Posted June 11, 2012 on AP on Fox
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Mario Gomez was seconds away from becoming a footnote at a third straight major tournament. Now he's in the spotlight. Gomez scored for Germany in a 1-0 victory over Portugal in their European Championship opener on Saturday, moments before he was due to be substituted by Miroslav Klose. Klose was on the touchline, ready to come on as soon as the fourth official gave the sign. Instead, Gomez headed in a deflected cross and nearly scored another before finally being replaced by Klose. ''It was the most beautiful and important goal of my Germany career. I wanted to pay back the coach for his trust in me,'' Gomez said Monday. Gomez was aware that Klose was waiting on the touchline. ''I saw him but I knew that I still had one more chance,'' he said. With Klose still lacking match sharpness after playing little since March because of a thigh injury and back problems, Gomez was picked to start ahead of coach Joachim Loew's preferred striker ...
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