Monday, June 16, 2014

Germany whitewashes Portugal 4-0 in 2014 Fifa World Cup

Portugal started the match very strongly putting the Germans on the back foot with their passing and creative play in midfield. Germany did well to absorb the pressure and stay composed. As Portugal found spaces in midfield and defence as they fought for and won the ball upfront. All the Germans could afford were counter-attacks as there were gaps on the right and left channels as the wingbacks got sucked into action.

Quick inter-passing on the right caught the Portuguese napping as their defence stretched to the limit and a desperate attempt to deal with the attack resulted in a very soft penalty awarded to Germany. Muller tucked the ball neatly into the left corner of the net.

If that goal was a fortunate gift, the second was almost a part of a ‘score one, get one free’ promotion. A similar counter-attack after a patient and composed football by Portugal, Germany sent a long ball to the right, played a cutback, took a deflected shot that went out for a corner. With the attention of three defenders, Mark Hummels rose majestically to powerfully head a Toni Kroos corner-kick past the goalkeeper.

Until then man-of-the-match, Pepe received a simple ball at the back and fended off Muller’s challenge, brushing his face with a stray arm. Muller theatrically fell, attracting Pepe’s wrath who confronted him while still seated and head-butted him. The referee took exception to that behaviour and sent the Real Madrid defender off.

It became a little too easy for the Germans as they cut through the outnumbered opposition like hot knife through butter. They enjoyed the better exchanges on the right, lobbed the ball over the centre to the left. Failure to pick the second ball became detrimental as that ball was centred to the penalty spot and the defender half-cleared the ball to Muller in a tight spot. Muller gladly doubled his goal tally with a hard and low shot.

Portugal had lost a man through injury, made a forced substitution as damage control for the sending off. They lost probably their second best player in Contrao through another injury. They tried to stay compact as Germany tried to stretch them further. To their credit, they created half-chances occasionally and chased every ball.

Poor ball handling by the goalkeeper gifted Muller with his hat-trick. The initial error of his poor clearance presented a good chance that the Germans squandered. The follow up attack came from midfield as the ball was fed to the right, crossed into the 12-yard box. The goalkeeper went down for it but only parried it to the feet of the German striker who directed the ball over the line.

Germany ran down the clock in energy-saving mode as the Portuguese hoped for a face-saver, employing a 1-4-3-2. They were pretty much pleased to deal with the pedestrian pace of the match in the second half.  Neur had to deal with a closing remark by Cristiano Ronaldo whose last minute free kick stung his palms to bring to an end a miserable occasion for Portugal.