Germany 4-0 Portugal
Muller (12′ 45+1′ 78′) Hummels (32′)
When fixtures were announced, fans found themselves salivating at the thought of this game. a team that boasts the World Player of the Year and a side that’s touted as the next generation of superstars – it promised to be a cracker and it did not disappoint. Joachim Low’s side did well in 2010 for a young squad, four years on the key players have matured. And what away to announce their arrival at this tournament.
Refereeing was under question yet again as Mario Gotze went to ground after being tackled by Joao Pereira. On closer inspection, Pereira did seem to get a foot to Gotze ever so slightly. I guess from where the ref was standing he had no choice but to award the penalty. Muller comfortably converted to put the Germans one up. A lot of fuss was made of the midday start of the game – would the teams cope in the heat etc. But judging from this game, only the Portugese were effected, Germany completely dominated in every aspect.
Toni Kroos was phenomenal. He held together the midfield, and generally made life difficult for Portugal. A corner from him had Mats Hummels out-jump Pepe to head in Germany’s second of the night. (Good thing he did, he limped off in the second half with a left knee injury). Just before halftime Kroos was vital again, he then set up Muller who controlled the ball well and netted in the third goal of the night. You’d think that in the second half, with the game well and truly over, Germany would ease up, but it was to the contrary. They were relentless in attack and efficient in defense. It wasn’t long before Cristiano Ronaldo’s frustration showed which culminated in him whining over a penalty not awarded to Eder. On the other end, Muller put the final nail in the coffin when substitute Schurrle’s cross found him and he netted in the first hat-trick of the tournament.
Thomas Muller on form for Germany
Problems for Portugal
Pepe head butts Muller
Cristiano Ronaldo basically solely sent the Portugese into the finals last year. After lasts night game, it would seem any hope the Iberian s have of coming out of the group of death will depend on him. The defense is laughable, Bruno Alves’ mistake at the back cost them the fourth goal. Pepe is suspect as always, not that it matters since he will in all probability miss the rest of the group matches. The incident started when Pepe came into contact with Muller’s face, it was minor contact at most, Muller went down, the ref said “play on.” I guess getting stuck in with an opponent is more interesting to Pepe than winning a challenge, as Pepe then proceeded to “head butt” Muller with the ref in sight. Yes Muller overplayed the situation, possibly winding up Pepe, but for God sake, learn to keep your cool! He was of course rightfully red carded and his team were down to 10 men with a whole half plus some still to play. He wasn’t the only problem for Portugal: Nani and Hugo Almeida were shocking – their passing sloppy and they appeared lethargic and provided no aid to Ronaldo. Injury will be another issue, as the more reliable Fabio Coentrao sadly limped off with a hamstring injury, Almeida was also taken off with injury (Thankfully?)
A frustrated Cristiano Ronaldo