FIFA World Cup: Thomas Muller outshines Cristiano Ronaldo, scores hat-trick
Zee Media Bureau/Chaitan Papnai
New Delhi: Thomas Muller created havoc while playing against Portugal on Monday by scoring a hat-trick of goals to make the match a lopsided affair.
The 24-year-old striker first converted a penalty in the 11th minute of the match, with a low foot shot towards the left corner, to open the account of his team.
In the 32nd minute of the first half, Toni Kroos took the corner from the right and a perfect header from Mats Hummels helped Germany to swell their lead.
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Soon after, Portugal defender Pepe was shown the red card for his head-butt to Muller, which forced the already struggling Portugal side to play the rest of the match with 10 men.
After the Real Madrid star defender was sent to the locker-room, German tried to put more pressure on the Cristiano Ronaldo-led side. In the 45th minute of the first half, Muller fired past Patricio from 13 yards, pouncing after Bruno Alves attempting to clear a cross from deep and the ball broke very kindly for him.
With a healthy 3-0 lead, three-times World Cup winners knew that Portugal would now attack in the second half, as it was the only option left for them to make a comeback in the match. And with a star striker - Ronaldo - by their side, they hoped to give some pain to the German defenders. But the Ballon d`or holder looked helpless against the solid German defence.
On the other hand, German’s attacked continuously and Muller once again came to picture in the 78th minute of the game. The amazing finisher netted the ball to complete his hat-trick in style, assisted by Chelsea winger Andre Schurrle from the right.
The Bayern Munich player converted the much-anticipated match to a lop-sided affair, as Germany crashed Portugal 4-0. But the major disappointment came from the Player of the Year Ronaldo, who wasted a couple of opportunities to score and looked totally off-colour on the field.
In the second match of the day, Nigeria and Iran played out the first draw of the 2014 World Cup in a dull 0-0 affair in Curitiba. However, in a thriller last tie, USA beat Ghana 2-1, as the perfect header by substitute John Brooks in the last minutes sealed the game for the USA.