Portugal earned four points in group play with a victory over 2-1 win over Ghana in Brasilia on Thursday, but it wasn’t enough to reach the Round of 16.
Germany finished the group with seven points, and the U.S. clinched the runner-up with four points. Portugal was denied a spot in the next round due to goal differential. Portugal had previously lost 4-0 to Germany in a match that involved the red card and suspension of star center back Pepe.
Against Ghana, Portugal was gifted a goal in the first half when John Boye allowed an own goal in the 30th minute after a poor clearance found the back of the net. It was the second blunder by Boye, who allowed Clint Dempsey to race around him in the opening minute of Ghana’s match with U.S.
Ghana forward Asamoah Gyan breathed life into his country's hopes with a header goal in the 57 th minute off a fastbreak cross from defender Kwadwo Asamoah. It was a moment that scared U.S. fans as Ghana was more of a second half team during this World Cup, and a victory over Portugal would have crushed the Yanks hopes.
The match was filled with some dramatic moments. From very close range, Ronaldo made a great header that goalkeeper Fatawu Dauda brilliantly blocked.
Ronaldo would drill home the final goal of the match when Dauda blocked the ball right to him. It was the only goal Ronaldo would score in the tournament, and it would end up burying Ghana’s hopes of reaching the knockout stage. It was still an impressive World Cup performance by Ronaldo, who delivered a fantastic cross to Varela in the dying moments of the match against the U.S. in the second match.
Both Ghana and Portugal had plenty of chances. Ghana managed 17 shots with four on goal, while Portugal managed 18 shots with seven on target. Portugal would control the ball for 58 percent of the match.
In 2010, Ghana reached the quarterfinals before being denied by Uruguay on penalty kicks, while Portugal was eliminated in the Round of 16.
Here are the highlights of the match: