Basel, Switzerland:Bastian Schweinsteiger scored one goal and set up two more to give Germany a 3-2 win over Portugal and a spot in the European Championship semifinals.
In the battle between Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo and Chelsea's Michael Ballack on Thursday, the German came out on top. He delivered the deciding blow when heading in the third goal in the 61st minute, shoving away Paulo Ferreira and heading past an out-of-position Ricardo.
It was the first time Germany moved into the final four since it won in 1996, and it was also the first time Portugal failed to make the semifinals in the last three international tournaments.
Miroslav Klose also scored for Germany, while Nuno Gomes and Helder Postiga had goals for Portugal.
The Germans started the upset with a move in the best Portuguese tradition. Podolski set up a couple of short passing combinations and sped off much like Ronaldo would do.
In the center, Schweinsteiger beat Ferreira for pace, and given the perfect low cross slotted it past Ricardo for the opener in the 22nd.
The Portuguese were surprised at such light-footed creativity from the Germans and before they knew it, they were down 2-0. Schweinsteiger swung in a free kick from near midfield. Ronaldo remained flat-footed while Klose sped by him and powerfully knocked the ball past Ricardo.
The sterling performance from Schweinsteiger was a perfect comeback for the peroxide-dyed midfielder, after he had been sent off for a petulant shove on an opponent in Germany's 2-1 loss to Croatia.