Many were looking forward to Group G’s opening match between Germany and Portugal but few expected the game to be over by halftime. Although Germany is largely considered the favorite to win the World Cup’s “Group of Death,” Portugal was supposed to put up a better fight than what occurred. Consequently, after routing Portugal 4-0 in a match that featured the tournament’s fist hat trick, Germany positioned itself as the team to beat in this year’s World Cup.
Germany attacked aggressively early on but Sami Khedira missed a great scoring opportunity that could have given the Germans an early lead. Portugal’s defense continued to hold out until Joao Pereira pulled down Mario Gotze in the box, which gave Germany a penalty kick that Thomas Muller would convert for the opening score. The penalty goal was the beginning of the end for Portugal as Germany shifted into fifth gear and took complete control of the match.
Portugal head coach Paulo Bento needed to make an early substitution after one of his strikers, Hugo Almeida, clashed with Germany’s Mats Hummels.
Adding insult to injury, Hummels netted Germany’s second goal in the 32nd minute after out-jumping everyone. Shortly after, Portugal’s Pepe was controversially red-carded for head-butting Muller.
To make matters worse, at the 32nd minute, Mats Hummels jumped higher than anyone in the area and managed to net the second for Germany. To make matters worse, Portuguese defender Pepe sent off, after what seemed a head-butt against Thomas Muller.
Many believe Pepe should have received a yellow card but the referee used his poor reputation against him. Do you think the red card was necessary?
Just before halftime, Muller struck again to give Germany a 3-0 lead heading into the locker room for halftime.
After halftime, the game went quickly downhill as Bento needed to make an injury substitution for Fabio Coentrao who went down with a likely hamstring injury. Coentrao, in tears, was carried off on a stretcher and it was confirmed after the match that he, along with Almeida, would miss the remaining two matches of the group stage.
Muller then completed the first hat trick of the World Cup to increase Germany’s lead to four.
Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo proved unable to help his side in any way as most of his shots were off-target or saved by German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. His performance sparked numerous questions about whether he can carry Portugal to the next round.
Germany, now positioned as the team to beat in the World Cup, will take on Ghana who is still reeling from its loss to the United States. By defeating Ghana, Germany will secure at least second place in the group before closing the group stage against the U.S.
Portugal, however, must win its final two matches and hope Germany doesn’t collapse against Ghana and the U.S. As opponents are targeting Ronaldo, the rest of the team must step up in a big way, starting with the U.S. Should Portugal fall against the U.S., its World Cup aspirations will be all but over.
***If you liked this post, be sure to follow me to be updated on my latest posts and check out the other website I write for, GRANDSTANDU where we have our predictions on the groups and some recaps!***