There can be no doubt that Matchday 5 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ was one of premieres and series. Not only did Thomas Muller score the first hat-trick of the tournament in Germany’s 4-0 thumping of Portugal, but Nigeria and Iran recorded the first goalless draw – doing so in game 13.
On top of that, in netting the fastest goal at Brazil 2014 so far against Ghana, USA’s Clint Dempsey wrote his name in his country’s record books. And after succumbing to 2-1 defeats to the Black Stars at the past two finals, the Stars and Stripes finally got their own back, and with a measure of poetic justice at that, winning 2-1.
Meanwhile, FIFA Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo will be happy to have the game against title favourites Germany behind him. The victors of that encounter became the first side to reach a century of World Cup matches, chalking up their 61st win to go alongside 19 draws and 20 defeats.
Germany 4-0 Portugal – Budweiser Man of the Match: Thomas Muller (GER)
Iran 0-0 Nigeria – Budweiser Man of the Match: John Obi Mikel (NGA)
Ghana 1-2 USA – Budweiser Man of the Match: Clint Dempsey (USA)
Ronaldo’s miserable run continues
The stage was set for Cristiano Ronaldo to dazzle at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, with
ear-splitting cheers arising from both Portuguese and Brazilian fans when the stadium announcer read out his name. Countless placards were visible around the stands, and their messages – ‘There’s only one Ronaldo’ and ‘I want a child with Cristiano’ – showed the depth of support behind the Real Madrid attacker. Yet Portugal’s No7 was unable to live up to expectations and instead continued his poor run of results against Germany: it was the fourth time he has faced them at a major tournament since 2006 and he has left the field on the losing side on each occasion, failing to find the target at all.
Dempsey quick off the blocks
There were only 25 seconds on the clock when USA captain Dempsey cut inside at pace from the left and burst into the box, outfoxed several defenders and rifled a left-footed effort into the bottom corner. That strike ensured that the self-proclaimed Diego Maradona fan became the first American player to score at three different World Cups.