Desperate Portugal with the world’s best player, Cristiano Ronaldo, regained some honor, defeating Ghana 2-1 in their last Group G match yesterday in Brazilia in the Brazil 2014 World Cup.
But both teams are going home.
Ronaldo’s winner was a hand-me-down chance when Jonathan Mensah headed Portugal’s Nani’s cross up in the air and Ghanaian goalkeeper Fatau, instead of catching the ball, flapped it straight into the path of on-rushing Ronaldo, who had the easy job of slotting the ball into the bottom corner.
At the same time yesterday, Germany defeated the United States 1-0 but that did not stop the Americans from qualifying for the knock rounds.
The Black Stars’ camp was rocked by their demand for their World Cup bonus, which threatened their game and the money, about U$3million, was wired to the team in Brazil, through the intervention of the country’s president.
While still hoping for a good run, two players, Sulley Muntari and Kervin Prince Boateng were involved in a fist fight and as a result were expelled from the team.
But on the field of play, the Portuguese had 55% possession as against 45% by the Black Stars.
Black Stars committed 16 fouls against 21 of the Portuguese, who made 10 target attempts at goal against 6 by the Ghanaians.
Portugal made 19 shots against 18 of the Black Stars.
While Ronaldo’s 80th minute goal secured the victory, Portugal’s first goal was an own goal scored by Ghanaian defender John Boye.
It was after Joao Moutinho connected Ruben Amorim. Amorim sent a left-wing cross that Ghanaian defender Boye sliced it into his own net with goalkeeper Fatau Dauda completely beaten.
Yesterday’s loss ended the dream of the Black Stars, as they began preparation to return to Accra.
So far, Ghana joined two other African representatives, Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire who have already returned home, to watch the rest of the games on flat screens.
Still in contention are Nigeria, who qualified for the knockout stage, and Algeria who was scheduled to take on Russia yesterday at Arena da Baixada.
Meanwhile, Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan eclipsed the record of Cameroon’s Roger Milla, for scoring six goals in World Cup finals.