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5 things: Highlights and lowlights from the World Cup

By Steve Almasy, CNN
June 17, 2014 -- Updated 0324 GMT (1124 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Portugal's Pepe gets to sit next game because he headbutted an opponent
  • Two politicians paid visits to winning locker rooms
  • The ball -- yes, the ball -- tweets!
  • Ghana ruled the stat sheet, except the one place that counts

(CNN) -- A Portugal player embarrassed himself Monday with his crazy decision to use his head the wrong way and he got panned for the way he lashed out at an opponent.

That, and Portugal's play in a humbling 4-0 loss, were two of the lowlights on the fifth day of play in Brazil. As was a 0-0 draw that produced very little excitement.

But then there was the stunning goal by a U.S. player whose inclusion in the game was a surprise to many.

Here are a few of the day's big developments.

That's not nice

Pepe, Pepe, Pepe. Bad boy!

American fans celebrate on Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach after the United States beat Ghana 2-1 in a World Cup match Monday, June 16, in Natal, Brazil. Today is the fifth day of the soccer tournament, which is being held in 12 cities across Brazil. See yesterday's best photos American fans celebrate on Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach after the United States beat Ghana 2-1 in a World Cup match Monday, June 16, in Natal, Brazil. Today is the fifth day of the soccer tournament, which is being held in 12 cities across Brazil. See yesterday's best photos
World Cup: The best photos from June 16
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World Cup: The best photos from June 16 World Cup: The best photos from June 16
Germany humbles Portugal in World Cup

It is generally frowned upon to headbutt anyone, anytime -- unless it's Wrestlemania!

But if you're gonna do it -- and again, shame on you for thinking about it -- at least do it right.

That's not us, that Twitterazzi, who slammed the Portuguese player after he tapped German forward Thomas Muller in Monday's match with the crown of his head.

"The only man that can pull of a headbutt with class is Zinedine Zidane," wrote @YusufBambi, referring to the memorable 2006 World Cup incident in which the French great slammed his head into the chest of an Italian player.

"I'll rate that headbutt 1 #Zidane out of 5 #NeverGoFullPepe #WorldCup2014," said @MrNewports.

"Calling that a head-butt by Pepe is an insult to Zizou..... and (boxer Evander) Holyfield," wrote ‏@redorb2, using Zidane's nickname.

Pepe will automatically miss the next game and may get further sanctions.

National pride

When German Chancellor Angela Merkel goes to a football match, she's not there as a politician, she's Germany's No. 1 fan.

According to the Daily Mail of Great Britain, she's missed only one important match since the 2006 World Cup.

Kobe Bryant rooting for U.S. but ...
Germany's Mario Gotze scores the goal that would decide the World Cup final Sunday, July 13, in Rio de Janeiro. Gotze, a late substitute, scored the goal in extra time as Germany won 1-0. Click through the gallery to see all the goals scored in the World Cup. Germany's Mario Gotze scores the goal that would decide the World Cup final Sunday, July 13, in Rio de Janeiro. Gotze, a late substitute, scored the goal in extra time as Germany won 1-0. Click through the gallery to see all the goals scored in the World Cup.
Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
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Photos: Every goal from the World Cup Photos: Every goal from the World Cup

While others around her in the VIP box may stay stuck to their seats, she's up and down with the game's ebbs and flows.

She had much to cheer about Monday as Germany crushed a highly fancied Portugal side 4-0.

Afterward she headed to the locker room where she posed with team then took some selfies with some of the lads.

Forward Lukas Poldolski even took a selfie with the boss.

"The Chancellor and me after the victory....." he wrote on Twitter while posting his closeup with the chancellor.

The U.S. was not to be outdone and also got a diplomatic visit after its win. Vice President Joe Biden congratulated the team after it downed Ghana.

Surprise!

When defender John Brooks came on after halftime for an injured Matt Besler some of the U.S. fans and journalists who cover the team had to be a little puzzled.

The German-born Brooks had only played four times for the U.S. senior national team after playing for both Germany and the United States as a youth player. Omar Gonzalez is the more experienced player on the U.S. backline. He started eight of the U.S.'s 10 qualifying matches.

Klinsmann explained to the media that had it been the other central defender that had been hurt he would have gone with Gonzalez, but Brooks was his backup at left centerback.

Life in Rio's favelas during World Cup
A demonstrator argues with police during a protest against the World Cup in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on Saturday, June 14. The buildup to the World Cup has been plagued by mass demonstrations over the estimated $11 billion cost of staging the football tournament. Many protesters, angered by the state of Brazil's public services, believe the money would have been better spent elsewhere. A demonstrator argues with police during a protest against the World Cup in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on Saturday, June 14. The buildup to the World Cup has been plagued by mass demonstrations over the estimated $11 billion cost of staging the football tournament. Many protesters, angered by the state of Brazil's public services, believe the money would have been better spent elsewhere.
Protests at the World Cup
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Photos: Protests at the World Cup Photos: Protests at the World Cup

Now after his winning goal against Ghana, Brooks is like a movie star, the subject of 450-plus tweets a minute Monday night, according to FIFA.

Only one statistic counts

It used to be there were few statistics in soccer. There were goals, assists, cards and maybe corner kicks in the box score.

Now it seems everything is tracked. And the numbers show how much Ghana dominated its match against the United States.

They owned 59% of the possession. They completed 162 more passes that the Americans. FIFA says they had 64 "dangerous attacks" to just 22 for the Yanks. It was 24 crosses to seven. Ghana had more than twice as many shots.

But years from now, people will only remember the scoreline -- and that's the numbers that count.

Feeling like a zero

We interrupt this high-scoring World Cup to bring you your regularly scheduled nil-nil draw.

C'mon, you knew it was going to happen.

It took 13 matches before we got a tie, and it was a goalless one at that.

Nigeria and Iran struggled to generate any offense and after only 17 shots over 90 minutes both teams walked away with one point.

For the new official ball of the World Cup it was time for a witty tweet.

Brazuca -- that's the ball's name, folks -- wrote: "My first 0-0. It feels weird, like I've been turned away from a (dance) club."

You can mock said ball, but it does have 1.4 million followers.

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