World Cup - Portugal beat Ghana as both sides crash out

World Cup Group G, Estádio Nacional de Brasilia - Portugal 2 (Boye 30 og Ronaldo 80) Ghana 1 (Gyan 57)

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World Cup - Portugal beat Ghana as both sides crash out
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Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts at the end of their 2014 World Cup Group G match (Reuters)

Portugal beat Ghana 2-1 as both sides failed to qualify for the World Cup knockout stage.

The first half offered chances for both sides. Cristiano Ronaldo went closest with two attempts in the first 20 minutes, first hitting the crossbar, and then heading straight at Fatau Dauda from close range, but it was John Boye, scoring an own goal, who put the Portuguese ahead. The move had come from the referee blocking a Ghanaian pass as Portugal looked stretched.

Ghana had chances of their own, and Asamoah Gyan had one shot blocked at close range and sent a header a couple of yards wide before Boye finished the half by almost recreating his own goal with a cross from the right-hand side.

In the second half, Kwadwo Asamoah’s brilliant pass found Gyan who nodded in at the back post as Ghana drew level. But it did not spark a surge for a winner as with ten minutes left, Ronaldo scored a redundant second for Portugal.

Ronaldo was unable to carry his team for another game, and could not effect the necessary five goal swing as the European side crashed out on goal difference. The heavy defeat to Germany, courtesy of Pepe’s idiocy, was the root cause of the deficit. For Ghana, they may have won had they been in a better frame of mind, but the expulsion from the squad of Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari suggests that their problems had existed for longer than just today.

KEY EVENTS

5 - RONALDO SHOT! From a cross, Ronaldo looks up and spots the ‘keeper of his line and hits the crossbar. It was inches away from going in.

19’ - RONALDO HEADER! Pereira crosses from the right for Ronaldo, who meets it with a fantastic leap but heads straight at Dauda, who reaches back to claw the ball away.

20 - BETO SAVE! Running onto a ball over the top, between two defenders, Gyan can only shoot at the legs of Beto who was out quickly.

30’ - BOYE OWN GOAL! Portugal 1-0 Ghana. Moutinho juggles a pass from Veloso and returns the ball to him. From the left wing, Veloso whips in a bouncing cross that Boye meets with a flying slice that sends the ball looping over Dauda.

32’ - RONALDO SHOT! On the edge of the box, to the left hand side, Ronaldo sends in a fierce shot that’s beaten away by Dauda.

36’ - GYAN HEADER! Gyan glances a header from the left wing just wide of goal.

40’ - ATSU CHANCE! Using quick feet to beat Pereira, he attempts to curl a shot into the far corner but sends his shot just wide.

51’ - GYAN STRIKE! As he cuts in from the left, Gyan finds room for a shot from distance that is only a fraction wide of goal.

57’ - GYAN GOAL! Portugal 1-1 Ghana. An absolutely brilliant pass, with the outside of the left foot from the left wing, from Asamoah finds Gyan at the back post to nod in the equaliser.

60’ - WARIS MISS! A chipped cross from Gyan is sent wide at the back post by Majeed Waris, who should have scored, unmarked and yards from goal.

79’ - RONALDO SCORES! Portugal 2-1 Ghana. Nani’s cross is headed into the air by Mensah, Dauda flaps it into the path of Ronaldo and he lashes a left-foot shot into the goal.

81’ - RONALDO MISS! Ronaldo plays a one-two in the box, shoots straight at Dauda, comes back to him but his follow up bobbles wide.

90+1’ - RONALDO HEADER! Ronaldo meets Nani’s cross at the near post, and glances a header just over the bar.

90+2’ - RONALDO ONE-ON-ONE! Dauda continues an excellent performance, blocking Ronaldo’s shot with his legs.

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KEY STATS

Ronaldo has scored in the last three World Cups.

This is the first meeting between the two sides ever.

This was Ghana’s seventh consecutive World Cup match where they have conceded a goal.

With his goal today, Gyan scored his sixth World Cup finals goal - a record for an African player.

MATCHCAST: FULL MATCH STATS AND COMMENTARY

TALKING POINT

Can Pepe look himself in the eye? After getting himself sent off in the match against Germany through a mixture of stupidity and childishness, he ensured Portugal conceded heavily in their first match. Were it not for that, Portugal would not have had such an overwhelming goal difference to overcome today.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Fatau Dauda (Ghana): Portugal’s attack was the most cohesive unit on the pitch today, but Dauda’s improvisation, positioning, speed off his line and shot-stopping meant that he kept the scoreline - vital for Portugal with USA trailing - down to a reasonable level.

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PLAYER RATINGS

Portugal: Beto 6, Pereira 6, Alves 6, Pepe 6, Amorim 6, Moutinho 6, William 7, Veloso, 7 Nani 6, Eder 6, Ronaldo 7. Subs: Varela 6, Vieirinha 6, Eduardo 6.

Ghana: Dauda 8, Afful 6, Mensah 5, Boye 4, Asamoah 7, Rabiu 6, Badu 6, Atsu 6, Ayew 6, Waris 6, Gyan 7. Subs: J. Ayew 6, Acquah 6, Wakaso 6.

MATCH IN A TWEET

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