the winger cuts in from the right and whacks a shot wildly over the bar. Waste.
2132: Jogi Low has just lit up a cigarette. Tense times these...
2131: Germany respond by bringing on defender Marcell Jansen for striker Miroslav Klose. Into the last minute now.
2129: GOAL Portugal 2-3 Germany
Some Portugal-style defending there from Germany as Helder Postiga is left unmarked to head home Nani's cross from the left. Portugal have three minutes plus injury time to salvage an unlikely draw.
2125: The man sitting to my right believes he could have played better than Portugal midfielder Simao in the last 10 minutes - a cameo I would pay to see. It's a fair shout though. Simao is not having a great time out there - passes going astray, wild shooting, the lot.
2124: Bastian Schweinsteiger gets a huge - and deserved - ovation as he is substituted. Scored one and created the other two. It gets no better. Even the Portugal fans are applauding. Clemens Fritz is on.
2121: Lukas Podolski wins a corner and turns to the German supporters to ramp up the noise. They respond and Podolski almost scores the fourth, thundering a sweet strike just beyond the post from 35 yards.
2119: The camera pans to Jogi Low, who looks very tense as he sits with his hands over his mouth. Relax, Jogi, your team are on their way to the semis... aren't they?
2115: One change each. Helder Postiga replaces Petit for Portugal. Germany throw on Tim Borowski for Thomas Hitzlsperger.
2113: Nani escapes down the right but yet again, there's only one in the box to aim at - and Nani's aim isn't that good.
2112: I mentioned earlier that Big Phil Scolari was worried about his team would deal with the height of the Germany team. He didn't find the answer. Germany have scored twice from Bastian Schweinsteiger free-kicks - one through Michael Ballack and one through Miroslav Klose. Both shook off their markers with considerable ease.
2110: Free-kick for Portugal and it's Cristiano Ronaldo who blasts it miles high and miles wide.
2109: Portugal make a change and it's a familiar one... Cristiano Ronaldo takes the captaincy and moves into a central role as Nuno Gomes goes off and Nani comes on.
2103: GOAL Portugal 1-3 Germany
Bastian Schweinsteiger delivers the deadly free-kick from the left and Michael Ballack beats Paulo Ferriera to head home - as keeper Ricardo is caught in no-man's land.
2102: Pepe is in the book for a shoulder-charge on Miroslav Klose. More of an assault than a foul. The stretcher's on for the Germany striker. He doesn't need it though and after going to off to rub some ice on his cheek, he'll be back on imminently...
2058: Deco heads on a corner at the near post and it comes to Pepe right in front of goal - but the defender doesn't really have time to react and the header flies over.
2055: "Re 2050: If you had a 15 stone German stamp on your foot you'd be blubbing like you were when you exited the womb." SPARKY: Double agent on 606 Join the debate on 606
2053: The rain is falling... will we see a repeat of Switzerland-Turkey? Am I the only one hoping that'll be the case?
2050: Cristiano Ronaldo is tripped by Arne Friedrich, who slyly treads on the winger's foot as he runs past. Stupid from Friedrich but it prompts the most remarkable histrionics from Ronaldo. A lot of screaming and about three rolls. Friedrich is booked after which Ronaldo appears to recover.
2046: We're back up and running...
2045: Chris Waddle reckons that was the best half he has seen at this tournament - which is some statement considering what we've witnessed so far. "The next goal is crucial," says 5 Live commentator Alan Green, not unreasonably.
2040: "What a difficult half to watch! I don't want Portugal to win, but I don't want Germany to through either! What can I do?" Adrian, Derby, via text on 81111
2035: Bastian Schweinsteiger is the man of the first half according to Player Rater users. He's on 7.64 - which is a little bit stingy if you ask me. He's been awesome. All of which begs the question: why wasn't he in the Germany starting XI from the beginning of the tournament? Since Jogi Low is probably twiddling his thumbs right now while his assistant gives the half-time talk, perhaps he could text in? It's 81111 Jogi.
2031: HALF-TIME Portugal 1-2 Germany
2030: Philipp Lahm's reverse pass finds Michael Ballack, who cuts back and hammers in a low shot which Ricardo palms away. Moments later, Cristiano Ronaldo sends a fizzing effort narrowly beyond the far post. I don't want the half-time whistle...
2027: Nuno Gomes becomes the fourth player to score at three different European Championships, joining Jurgen Klinsmann, Vladimir Smicer and Thierry Henry. Gomes has 72 caps and 29 goals.
2025: GOAL Portugal 1-2 Germany
That makes it interesting... Deco wins the ball on the edge of his own area and plays it to Simao, who slides the pass through for Cristiano Ronaldo. Jens Lehmann does well to save Ronaldo's low effort but the ball comes out to Nuno Gomes,whose shot squeezes in despite Christoph Metzelder's attempt to block on the line.
2022: "Re 2002: I can top that. I am stuck at a charity do with X Factor reject Ben Mills doing turgid covers!" Simon, London, via text on 81111
2019: "Anyone think Portugal will do a Turkey and win 3-2?" Anon via text on 81111
Well, it is the same referee on duty tonight...
2017: Almost a perfect goal from Portugal. After some dizzying one-touch passing, Cristiano Ronaldo is in space but his final ball for Nuno Gomes is poor.
2015: Well it's a change forced by an injury to Joao Moutinho rather than a tactical one. Raul Meireles is on now.
2014: Luiz Felipe Scolari smiled and shrugged his shoulders as that goal went in, as if to say "what can I do?" Well, he can make a substitution, which it looks like he might be about to. Raul Meireles is getting ready to come on.
2011: GOAL Portugal 0-2 Germany
Petit is booked for a foul on Christoph Metzelder. After a short delay for treatment, Bastian Schweinsteiger delivers the free-kick to the far post where Miroslav Klose loses his marker and heads in.
2010: "Scoring that kind of goal... Having that kind of girlfriend...(see 1934)" Boulayman on 606 Join the debate on 606
2006: GOAL Portugal 0-1 Germany
Lukas Podolski plays a quick on-two with Michael Ballack and charges down the left before squaring for Bastian Schweinsteiger, who easily gets ahead of the defender to slot in at the near post. Brilliant move from the Germans.
2005: Best chance so far. Bosingwa darts down the right and delivers an inviting cross for Joao Moutinho, but the midfielder actually looks scared as he realises the ball is coming towards him and it just bounces off his knee and miles over the bar. Strange.
2004: Cristiano Ronaldo breaks into the box but Arne Friedrich goes shoulder to shoulder with the winger but stretching to clear the ball. Good work from Friedrich.
2003: Bastian Schweinsteiger flicks the ball through Paulo Ferreira's legs and sees his cross deflected behind for a corner. Michael Ballack rises to meet it but heads well over.
2002: "I'm stuck at the Alanis Morrisette concert with my wife. Gutted I can't watch Germany beat Portugal but anniversaries are apparently more important!" Rob, Brixton, via text on 81111
2000: Bastian Schweinsteiger lifts a fabulous shot onto the post - but he's already been ruled offside.
1959: There must be a strong breeze in Basel because the players are having terrible trouble keeping their feet. Miroslav Klose falls over after the slightest of contact with Pepe - but the referee isn't fooled.
1956: Lovely move from Portugal. Deco swings a delightful crossfield ball out to Simao, who feeds Bosingwa on the right but again only Nuno Gomes is in the box and Germany clear.
1955: Thomas Hitzlsperger fancies a goal tonight. This time he has a go from a difficult angle on the right and only finds the side netting.
1953: Free-kick to Germany after a foul on Michael Ballack. Thomas Hitzlsperger shoots from fully 40 yards but it goes straight into the wall. A very hopeful effort, and a bit of a waste.
1952: "Re 1944: Good on you Caroline. I've sent you insightful commentary on innumerable occasions and you've ignored it, but as soon as I resort to petty insults with a cheesy nickname, you post it straight away. Bravo, how thoroughly British. I have to admit I want the Germans to win this one." Griffo (or not) via text on 81111
1951: "Germany are zipping the ball around with such pace at the moment, Portugal can't get a foot on the ball." BBC Radio 5 Live analyst Chris Waddle
1949: Cristiano Ronaldo benefits from a Germany mistake on the left and charges to the byeline but there's only Nuno Gomes to aim at and Germany clear.
1947: Germany have Thomas Hitzlsperger and Simon Rolfes as the defensive midfielders with Michael Ballack playing in behind Miroslav Klose. Lukas Podolski out left, Bastian Schweinsteiger on the right. A 4-2-3-1 if you like.
1945: Off we go then. Sorry Griffo, I'm still here.
1944: "Please get rid of Caroline Cheese. She is annoyingly ignorant." Griffo via text on 81111
See you later then.
1942: Jogi Low is behind a screen up in the stands but that doesn't stop him standing and singing the anthem. Stirring stuff from the Germans... And from Portugal too. Too tough to call this game. I'm predicting penalties...
1939: Out come the teams led by Michael Ballack for Germany and Portugal's Nuno Gomes. National anthems imminent...
1934: Shameless hit-mongering by our photo gallery expert tonight. He's only gone and cut a picture of Bastian Schweinsteiger's girlfriend for the front-page picture. That's Bastian Schweinsteiger's girlfriend Sarah Brandner, the model. Disgraceful. Go on then, you know you want to
1933: "Anyone got any idea of an illness I can claim so as to desert work for the match? I've already been out with a stomach bug, with the mumps, and for bereavement since June 7, so suspicions may easily be triggered this time around." sdpasi02 on 606 Join the debate on 606
1931: Portugal's Pepe has dazzled users of our Player Rater tool. His three games to date have yielded him an average score of 7.02, which means he has been voted the second-highest ranked defender in the tournament by Player Rater fans. Philipp Lahm is Germany's top man-at-the-back, with a creditable 6.95 average, meaning he's fourth on the defender rankings. More fascinating facts from Player Rater
1928: "Tonight will produce an amazing match, I reckon. 1-1 at full time. 2-2 after extra time. Germany on penalties." Abroad_magpie on 606 Join the debate on 606
1922: I wonder what Joachim 'Jogi' Low's up to now? The Germany manager has got a one-game ban which means he can have no contact with his team once they arrive at the stadium. Which seems a touch harsh if you ask me.
1920: "Re 1914: Did he go out in the traditional English style. On penalties?" GraymeadYNWA on 606
More like on one highly controversial penalty, I'd suggest
1918: "Re 1912: Bierhoff's plan is using Friedrich's speed and tackling Ronaldo's legs off." Anon via text on 81111
1914: Incidentally, this news may not have reached you, but England are out of Euro 2008. Yes, referee Howard Webb is on his way home after he failed to make the grade for the knockout stage. Still, he'll always find a welcome in Austria after awarding their team that last-minute penalty against Poland. Euro 2008 over for referee Webb
1912: There's Cristiano Ronaldo going through his stretches. Here's Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff on the tricky winger: "We have a special plan to stop him, but I won't tell you."
1909: Ah yes, the pitch. I'm just having a look at it now and from my privileged position in London's White City, I can tell you it looks patchy - a la Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium for the Champions League final. The turf was relaid on Monday after the comedy game that was Turkey's win over Switzerland.
1906: Users of BBC Sport's Player Rater have ranked Portugal's midfield maestro Deco highest among the stars on show tonight. He has an average of 7.55 from his two matches. Cristiano Ronaldo has 7.38 from his two matches. And both have more than the top-ranked German, striker Lukas Podolski who has averaged 7.36. Should you happen to be reading this, Lukas, here's your obvious comeback if Deco and Ronaldo start having a pop. Why not say: "But I've got more goals than both of you put together, Deco and Ronaldo." More fascinating facts from Player Rater
1903: Ah, the sweet sound of Status Quo rings out at the St Jakob-Park in Basel as Germany go through their warm-ups. A German supporter wearing a red cowboy hat is nodding his head vigorously in approval.
1859: "No Gomez is an immediate advantage to Germany. The amount of excellent opportunities he's wasted so far, maybe they'll actually score a few more." olympicgoat on 606 Join the debate on 606
1853: So Portugal are unchanged from the team that beat the Czech Republic in their second Group A game. Germany's top scorer Lukas Podolski is fit to start and will play alongside Miroslav Klose up front as Mario Gomez drops to the bench. However, Torsten Frings (rib) is out while Clemens Fritz is dropped. That means Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Hitzlsperger and Simon Rolfes come into the midfield.
1848: And while Portugal fret over the big, nasty Germans, Germany will have to deal with the likes of Deco, Simao and Cristiano Ronaldo. The man likely to be at right-back is Arne Friedrich, who is described thus by Guardian writer Raphael Honigstein: "He can only run in straight lines and is as good going forward as a broken-down lorry stuck in reverse gear." Ah.
1845: "Anyone know if Podolski is fit to start?" says jdnp_cfc_gh on 606. According to most news outlets, three-goal Podolski is doubtful with a calf injury. However, the Uefa website confidently predicts: "He will play!" And who am I to argue? Join the debate on 606
1841: Let's get on to tonight's game though shall we? Portugal boss Big Phil Scolari - who by all accounts isn't actually that big - is having a few size issues with his players. Asked how he would deal with Michael Ballack, he theatrically read out a list of German players, including Ballack, and their heights. "My players are good but they're small," said Big Phil. "I need to find an answer to this problem." Heels?
1837: And of course, speaking of the magnificent group stage, if you're already feeling nostalgic, why not recall the best bits through the wonder of Cheesy 'n' Stevo's Euro 2008 Champagne Moments? Yes, this is a shameless plug. Well spotted. Champagne moments of Euro 2008
1830: So the group stage is over. Sniff. What a festival of football it was. Great goals, great drama, kamikaze defending. If only the quarter-finals started, like, today… Eh? What's that you say? They do start today? With three-times champions Germany against a Ronaldo-inspired Portugal? You have got to be kidding me. This Euro 2008 is blowing my tiny mind.
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