Saturday 13 August 2016, 18:51

Germany ease past Portugal into semis

Goals from Serge Gnabry, Matthias Ginter, Davie Selke and Philipp Max led Germany past Portugal 4-0 and saw them advance to the Men's Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016 semi-finals.

Arsenal forward Gnabry scored seconds before half-time, finishing with composure with his right foot, while Ginter headed in a corner from Julian Brandt in the 57th minute, before Selke and Max both slotted home in the final 15 minutes, to give the Germans a deserved win over their European counterparts.

Portugal defeated Germany 5-0 in the semi-finals of the UEFA European Under-21 Championships last year, so the Germans were determined to start with a fresh mental state of mind, while Portugal were hoping to play with confidence from that result.

Both sides played with attacking intent from the start, with Portugal nearly taking the lead with just 40 seconds on the clock, but Germany goalkeeper Timo Horn made a tremendous reflex save.

Germany then had the majority of the chances in the half and it was Gnabry who finally found the breakthrough. Julian Brandt collected the ball about ten yards on top of the penalty area, before looking up and spreading a pass wide to the left wing to find Gnabry, who then took a touch before side-footing a right foot shot into the far corner. It was a composed finish and his sixth of the tournament.

Ginter then made it 2-0 in the 57th minute when he headed past Portugal goalkeeper Bruno Varela from eight yards out from a corner kick delivered by Brandt.

In the 75th minute, Selke scored after having multiple chances earlier in the match. Sven Bender won a challenge in midfield, before the ball fell to captain Max Meyer. Meyer played in Selke on the left, who finished with his right foot low and far post, similarly to how Gnabry scored in the first half.

Substitute Philipp Max scored in the 87th minute, five minutes after coming in to the match. Brandt assisted Max by sliding a pass towards the penalty spot, and Augsburg man made no mistake, finishing just inside the far post with his left foot.

Germany will face the winner of Nigeria-Denmark in the semi-finals at the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo on Wednesday 17 August.