FIFA World Cup: Portugal knocked out despite victory over Ghana

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unnamed (9)[www.inewsguyana.com] – Portugal was knocked out of the 2014 World Cup despite defeating Ghana 2-1 at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia. Paulo Bento’s side had to win by a big margin against their African opponents and needed the USA to lose to Germany in the other Group G match.

Although the Americans suffered a 1-0 defeat in Recife, it was not enough for Portugal to finish second and progress to the last 16.

The Seleccao came third in the group level on four points with the USA, but with an inferior goal difference. Portugal looked more creative from the start, with Cristiano Ronaldo hitting the crossbar with a brilliant shot from a narrow angle on the right.

Ronaldo had a header saved by Ghana goalkeeper Fatawu Dauda as the first half progressed, before the European side surged ahead under fortuitous circumstances.

A good attacking move from Portugal saw Miguel Veloso receive the ball on the left flank, and his cross was inadvertently put into his own net by John Boye while trying to clear the danger.

Despite Portugal’s early pressure in the second half, Ghana equalised on 57 minutes when Asamoah Gyan headed home Kwadwo Asamoah’s cross from close range.

However, the Euro 2004 finalists had the last laugh in the contest as Ronaldo scored his side’s second and winning goal with 10 minutes of normal time left to play, smashing the ball in from close range.

Meanwhile in the other match Germany beat USA 1-0 in Recife to reach the last 16 of the World Cup and was joined by the Americans as runners-up.

Both teams went into the game at a rain-soaked Arena Pernambuco locked on four points and knowing a point apiece would be enough to keep their Brazil dream alive.

Thomas Muller settled the affair in Germany’s favour with a ruthless finish from 18 yards out on 55 minutes – but Portugal’s 2-1 win over Ghana calmed American nerves in the closing stages as Cristiano Ronaldo and co also finished on four points but with an inferior goal difference to the USA.

Germany dominated the opening stages but struggled to properly test Tim Howard, and USA star Graham Zusi had the first clearcut chance when he curled an angled 20-yard drive narrowly over the crossbar on 22 minutes.

The Germans bossed possession and Mesut Ozil dropped his shoulder on 35 minutes before unleashing a low left-footed strike which was parried by Howard.

After the break, Miroslav Klose was sent on to replace Lukas Podolski and the Germans immediately posed more problems for the USA, scoring the opening goal 10 minutes into the second half.

Howard did brilliantly to save a low header but parried it into the dangerzone and Muller made no mistake from 18 yards out, sidefooting home a clinical strike for his fourth goal in three games.

Germany cruised through until stoppage time, when Philipp Lahm superbly blocked a goalbound shot from Alejandro Bedoya before Clint Dempsey headed narrowly over the crossbar from close range.

Note both match kicks off at 12:00pm.

 

 

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