"Having a player like Didier Drogba in the team, or among the substitutes, changes a game."
Thomas Muller scored the first hat-trick of the FIFA World Cup as Germany thumped a ten man Portugal 4-0 in Salvador on 16 June, 2014. Ivory Coast came from behind to beat Japan 2-1 with goals from Wilfried Bony and Gervinho.
Goal-line technology was used for the first time to award a World Cup goal as France beat Honduras 3-0. Haris Seferovic scored a 93rd minute goal as Switzerland defeated Ecuador in a Group E match in Brasilia.
Lionel Messi scored his first World Cup goal since 2006 as Argentina beat Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-1 in Group F.
Group C: Ivory Coast 2 Japan 1 – 2am (BST) KO, Arena Pernambuco, Recife – Sunday
Ivory Coast came from behind to score two goals in three minutes as they defeated Japan 2-1.
Asian champions, Japan took the lead in the 16th minute with a stunning strike by AC Milan midfielder, Keisuke Honda.
In the 64th minute, Wilfried Bony levelled the score after he headed a Serge Aurier cross into the net. Within two minutes Ivory Coast were ahead with a carbon copy of the first goal. Another cross from the right by Aurier found Gervinho who headed into the net.
Reflecting on the game, winning coach, Sabri Lamouchi said:
“We did not start very well in the game, conceding the first goal from a careless mistake, then we created many good chances. Having a player like Didier Drogba in the team, or among the substitutes, changes a game.”
Group E: Switzerland 2 Ecuador 1 – 5pm (BST) KO, Estadio Nacional, Brasilia – Sunday
Substitute, Haris Seferovic struck in the third minute of injury time as Switzerland claimed 2-1 a win over Ecuador.
Switzerland, ranked sixth in the world fell behind in the 22nd minute after Enner Valencia headed in from a Walter Ayovi free kick.
Switzerland came back with a header by substitute striker Admir Mehmedi in the 68th minute. In added time, a low cross from Ricardo Rodriguez fell to substitute Seferovic who slotted the ball in at the near post.
Speaking about the dramatic finish, Swiss coach, Ottmar Hitzfeld said:
“It was a dream end to the game for us and is very important for the morale of the team. It will give us some extra strength for the next two matches.”
Group E: France 3 Honduras 0 – 8pm (BST) KO, Estadio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre – Sunday
Karim Benzema scored a brace for France in their 3-0 win against ten man Honduras.
Didier Deschamps troops looked comfortable from the offset and took the lead on the stroke of half time. Paul Pogba was fouled by Wilson Palacios who saw red after a second yellow card. Benzema converted from the spot in the 45th minute.
In the 48th minute, goal line technology was used for the first time in the World Cup finals as Benzema’s shot came off the post before Honduras goalkeeper Noel Valladares pushed the ball over the line.
In the 72nd minute, Benzema got his second and France’s third with a fierce drive from inside the box.
Commenting on the newly introduced technology, Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan tweeted:
“Goal Line technology in its prime for the French second goal. Lot of talk and discussion. Finally own goal!”
Group F: Argentina 2 Bosnia-Herzegovina 1 – 11pm (BST) KO, Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janeiro – Sunday
More than 50,000 Argentinians filled the Estadio do Maracana to watch Lionel Messi score as Argentina got their campaign underway with a 2-1 win against debutants Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Prior to the match, Bollywood superstar and supporter of Argentina, Shah Rukh Khan tweeted: “Vamos Vamos Argentina. I have my blue buff on.”
Argentina went ahead in the third minute as a Messi free-kick was deflected into his goal by Sead Kolasinac.
It was the second half introduction of Gonzalo Higuain and a change of formation from 3-5-2 to 4-3-3 that bought some innovation and creativity to the Argentina side.
In the 65th minute, Messi played a one-two with Higuain before going on a mesmerising run and slotting the ball into the back of the net.
With six minutes left, Vedad Ibisevic scored Bosnia’s first ever World Cup finals goal, but Alejandro Sabella’s side held on to secure the win.
Group G: Germany 4 Portugal 0 – 5pm (BST) KO, Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador – Monday
Chancellor Angela Merkel was in the stand to witness Germany dismantle Portugal 4-0.
In the 12th minute, Mario Gotze was hauled down in the penalty area by Joao Pereira as Thomas Muller converted the resulting penalty into the net.
The Germans took control of the game as they doubled their lead from a corner with a header from Mats Hummels in the 31st minute.
Pepe then got himself sent off in the 37th minutes after tangling with Muller. Muller then grabbed his second with a poachers finish in the first half.
Man of the moment, Muller completed his hat-trick in the 78th minute after Andre Schurrle placed the ball on a plate for him to tap home.
Ronaldo had a blistering free kick saved by Manuel Neuer, before Germany completed a fine opening win.
In one of the poorest games of the tournament so far, Iran and Nigeria played out a 0-0 draw in Group F. John Anthony Brooks scored an 86th minute goal as USA beat Ghana 2-1 in Group G.
Off the pitch, Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff invited Indian Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi for the 2014 FIFA World Cup final. Time will tell whether PM Modi will accept Brazil’s invitation and attend the final.