MATCH CENTRE

MON 16 JUNE 2014, 18:00, ARENA FONTE NOVA

4
VS
0

Muller hat-trick hurts hapless Portugal

by Staff Reporter

Mon June 16, 20:08

Germany made short work of a calamitous Portugal as they romped to a 4-0 victory in their World Cup Group G opener at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador on Monday.

Thomas Muller scored a first hat-trick of his international career and Mats Hummer got the other as the Germans dominated their sorry opponents, who had Pepe sent off late in the first half for a head-butt.

It was a unprofessional piece of play that summed up the match for Portugal, who staggered from one disaster to the next to make a mockery of their talk in the build-up to the tournament that this could be their year.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who was booed by large sections of the crowd every time he touched the ball, showed flashes of his brilliance, but was unable to unlock the organized German defence.

As if the goals and red card were not bad enough, Portugal also lost influential players Hugo Almeida and, perhaps more importantly, flying wingback Fabio Coentrao through injury and they look doubtful for their next game against the United States on Sunday.

Germany were incisive on attack and might have had more goals but for some wasteful finished and last-gasp defending from the Portuguese.

Portugal showed their nerves early on when goalkeeper Rui Patricio passed the ball straight to Sami Khedira as he tried to shoft the ball of defence, leaving the German midfielder with an empty net to hit from 35-yards, but he put the ball wide.

They did not have to wait long for their opener though as Muller converted from the penalty spot on 11 minutes. Midfielder Mario Gotze went down in the penalty box from minimal contact from Portuguese defender Joao Pereira, but it was a clear penalty and a poor piece of play.

Germany made it 2-0 just past the half-hour mark as Hummels powered a header past Patricio from Toni Kroos’s corner as he left marker Pepe for dead in the penalty-box.

The frustrations of Pepe boiled over on 37 minutes when he believed Muller had made the most of a clash between the two and, with the German still on the ground, barged his head into the opponent. It was a clear red card for a player that is no stranger to controversy and acts of indiscipline on the field.

And it was 3-0 in first half injury-time as Muller got his second, capitalizing on some hesitant defending from Bruno Alves to get ahead of the defender and slam the ball home.

In a rare attack forward in the second half, Portugal thought they should have had a penalty when Benedikt Howedes hacked at forward Eder, but were incensed when nothing was given by referee Milorad Mažić of Serbia.

And soon afterwards Muller completed his hat-trick, turning home a cross from Andre Schurrle for his eighth World Cup goal in seven matches at the finals.

MATCH STATISTICS
MATCH VENUE REFEREE
GROUP STAGE ARENA FONTE NOVA
GERMANY GOALS PORTUGAL GOALS
13. Thomas Muller (11')
5. Mats Hummels (32')
13. Thomas Muller (45')
13. Thomas Muller (78')
CAUTIONS DISMISSALS CAUTIONS DISMISSALS
1 1
GERMANY STARTING LINEUP PORTUGAL STARTING LINEUP
Goalkeeper
1
Goalkeeper
12
Defender
4
Defender
2
Defender
20
Defender
65'
5
Defender
32'
73'
5
Defender
10'
21
Defender
17
Defender
37'
3
Midfielder
62'
8
Midfielder
8
Midfielder
16
Midfielder
46'
4
Midfielder
6
Midfielder
16
Midfielder
18
Forward/Striker
7
Forward/Striker
19
Forward/Striker
28'
9
Forward/Striker
11'
45'
78'
82'
13
Forward/Striker
17
SUBSTITUTIONS
Andre Schurrle
Forward/Striker
62'
9
Eder (BRG)
Forward/Striker
28'
11
Shkodran Mustafi
Forward/Striker
73'
21
Ricardo Costa
Defender
46'
13
Lukas Podolski
Forward/Striker
82'
10
Andre Almeida
Defender
65'
19
CARDS
Joao Pereira
Defender
10'
21
Pepe
Defender
37'
3
KEY
Goal
Penalty Missed
Yellow Card
Substitute IN
Own Goal
Penalty Shootout Goal
Yellow / Red Card
Substitute OUT
Penalty
Penalty Shootout Miss
Red Card
Injury
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