Portugal failed to impress in their opener, despite having Cristiano Ronaldo in their roster. Pepe was sent off with a red card after he head butted Thomas Muller, which began a nightmare that ended with a score of 4-0 in favor of Germany.
Undoubtedly, Germany is the strongest team in the “Group of Death” — as Group G has been dubbed — but nobody thought that the match would be a massacre. Ronaldo was a non-factor, since he had no support from the rest of the Portuguese offense and most plays happened on the opposite end of the field.
To make matters worse, Pepe — who is known for having a short temper — got into a scuffle with Mueller. Both players collided during a play and when Mueller fell to the ground — with a great deal of theatrics — Pepe stood over him, bending down and butting Mueller on the head.
The referee showed Pepe the red card, and with that, Portugal not only had one goal against them, but was short a man. After that, they were no match for their powerful opponents.
Germany was then on the road to continuing their record of scoring at least four goals in their World Cup opener. Since 2002, the Germans — one of the favorites to win it all — have managed the startling feat.
But for Portugal, the disastrous result means that they have a steep road ahead if they want to move on in one of the most competitive groups in this World Cup. Pepe’s actions left the team with 10-men on the field, an advantage Germany did not put to waste.
But now he gave everyone reason to hate him, reason to say Pepe will always be Pepe. pic.twitter.com/2oMkMhuOxv
— Real Madrid In Heart (@RMinOurHeart) June 16, 2014
— ESPN Caribbean (@ESPN_Caribbean) June 16, 2014
Things didn’t start well for Portugal, when at the 10th minute Germany scored with a penalty kick from Mueller, after Joao Pereira fouled Mario Gotze inside the box. Mueller put the ball in the net and Germany led 1-0.
Ronaldo had barely touched the ball at that point, not for a lack of effort, but mostly due to the excellent mark put on him by German coach Joachim Low. Shortly thereafter, Mats Hummels scored with an impressive header putting the Germans up by 2-0. It was not the end of the Portuguese nightmare.
Before the halftime, Mueller struck again, taking advantage of a loose ball in the area and putting it past Portugal goalie Patricio. It was 3-0 and Portugal was looking desperate.
After the half, Portugal seemed to calm down somewhat, but it wasn’t good enough and Mueller completed the hat trick, putting the match well beyond the disappointed Portuguese. Ronaldo was effectively neutralized by the German defense.
Portugal not only lost Pepe — who will sit out the next match against the US — but late in the game and with all hope gone, Fabio Coentrao was taken away in a stretcher, following what looked like a hamstring injury. The ones who benefit the most from this surprising result are the US and Ghana, who play each other Monday afternoon.
[Image via Twitter]