Portugal vs Ghana match report World Cup 2014: Cristiano Ronaldo fails to make most of chaos in Ghana camp

Portugal 2 Ghana 1

Estadio Mane Garrincha

The madness ends here then, and by the finish it all made perfect sense. An own goal from John Boye and an awful clanger from goalkeeper Fatawu Dauda sent Ghana out of the tournament but you knew from before kick-off that if anyone was going to beat them, it was themselves. 

After boycotting training in Brasilia on Tuesday over the non-payment of appearance fees, they announced at a Wednesday press conference that the nation’s president had ordered a plane to be loaded with $3m in cash and flown straight to them.

The questions and answers thereafter ranged from talk of mercenaries to the trouble with African bank accounts while winger Christian Atsu broke down laughing when talking about how he was going to stuff the notes into a bag for safety. It was pointed out that their main base at this tournament is in the most dangerous city in Brazil but by yesterday morning Boye himself was seen on local television at the team hotel jumping about and kissing wads of money.


It was so bizarre and shambolic it even overshadowed the fact that Kevin-Prince Boateng was sent home for “vulgar verbal insults” directed at coach Kwesi Appiah while sources say Sulley Muntari’s removal from the squad was after he slapped a Football Association member during a meeting that got way out of control. Little wonder then that for an hour of this defeat it was clear from their play that most of them did not want to be here, but it was also evident throughout that Portugal simply are not good enough.

Ghana started like a team whose heads were already on holidays and whose bodies would soon be following, even if Harrison Afful was giving width and Asamoah Gyan was providing power. But it was Cristiano Ronaldo who was most dangerous in those opening stages. He looked more menacing in that spell than he has across a tournament where even he could not carry both his knee injury issues and his team. On 11 minutes he had a free-kick batted away, on 18 minutes he got on the end of a Ruben Amorim cross but was again denied. And that would become the story of his game.

At least his side did take the lead just after the half hour mark. Miguel Veloso’s cross looked too shallow but at the near post it bounced in front of Boye, came off his knee and flew in off the underside of the crossbar. The defender had been at fault for both goals in the game against the United States and nearly had a second own goal here too. But for long spells he looked as likely to score as Portugal, who never truly believed they could claw back the goal difference on the United States to take second spot in the group and head to the second round.


On that count, the blame can be shared around. Nani was again anonymous here, Eder was playing too deep for a striker, while Joao Moutinho was once more a major disappointment. Coming into this tournament, there were comparisons with Xavi but in exiting he had as much of an influence on it as his Spanish counterpart. The defence never looked assured either when Ghana moved the ball down the flanks and such a move led to the equaliser just shy of the hour mark.

Kwadwo Asamoah provided the most audacious of crosses with the outside of the boot and a Gyan header saw him become the top-scoring African in World Cup history. For a few minutes it was like a switch had been flicked as news came through that Germany were ahead and one more goal would see Ghana advance.


Majeed Waris had a great opportunity from six yards out, Asamoah shot wide and the side came to life with the sort of pace and power that had seen them dominate against the Americans and hustle the Germans until the very end. It briefly made you think they were too good to go out at this stage, but just as they’d awoken, they again slept. From there on in it was just tension rather than quality as both sides were swimming against the tide.

And even that tension was taken away 10 minutes from time as Ronaldo netted the winner.  A deflected cross looped high into the air, Dauda inexplicably chose to flap at the ball rather than catch it cleanly, and his parry dropped straight to Ronaldo for an easy finish. To be fair, the World Player of the Year had other chances in those closing stages but could not convert. It summed up his World Cup and Portugal’s. Down, and now out.

The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
Life and Style

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album