Portugal coach Paulo Bento remains frustrated by his team's opening game implosion against Germany that ultimately cost his side a place in the round of 16 of the World Cup.
The Portuguese suffered a 5-1 defeat to Germany and despite a 2-2 draw against the United States and a 2-1 win over Ghana on Thursday, Bento's team crashed out of the tournament.
Portugal finished third, level on four points with second-place USA but with an inferior goal difference.
"Our opening game punished us a lot," Bento said to Portuguese newspaper Ojogo. "That left us a little dented but that also had some positives.
"The reaction that we had from then on, against the United States and Ghana."
Portugal 2 Ghana 1 player ratings
Portugal 2 Ghana 1 player ratings
Was challenged very rarely but was up to the challenge when called upon. A decent afternoon’s work. 6
2/22 Joao Pereira
Raced forward at every given opportunity and gave Portugal an attacking threat down the right flank. An exciting display. 7
3/22 Miguel Veloso
Struggled with the aerial battle from set-plays but delivered an otherwise composed performance. 6
4/22 William Carvalho
It isn’t difficult to see why a host of Premier League giants have been scouting Willian Carvalho. A mature outing for his country. 7
While volatile in a Real Madrid shirt, Pepe seemed much more composed for Portugal this afternoon. Comfortable in possession and tough into the tackle, this was a typically impressive shift. 7
6/22 Bruno Alves
Strived to get forward whenever possible but ultimately failed to make his mark in the final third. 6
Delivering a display as skilful as it was commanding, this was an efficient and ordered performance from the Benfica man. 7
8/22 Joao Moutinho
A real thorn in Ghana’s side, Joao Moutinho’s trickery made him dangerous every time Portugal picked up the ball. Alongside his more impotent teammates, this was an admirable performance. 7
After a series of attacking displays for Braga, it was surprising to see Eder operate quite so defensively. A quiet afternoon. 6
While impressive in the opening stages, with a turn of pace which frightened the Ghana defence, the much maligned Manchester United winger struggled in the second half. 6
11/22 Cristiano Ronaldo
A constant menace, the Real Madrid superstar carried Portugal for much of the game. Regularly frustrated by Fatawu Dauda in the Ghana net, he finally found a way through courtesy of an almost comical error from the Ghana keeper. 8
12/22 Fatawu Dauda
Made a series of excellent saves which included the stunning point blank stop from Cristiano Ronaldo’s first-half header. Gifted the Real Madrid man an easy goal later on, though, which will ultimately steal the morning headlines.
13/22 Harrison Afful
Foolishly booked, Harrison Afful was treading on eggshells for the rest of the match. 6
14/22 Kwadwo Asamoah
Will be remembered for his majestic ball which set-up Asamoah Gyan’s second half goal and rightfully so. An outlet which Ghana used to build a series of attacks upon. 7
15/22 Mohammed Rabiu
Proved why clubs in the Russian Premier League find it so difficult to get past him, Portugal didn’t have the answer. 7
16/22 John Boye
Bitterly unlucky to concede an own goal but, on reflection, will most likely conclude that he should have done much better. 6
17/22 John Mensah
British audiences may remember John Mensah from his loan spell with Sunderland last year but this was a decidedly timid display. 6
18/22 Christian Atsu
After an encouraging season on loan at Vitesse, from Chelsea, this was another decent performance from Ghana’s young midfield star. 7
19/22 Emmanuel Badu
Desperately unlucky not to get on the score sheet, after glancing an effort just wide, Emmanuel Badu may think that he could have done more. 6
20/22 Asamoah Gyan
Became the highest scoring African at the World Cup after a series of poor misses. Unlike his strike past Beto in the Portugal net, however, those misses won’t be noted in the history books. 7
21/22 Majeed Waris
Guilty of an awful miss in the second half, Majeed Waris had the potential to break Portugal down but failed to live up to expectations. 6
22/22 Andre Ayew
Used his fearsome pace to good effect while also coming inside and shooting on many occasions. A good afternoon’s work. 7
Portugal needed to win a play-off tie against Sweden to reach the tournament in Brazil.
Yet expectations were high with Cristiano Ronaldo, the World Player of the Year, as their team's captain.
It was Ronaldo's Real Madrid team-mate Pepe, however, who cost his team dearly with a moment of madness against Germany.
The central defender head-butted Thomas Muller and was sent off to set a negative tone against the Germans and leave Portugal with just 10 men before half-time.
Portugal then lost another Real Madrid player, Fabio Coentrao, for the rest of the World Cup when he had to leave the pitch in the second half with a muscle injury.
"Of course the balance of our World Cup is negative," Bento said. "We didn't achieve our first aim which was to progress to the second round of the competition.
"We have what we deserve.
"The two teams that have gone through have done so on merit."
Ghana coach James Kwesi Appiah was disappointed not to advance but believes his national team has a good future.
"I am sure the people back home are disappointed but I don't think we had a disappointing tournament," Kwesi Appiah said to French newspaper L'Equipe. "Compared with 2006 and 2010, this team is very young with players who have only played for two years or even less in the national team.
"I believe in them, I have confidence in the future.
"I will continue."
Ghana's World Cup will nevertheless be tarnished by the sending home of Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng before the vital game against Portugal.
The two Ghana stars were expelled from the side for indiscipline.
"The decision to send home the two players (Boateng and Muntari) was taken for disciplinary reasons," Kwesi Appiah said. "You cannot think about one player, you have to think about the good of the team.
"The decision was not taken this morning prior to the game but a day ago.
"The players were aware of it.
"If you want to build a team you have to do things right.
"I don't think this had an effect on the game."
Even so, the coach felt his side could have beaten the Portuguese.
When Asamoah Gyan scored an equaliser against Portugal, the Africans only needed one more goal to qualify as second in the group but Portugal's Ronaldo scored next.
"We had our chances but we weren't able to transform them," Kwesi Appiah said. "Our idea heading into this game was to win regardless of what the United States and Germany did in the other game."
Ghana finished bottom of the group, four years after reaching the quarter-finals of the competition.Reuse content