ABUJA – Ghana on Thursday became the third African country to crash out in the first round of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil following a 1-2 loss to Portugal.
In their final Group G game, the Black Stars failed to raise their game and fell to their second loss in the group after a 1-2 loss to the U.S in their opening game.
Cameroon had earlier crashed out after losing 1-4 to Brazil, while Cote d’Ivoire lost 1-2 to Greece in their final group games.
The Ghana/Portugal tie was a topsy-turvy game in Brazil’s capital as they both tried to get the points and goals to take them to the next round.
Ghana were at one stage just a goal away from reaching the knockout stage, and will certainly rue Majeed Waris’ miss when the sides were level.
It did not matter in the end, as Ronaldo scored his only goal of this World Cup in the 80th minute to give Portugal the win.
Even though Portugal finished level on points with the U.S., who lost 0-1 to Germany, they were eliminated due to their inferior goal difference.
Asamoah Gyan’s 57th-minute header had cancelled out John Boye’s first half own goal before the FIFA Ballon d’Or holder’s late settler.
However, Paulo’s Bento’s side required at least another three goals without a reply to pip the U.S. to second place in Group G.
Meanwhile, in the other group game, the Germans defeated the Americans on a rain-soaked day in Recife, a result which takes both sides through to the second round.
Omar Gonzalez who had been fantastic in defence for the U.S., in spite of being at full stretch, could do nothing about the German goal in the 55th minute.
Goalkeeper Tim Howard stopped a header from Benedikt Howedes, but his punch found the feet of Thomas Muller who curled his effort home for his fourth goal of the finals.
Germany’s win sees them through as group winners with seven points, while the U.S. pipped Portugal on superior goal difference after both sides finished with four points each.
Ghana occupied the last position with one point, after one draw and two losses.(NAN)