This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 8 °C Friday 18 October, 2019
Advertisement

Breakfast At Bebeto's: All you need to know from the fifth night of World Cup action

Germany get off to a flying start, Iran and Nigeria bore the football world and late drama as the USA defeat Ghana.

John Brooks celebrates after he hit the winning goal for the USA last night against Ghana. Source: Hassan Ammar

On Day 5

Pre-tournament favourites Brazil and Argentina have had to work for their opening round victories in this World Cup while Spain slumped to a disastrous defeat last Friday. The fourth well-fancied side Germany stepped out in Group G and endured no such problems. They were clinical and ruthless in despatching Portugal 4-0.

Thomas Müller bagged a hat-trick and Mat Hummels thumped home a header as Joachim Löw’s side got off to a terrific start. A bad day at the office for Portugal was compounded by the first-half dismissal of Pepe for a headbutt on Müller.

Brazil Soccer WCup Germany Portugal Pepe was shown a red card in the first-half of yesterday's game in Fortaleza. Source: Paulo Duarte

In Group F, Iran and Nigeria combined for the first scoreless draw to date in this World Cup when they met in Curitibia. In a game with a glaring lack of quality, neither side could hit the net and were forced to settle for a share of the spoils. The challenges don’t get any easier for either side, particularly for Iran as they are set to face Argentina next Saturday while it’s Bosnia next up for Nigeria.

Brazil Soccer WCup Iran Nigeria Honours even in Curitiba and everyone goes home happy. Source: Fernando Vergara

And there was late drama in Group G in Natal last night with the USA claiming a brilliant 2-1 win over Ghana. The USA have been knocked out of the last two World Cup tournament by the Africans so last night’s success was a sweet one.

Jurgen Klinsmann’s side got off to an amazing start with Clint Dempsey waltzing through the Ghana defence before netting after just 29 seconds. They held on to that lead until the 81st minute when Andre Ayew capped a brilliant Ghana move by firing home the equalizer. Ghana looked the more likely victors at that juncture but up popped John Brooks to become the hero for the USA with an 86th minute winner. His Wikipedia page got a little makeover after that goal.

Winner

Thomas Müller is quite a fan of playing on the World Cup stage. During his debut campaign in 2010, he netted five times for Germany. He finished joint top scorer on that occasion in South Africa but won the Golden Boot by virtue of more assists than David Villa, Wesley Sneijder and Diego Forlán.

Yesterday he picked up where he left off four years ago by hitting the first-hat trick of the 2014 World Cup of Brazil. Germany routed Portugal 4-0 with Müller spearheading their success as he fired home an early penalty and then showed assured finishing to find the net from open play in either half. The Bayern Munich man is already on course to hold on to that Golden Boot award.

Soccer - FIFA World Cup 2014 - Group G - Germany v Portugal - Arena Fonte Nova Celebration time for Thomas Müller and his German teammates. Source: Nick Potts

Loser

It’s been a cracking opening to the World Cup but sadly the high quality and entertaining football had to draw to a halt at some stage. Football was the real loser when Iran and Nigeria met last night to produce a snoozefest in Group F. No goals were registered and there was little in the way of magic from either team.

Source: Martin Meissner

Joga Bonito

Twenty-nine seconds in and Clint Dempsey produced a Messi-esque dribble and shot last night for the fastest goal in this year’s World Cup and the sixth fastest World Cup goal of all time.

What have we got to look forward to today?

  • Belgium, the darkest of dark horses and the football hipster’s choice, make their World Cup bow against Algeria in Group H in Belo Horizonte at 5pm. Here are five reasons why they can be positive about how they’ll fare in this tournament.
  • The hosts are back out in Group A with Brazil in action in Fortaleza against Mexico at 8pm. Both sides should be buoyed after winning their opening games against Croatia and Cameroon respectively.
  • It falls to Russia and South Korea to become the last two teams that will take to the field in the World Cup. Their Group H match is on at 11pm tomorrow night in Cuiabá.

Aprés Match’s brilliant parody of Jim White and Sky Sports News

We all dream of a team of… Mario Balotellis?

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

Read next:

COMMENTS