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World Cup PHOTOS: How clinical Germany decimated Portugal

June 17, 2014 09:29 IST

'We were clinical in finishing our chances'

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On first glimpse of the scoreline we are made to believe that it was Germany’s forwards that did all the hard work, but on closer dissection you may come to realise that that isn’t the case.

Even Germany coach Joachim Loew admitted that it was his backline that was the hero of the night.

Loew was just as pleased with his team's defensive effort in shutting down world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo as he was with his forwards in their 4-0 opening World Cup win over Portugal on Monday.

"Naturally it was an excellent first match, we had no option but to win," Loew told a news conference.

"The team showed the spirit we expect. We dominated the first half in the midfield with fast through balls to the strikers. We were clinical in finishing our chances, we had four goals from about six chances."


Image: Head coach Joachim Loew of Germany shakes hands with Thomas Mueller as he exits the game after scoring a hat-trick against Portugal in their Group G match at Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil on Monday
Photographs: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

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'Boateng did very, very well to disrupt Ronaldo'

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Loew said his players did well to keep tabs on Portuguese forwards Ronaldo and Nani in the Group G match.

"The team played well and didn't let Portugal have many chances," he said.

"We played at high pace in the first half to get our chances. It's important to prevent Ronaldo from getting a run going because he's very dangerous then."

Defender Jerome Boateng was assigned to mark Ronaldo.

"Our goal was to disrupt him as soon as he got the ball and Boateng did that very, very well," Loew said.

Loew, who has been warning his players about the need to preserve energy in what he hopes will be a long tournament for Germany, told his team to shift down a gear or two in the second half after taking a 3-0 lead.


Image: Jerome Boateng of Germany challenges Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal on Monday
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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'We needed everyone to work hard together today'

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"It was a different match in the second half and the aim was to play economically and keep control of the ball," Loew said.

"We knew it was going to be hot and it might be even hotter in the next two matches.

"It's very difficult to run and run under these conditions. It only works when you defend together. We needed everyone to work hard together today and to dig deep to overcome the pain."

Loew said the injury sustained by defender Mats Hummels did not appear to be as severe as it initially appeared.

"He got a blow to the thigh but nothing was torn," said Loew.

"I assume it's nothing dramatic."

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Image: Eder (left) of Portugal battles for the ball with Sami Khedira of Germany on Monday
Photographs: Felipe Oliveira/Getty Images

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