Lviv (Ukraine): Mario Gomez has spoken of his pride after scoring the winning goal to help Germany defeat Portugal 1-0 in their opening match of the European Championship on Saturday.
The Bayern Munich star popped up in the second half to break his unhappy record of having never scored in a major tournament, ensuring that the Nationalelf capitalised on Netherlands` earlier defeat to Denmark.
After the match, Gomez could not hide his joy at being given the opportunity to prove his worth by being entrusted with leading his country`s line ahead of striking rival Miroslav Klose.
"It was a long way to get here, but I am happy that the coach trusted me today and from the beginning I had a good feeling," he told reporters.
"Since I joined up with the national team, I`ve been feeling positive. I knew when Miro [Klose] was benched, that he would come for the last minutes, so there was no surprise [when he stood there to be substituted]."
Meanwhile, midfielder Sami Khedira was pleased that Germany rose to the occasion, but took on board the initial difficulties that they encountered due to Portugal`s resolute organisation at the back.
"It was an immensely important game. It was very difficult and we had to work very hard. Portugal were very well-prepared," he stated.
"All opponents know our style after those two years, so we have to play with more concentration."
Germany`s next game is against Oranje on June 13.
First Published: Sunday, June 10, 2012, 14:06