Ronaldo aim off as Portugal ousted despite Ghana win
Cristiano Ronaldo wasted a succession of glorious chances as Portugal bowed out of the World Cup on Friday morning despite beating Ghana 2-1 in Brasilia.
Portugal knew only a win combined with a defeat for Germany or the United States in the other Group G fixture, plus a significant swing in goal difference, would take them through to the last 16.
Germany won the group with a 1-0 win over the US, who also qualified on goal difference over Portugal.
Although Ronaldo netted his first goal of the tournament, the winner, it was his numerous misses that cost Portugal the sizeable victory they needed to make up for the 4-0 mauling they suffered by Germany in their first game.
'That's how football is'
“The match today was a match we tried to win and we did win. We created many opportunities but we could not finish them all,” said a disappointed Ronaldo, who won the man-of-the-match award.
“We deserved more but that’s how football is. We can hold our heads up high. We tried our best but couldn’t do it.”
Portugal had taken the lead through a John Boye own goal:
Asamoah Gyan later equalised in the 57th minute, making him the top African goal-scorer at World Cups with his sixth effort in finals.
Ghana was missing two of their star players - Sully Muntari, who is accused of attacking a member of the management team while Kevin-Prince Boateng is said to have verbally abused national team coach Kwesi Appiah, the GFA said on its website.
Ronaldo, who last month helped Real Madrid to a 10th Champions League title, had already come close to scoring on a number of occasions before the first goal.
After a scrappy opening few minutes he picked the ball up wide on the right and hit a wayward cross that sailed over Dauda only to come back off the crossbar. He then tried his luck with a free-kick from 25 yards in a central position which Dauda beat away.
In the end, Portugal’s winner came in heartbreaking fashion for Ghana with 10 minutes to go after Dauda pathetically pawed at a dropping ball, giving it straight to Ronaldo to fire home low into the corner.
Portugal coach Paulo Bento refused to blame Ronaldo for not scoring more goals. “I don’t think we should now make those things individual. We made a set of mistakes in the tournament during three different matches.”
Sources: AFP, Tumblr, Vine