Germany crush 10-man Portugal 4-0
Midfielder Thomas Mueller marked his 50th international with a hat-trick
SALVADOR - Thomas Mueller marked his 50th international with a hat-trick as Germany strolled to a 4-0 World Cup victory over a Portugal side reduced to 10 men late in the first half of a disappointingly one-sided Group G match on Monday.
It had been expected to be a close game between two strong sides but Germany took control early on as Mueller scored a 12th-minute penalty after Mario Goetze was felled, before Mats Hummels powered a header from a corner after 32 minutes.
Mueller lashed in the third in first-half stoppage time, and completed his treble with a 78th-minute tap-in after Germany had spurned a series of chances.
Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal controls the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Germany and Portugal at Arena Fonte Nova on 16 June, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil. Picture: Fifa.com
Portugal defender Képler Laveran Lima Ferreira, otherwise known as Pepe, faces the possibility of a three-match ban for violent conduct after being sent off in the first half of Monday's World Cup Group G game against Germany.
Pepe, who has a long history of losing his cool and lashing out at opponents, leant into striker Mueller with his head, making contact and applying pressure in a needless altercation that could bring him stiff punishment.
The Brazil-born centre back had caught Mueller in the face in an innocuous-looking challenge but took umbrage as Mueller went down, returning to the forward and thrusting his forehead against the German's.
Fabio Coentrao of Portugal lies on the field after an injury as referee Milorad Mazic signals for a trainer during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Germany and Portugal at Arena Fonte Nova on 16 June, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil. Picture: Fifa.com
Serbian referee Milorad Mazic had no hesitation in dismissing Pepe in the 37th minute.
A red card brings a mandatory one-game ban at the World Cup but that is usually extended in the case of a sending-off for violent play.
Pepe's latest episode of violent conduct follows a series of similar incidents in recent years playing for his club Real Madrid, including one in a La Liga match against Getafe in April 2009 which earned him a 10-game ban.
With the scores level at 2-2 and three minutes left in the clash at the Bernabeu, Pepe pushed Getafe's Francisco Casquero and the referee awarded a penalty.
Thomas Mueller of Germany (C) celebrates scoring his team's fourth goal and completing his hat trick with Andre Schuerrle (L) and Sami Khedira (R) during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Germany and Portugal, 16 June 2014. Picture: Fifa.com
Pepe then kicked Casquero on the ground and a second swipe saw him rake his studs over the midfielder's back. In the ensuing melee he struck another Getafe player, Juan Albin, in the face.
He was shown a straight red card, having already picked up a yellow earlier in the match.
He was red-carded in a bad-tempered Champions League semi-final against Barcelona in 2011 for a studs-up lunge on Barca full back Dani Alves and earned wide condemnation for stamping on Lionel Messi's hand in another Real-Barca game in 2012.