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Germany vs. Portugal (Halftime)

KAHN! *hero worship* ♥ !

Hey, I spent 3/4ths of this World Cup whinging about how he's not on the field, and now he's on the field with the Captain's band. It's a bit of a cheat, as far as concessions go, but it is good to see him on the field, and good to see him getting some respect.

This first half has had great pacing. Solid, fast attacks from the Germans, who seem to be playing with heart -- something I just haven't seen enough of this time around. I've wondered if being host nation hasn't dulled them a bit. I could be stretching it some, but I think, "This is what happens when you have Kahn on the field!" I am very fond of seeing Klose out there as well, he has beautiful skill with carrying the ball through, but does seem to be a moving target for the other side in this match. I like him, and Neuville, who has tended to make appearances as a substitute during the second half in this World Cup. Schweinsteiger does an excellent save against two Portuguese defenders, falling to his knees by a foul and still managing to hold the ball away from Costinha.

The Portuguese side have excellent legwork, beautiful, accurate passes. Ricardo is a lovely goalkeeper to watch. I really liked how he went right across the field to join his teammates for their final minute set piece against the French, even helping head the ball back towards the goal himself. I just admire the initiative. He does good work in this match too, stopping a hard high kick from Kehl by just inching it over the net and an equally strong free kick from Podolski. Deco's got wonderful dribbling - truly, the Portuguese seem to be good at this in general. In one of the candid camera moments, one of Deco's attempts at goal resulted in a neat catch behind the net by one of the media. There's also a really cute but weird moment where one of the Germans, Metzelder I think, fouls Rinaldo and hops right over his head. Rinaldo's face said it all there.

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