sport

Low: We silenced Ronaldo

Germany coach Joachim Low was proud of his side’s performance in their 4-0 win over Portugal and believes they defended superbly against Cristiano Ronaldo.

A hat-trick from Thomas Muller and a header from Mats Hummels on Monday gave Die Mannschaft a comprehensive win in their opening game in Group G.

Portugal were limited to few chances throughout the clash, and Low believes his side did well to nullify the threat of Ronaldo.

"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."

Low says he decided to lower the tempo in the second half due to the challenging weather conditions in Salvador, opting to preserve his players' energy for their upcoming games against Ghana and the USA.

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

Muller now has eight goals in seven World Cup appearances, and the Bayern Munich forward admitted it felt great to get on the scoresheet.

"I've been involved in the last three major tournaments so I'm used to the pressure," he said.

"But to score three goals in one game - that's pretty amazing, and the goals just got better and better.

"It's fantastic, but the merit also goes to the rest of the team."