Germany – Portugal

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Undeniably the fixture of the round most people wanted to see!

Cristiano Ronaldo and friends against Philip Lahm and his compatriots and that’s really how the match presented itself. The German unit, precise, uncompromising and efficient against Ronaldo and 10 other guys he rounded up on the way to the stadium.

Of course it’s not fair to call Nani, Almeida, Coentrao and Moutinho just a bunch of guys from the corner but that’s pretty much what it looked like once the game settled into it’s rhythm.

Thomas Muller stepped up to convert an early penalty in the 12 minute and from that moment the Germans took control. Portugal had a few quick counter attacks but nothing that threatened the goal of Bayern’s Neuer all too much.
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Hummels, easily the best player on the field rose to bury a strong header in the 32nd minute from a corner and that appeared to take all the wind out of Portugal’s sails. 5 minutes later, Pepe of Real Madrid lost his head and within seconds his right to play in this game for head-butting Muller who was sat on the ground. The referee stepped in with little option and dismissed the perennial rule breaker for violent conduct.

Just before the break that man Muller scored again. At only 24 he is proving to be the man to watch. The second half never got started. The game was won as far as Germany were concerned who then slowed the pace as much as possible to conserve energy for another day. Portugal were still chasing shadows and a man short it was always going to be a struggle to make an impression on the match. Ronaldo couldn’t find his range from free kicks and was largely ineffectual. He did get one shot off from the edge of the area towards the end of the match that will have stung Neuer’s palms as he parried it to safety but Portugal were a spent force long before Muller calmly side-footed a rebounded shot from 6 yards.

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Portuguese Pumpkin

Muller now has 8 goals in 7 World Cup games, in 2010 he won the Golden Boot and looks to be on form again.

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