Going into this year's World Cup in Brazil, no group was afforded more attention than Group G, the supposed "group of death," with highly ranked teams from Germany, Portugal, and the United States, not to mention a talented spoiler in the form of Ghana. Specifically, an awful lot of hype was layered on top of the first match of the group, a duel between the Germany home kit and the Portugal away shirt that many figured would be the most exciting and contentious match of the entire group stage. With Germany seeded at number two on FIFA's world rankings, and Portugal just two slots back at number four, how could the early meeting between the two teams not ignite a few fireworks?

However, while Monday's meeting between Germany and Portugal at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil did result in some fireworks, they didn't come in the way most soccer analysts would have expected. Instead of the close competition many expected from the match, the clash between the white Germany home jersey and the red of the Portugal football shirt ended in a true beat-down that will solidify Germany's status as a frontrunner while making recovery incredibly difficult for Portugal.

Hat Trick Hype

The match ended with a score of 4-0 in favor of the Germany home kit, leaving Portugal not only without any points in terms of group standings, but also shackling the team with a deep deficit in goal difference. German forward/attacking midfielder Portugal 2014 World Cup Home JerseyThomas Muller did the vast majority of the damage; he scored the first hat trick of the 2014 World Cup.

Muller started his three-goal scoring streak just 12 minutes into the match. Right back Joao Pereira earned a yellow card foul against the Portugal football shirt after essentially pulling Germany's Mario Gotze to the ground within shooting distance of the Portugal goal. Fans were outraged by the move, instantly launching Internet chatter about whether or not Pereira's actions should have earned him a red card instead of a yellow.

However, Muller delivered sufficient punishment to the Portugal team just minutes later, drilling a penalty kick into the top left corner of the goal and putting Germany up 1-0. 20 minutes later, German central defender Mats Hummels added a second goal to that tally with a note-perfect header.

Dirty Play

Before the first half was up, Germany had increased its advantage to three. In a scuffle between Muller and Portugal center back Pepe, the latter threw out his arm and appeared to make contact with Muller's face. Muller milked the incident for all it was worth, dropping the ground and clutching his face as if in pain.

An angry Pepe, convinced the German player was taking a dive for penalty purposes, head-butted Muller and earned a red card from the ref. The disqualification means that Pepe, one of Portugal's key players, won't be donning the Portugal football shirt on Sunday for his team's match against the United States, a fact that could only further harm Portugal's chances of making it beyond the group stage this year.

Just minutes after the head-butting incident, Muller scored another goal to bring his own tally to two and his team's tally to three as the match went to halftime. In the second half, Portugal seemed to have lost its spirits entirely. Germany took advantage of the weakness on a drive at the 78-minute mark that resulted in momentary chaos at the Portugal net, and ultimately, in the hat trick goal for Muller.

Man of the Tournament?

Needless to say, Thomas Muller was named "man of the match," for his role in taking Portugal to pieces. His hat trick could also make him the man of the tournament if Germany continues to play at this level. Muller's hat trick was only the fourth to happen in a World Cup this century, a fact that alone makes him an early contender for the Golden Ball. Portugal, meanwhile, is in dire straits, and can't lose or draw another match if it hopes to take one of the top two slots in the challenging Group G.

Do you think Muller's performance will be a highlight of this year's World Cup? Or do you prefer to think the match was a fluke and that Portugal will come back with a vengeance in its next two group stage matches? Either way, head to Soccer Box today and pick out a Germany home kit or a Portugal football jersey to support your favorite team throughout the rest of the tournament.