portugal force west germany stalemate published: saturday 4 october 2003, 11.45cet
neither team was able to find a way through a congested midfield, leaving holders west germany with work to do in group 2.
portugal smothered holders west germany to force a goalless draw in their group 2 opener.
while in the other section france were using a five-man midfield as a springboard for sustained attack, it was the means for an altogether more defensive approach here. with bernd schuster absent through injury and hans müller out of favour, jupp derwall pulled karl-heinz rummenigge back into a congested midfield. portugal were more than content to put up with the traffic and hope for the chance to break.
such counterattacking opportunities were few and far between, however. west germany goalkeeper harald schumacher denied jaime pacheco and joão pinto, but that was as good as it got for portugal. once rummenigge was sent back up front, derwall's team made the better chances, rudi völler spurning their clearest openings.
it was a satisfactory result for portugal, who could draw on the added positive of chalana, who showed great promise on the right on his return from injury. for west germany, the outcome would ultimately prove to be more than a mere irritation.