Ronaldo fails to deliver again
Once again, CR7 fails to show up at the world stage
(Thomas Mueller 12-pen, 45+1, 78, Mats Hummels 32)
Is this the best you can do, CR7?
World Footballer of the Year and Champions League winner with Real Madrid, many wondered if it was time Cristiano Ronaldo delivered at the World Cup.
But he did not even come close to repaying the faith of the tens of thousands of Portuguese fans who travelled to the Arena Fonte Nova this morning (Singhapore time) to watch him strut his stuff.
Instead, it was another slaying in Salvador as Germany thrashed Portugal 4-0 to follow on Holland's 5-1 slaughter of Spain last Friday.
And, if he doesn't wake up from his slumber before the cock crows, the Iberian country could be out of the World Cup faster than he can say "Irina Shayk" (Ronaldo's girlfriend).
Sure, the Portuguese Peacock declared himself 100 per cent fit before the game despite doubts about his knee and hamstring.
A quick wink and cheeky grin suggested that the 29-year-old was ready to set the World Cup alight and add to his paltry tally of two goals from the 2006 and 2010 editions.
Neymar, Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie had already announced their arrival in Brazil with two goals each and Lionel Messi finally got on the act with the winner against Bosnia yesterday morning.
This was Ronaldo's afternoon in the sun.
After eight minutes, he got the ball on the left as he led a three-on-two.
From a tight angle, he opted to fire straight at Manuel Neuer.
But that was as close as he would get when the match was still within reach.
There were the usual crowd-pleasing stepovers, but such cosmetic enhancements were like a peacock's feathers - they didn't help Ronaldo to fly.
Notorious for getting into opponents' faces, he didn't trouble Mats Hummels and Per Mertesacker too much.
In fact, he even got schooled by Thomas Mueller in terms of baiting opponents.
The German hero lured Pepe into a headbutt and red card, as he scored a hat-trick to take his tally to eight goals from two World Cups.
That's four times Ronaldo's record.
The worst thing for Portugal was, after Mueller's 12th-minute penalty, Ronaldo looked like he gave up trying in the first half.
He refused to run without the ball and even carelessly lost possession which nearly resulted in another Germany goal.
By the time both teams emerged for the second half, the match was already over with the Germans up 3-0.
It was clear Ronaldo's feathers were plucked.
All he did was shake his head, sulk and complain.
Even from his regular range, the Real Madrid hotshot fired two free-kicks in the 58th and 85th minute into the wall, before finally testing Neuer with a better effort in added time.
It is true that Portugal are a one-man team. That was evident when Ronaldo single-handedly led them to victory over Sweden in the two-legged play-offs to book their ticket for Brazil.
But he cannot afford to switch off now.
With Pepe suspended and Fabio Coentrao injured, Portugal need Ronaldo to step up more than ever in their next two games against the United States and Ghana, who are both not easy pickings.
And that's just to get out of Group G, much less talk about winning the tournament for the first time.
Considering he could be past his peak at 33 in Russia 2018, this should be his last chance to win a World Cup winner's medal.
History suggests the Portuguese Peacock will be roasted again at football's biggest showpiece event.
But he has proved critics wrong so many times in his illustrious career.
Will Ronaldo again rise from the ashes like a phoenix?