Portugal vs Ghana: Paulo Bento laments Germany drubbing as Portuguese eliminated from World Cup on goal difference

Portuguese manager left disappointed with World Cup campaign after one-goal victory over Ghana sees United States progress

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 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.

Read more: Portugal 2 Ghana 1 match report
Was Ronaldo the saddest man at the World Cup

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.

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

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen