Portuguese defeated by German attack

Thomas Muller scored the first hat-trick of the World Cup as he helped Germany beat Portugal 4-0.

Germany's Thomas Muller celebrates with his team mates after scoring his third goal against Portugal during the opening match in their group of the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil on 16 June 2014. Picture: Fifa.com.

SAO PAULO - Germany sent out a strong message to the rest of the teams competing at the 2014 Fifa World Cup.

They hammered Portugal 4-0 in their opening match in Salvador on Monday.

Everything went wrong for the Portuguese side after they conceded an early penalty and lost two players to injury.

To make matters worse they were one man down after defender Pepe was shown a straight red late in the first half.

Thomas Muller went on to steal the show taking advantage of Portugal's mishaps by scoring the first hat-trick of the campaign en route to a crushing victory.

As things stand, Muller is the tournament's top goal scorer.

Mueller made his breakthrough at the 2010 tournament in South Africa, winning the Golden Boot with five goals and three assists in just six games.

With two more games left in their group, he looks set to beat this record.

Meanwhile, Nigeria and Iran produced the first draw of the tournament with neither side finding back of the net, while the USA got their campaign off to a winning start with a 2-1 victory of Ghana.

More than 40 goals have been scored in this year's World Cup and this is just in the opening group stage matches.

NO HOPE FOR AFRICAN TEAMS

Ghana seemed destined to reach the semifinals four year ago in South Africa, but a squandered penalty saw them miss out on that chance.

They got off their 2014 Fifa World Cup campaign to a disappointing loss to the USA, revenge for the Americans who in 2010, missed out on the knockout stages after losing to the Black Stars in Rustenburg.

Following Nigeria's draw with Iran and Cameroon's loss to Mexico, only the Ivory Coast can claim success in this year's competition thus far.

They came from one a goal down to beat Japan 2-1 on Sunday.

The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon are next with football fans around the African continent praying they can add to the Ivorian success.

BRAZIL BACK IN ACTION

Belgium and Algeria open up today's play before the country will come to a standstill as hosts Brazil will be back in action for the second game in Group A when they take on Mexico who lie second.

Brazil will be looking to build on their opening win against Croatia.

However, there are injury concerns for Hulk, who left practice early on Sunday and didn't train with the team at all on Monday.

Russia and Korea Republic will wrap up the day's play.