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Germany blasts Portugal

Tue., June 17, 2014, midnight

German star Thomas Mueller (13) completes the hat trick in Germany’s opening match against Portugal. (Associated Press)
German star Thomas Mueller (13) completes the hat trick in Germany’s opening match against Portugal. (Associated Press)

Thomas Mueller scored a hat trick as Germany turned on its style and power to rout 10-man Portugal 4-0 in their World Cup Group G opener on Monday in Salvador, Brazil.

Mueller, who scored five goals at the 2010 World Cup, was ruthless against a weak Portugal team that was clearly outplayed.

With German chancellor Angela Merkel watching in the stands, her team celebrated its 100th World Cup match with a rousing victory.

The match was virtually decided by halftime, with Mueller scoring on either side of Mats Hummels’ headed goal as Germany took a 3-0 lead at the break.

Portugal was reduced to 10 men when Pepe was red carded in the 37th minute for apparently head-butting Mueller as the German player sat on the ground.

Nigeria 0, Iran 0: Nigeria and Iran delivered the first draw of the World Cup as they ground out a scrappy stalemate in their opening match in Group F, played in Curitiba.

The draw at the Arena da Baixada followed 12 mostly high-scoring and attacking games.

After a first half in which Nigeria failed to capitalize on its dominance, the chances were few and far between in the second half.

Nigeria came closest to breaking the deadlock in the seventh minute when an Ahmed Musa goal was disallowed after John Obi Mikel was adjudged to have fouled Iran goalkeeper Alireza Haghighi at a corner.

Iran pressed more as the game wore on and nearly scored in the 34th when a Reza Ghoochannejhad header required a sharp save from Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama.


 

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