Nigeria and Iran fall flat, but the USA and Germany victorious on fifth day | World Cup Day Five Recap
Here is a recap of Day Five at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
GERMANY 4 PORTUGAL 0
Germany began their tournament with a drubbing of Portugal in the two teams' Group G opener. Forward Thomas Muller notched a hat trick while Mats Hummels added a fourth in a convincing victory. Despite starting Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese struggled to generate offense and will take on the U.S. on Saturday without the services of defender Pepe (red card) and Fabio Coentrao (muscle injury). The defeat was the worst in Portugal's World Cup history.
IRAN 0 NIGERIA 0
The 2014 FIFA World Cup got its first draw as Iran and Nigeria played to a scoreless stalemate in a highly-defensive match. The finest scoring chance came in stoppage time when Shola Ameobi fired a shot that was saved by Iran goalkeeper Alireza Haghighi. Vancouver Whitecaps FC defender Steven Beitashour did not play in the draw despite making the bench for Iran.
UNITED STATES 2 GHANA 1
At long last, the United States got their victory over Ghana as a late John Anthony Brooks winner gave the Americans a 2-1 win over the Black Stars. The U.S. took the lead after just 34 seconds when Clint Dempsey slotted a shot far post to give the Americans the lead. After the goal, the Ghanaians took control of the match, dominating possession for the duration of the first half. The Black Stars equalized in the 82nd minute off a goal from Andre Ayew, but the Americans pulled ahead for good when John Anthony Brooks nodded a Graham Zusi into the back of the net. Despite the result, the U.S. will be concerned after starting striker Jozy Altidore and center back Matt Besler succumbed to injuries.
The World Cup returns on Tuesday with three matches. The day begins with Belgium taking on Algeria at 9:00 a.m. PT in their Group H opener before tournament host Brazil faces Mexico at 12:00 p.m. PT. The action concludes with Russia facing Korea Republic at 3:00 p.m. PT.