GERMANY’S MEDIA ON Sunday celebrated the Mannschaft’s 1-0 victory over Portugal, hailing goal-scorer Mario Gomez for getting the team off to winning ways.
“Gomez, you were brilliant!” wrote Bild on its Internet site, adding: “First goal, first win, first hero.”
The Sueddeutsche Zeitung’s electronic edition headlined its article on the victory in Lviv, Ukraine on Saturday: “Mario’s heads Germany to happiness.”
“By heading (Sami) Khedira’s cross at Portugal’s near post into the back of the net, he (Gomez) set the German team free after they’d been labouring until then,” the Bavarian daily said.
The newspaper also reserved praise for goalkeeper Manuel Neuer for a series of vital saves before the final whistle, saying that he had “nothing less than saved the German nation.”
Bild for its part gave the Bayern Munich number one its highest mark — 10/10 — as it did for defender Mats Hummels, whom it said put on an “extraordinary classy” performance.
The Internet football site 11 Freunde (11 Friends) was hardly enthusiastic about the performance of Joachim Loew’s side but was philosophical: “Instead of losing beautifully, Germany won ugly.”
Kicker magazine also commented on Germany’s workmanlike debut in the competition with a team that showed “no daring and no genius” for a good part of the match.
Germany should instead recognise that they had a good deal of luck throughout, the publication said on its website, including a 45th minute effort from Pepe that deflected down off the crossbar onto the goal-line to bounce away from danger.
But Kicker also reminded fans of an interesting statistic: every time Germany has won its first match in a major competition, it has gone on to play in the final.