MX23RW : Thursday, October 18 05:56:12
Jun 26, 2014 at 5pm UK at ​Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha, Brasilia
Boye (30' og.), Ronaldo (80')
Moutinho (90')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Gyan (57')
Afful (39'), Waris (55'), Ayew (78')

Match Analysis: Portugal 2-1 Ghana

Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at Portugal's 2-1 victory over Ghana this afternoon - a result that saw both sides crash out of the World Cup.

Portugal and Ghana both saw their World Cup campaigns come to an end in Brasilia this afternoon despite the European side running out 2-1 victors.

The opening goal came on the half-hour mark as John Boye sliced a clearance into his own net, but Asamoah Gyan struck back with a record-breaking header to level the scores after the break.

Another Ghanaian goal would have given them a chance of progressing to the last 16, but it was Portugal who got the winner through Cristiano Ronaldo 10 minutes from time.

Here, Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at another entertaining clash in Group G.

Match statistics

Shots: 18
On target: 7
Possession: 58%
Corners: 7
Fouls: 21

Shots: 17
On target: 4
Possession: 42%
Corners: 4
Fouls: 16

Was the result fair?

Yes. Both sides played their part in an entertaining spectacle, and there wouldn't have been too much complaint had the scores ended level, but on the balance of general play and chances created Portugal deserved their victory in the Brazilian capital today.

The Ghanaian goalkeeper was kept a lot busier than Beto in the Portuguese goal and, despite the Africans only having one shot fewer than their European counterparts, had Ronaldo been firing on all cylinders then it could - and probably would - have been a comfortable Portuguese win.

Portugal's performance

Vastly improved from their thumping defeat to Germany and last-gasp draw with USA, Portugal kept their best performance of the World Cup for their final game. It was by no means the perfect display, but there were at least signs of the team many people were expecting to turn up before the tournament.

They started brightly in the knowledge that they needed a substantial swing in goal difference to stand any chance of progressing, and but for some wasteful finishing they could well have completed the unlikely feat. They also looked more solid defensively, although Asamoah Gyan did make it tough for them at times.

They played some nice football here and there and, had they performed like this throughout the tournament, they may well be celebrating a place in the last 16 right now. However, they paid the price for that heavy defeat to Germany in the opening game, with goal difference ultimately being the deciding factor in their elimination.

Ghana's performance

Another entertaining display from Ghana, more in keeping with their second-half performance against Germany than their showing against USA. They looked to attack with pace and power, but in a familiar tale they just seemed to lack that piece of real quality in the final third.

Gyan was the man to provide that on the occasions Ghana did threaten and, while those around him caused some problems for the Portuguese defence, everything good went through their striker once more. He was the only player who really looked like scoring for Ghana today, and he could have done with a little more help.

All in all, one point is perhaps not a fair reflection of their World Cup. While they were not at their free-flowing best against USA, it still took a late goal to deny them a point, while against Germany they were superb in the second half. Today, again, they could have feasibly come away with something, but it took a late goal from Ronaldo to deny them.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Cristiano Ronaldo: There wasn't one standout player today, but the most threatening on the pitch was, unsurprisingly, Cristiano Ronaldo. Speculation over his fitness has dogged Portugal all tournament, and a fully-fit Ronaldo could have had four or five goals to his name today.

He hit the bar with a superb effort early on and was denied by Fatawu Dauda no fewer than five times - at least three of which you would have expected him to score. He missed another golden chance in stoppage time, but did manage to get the winner in the 80th minute with an accurate finish.

It certainly wasn't his best display - as the misses outlined above attest to - but he was the most dangerous player on the park and ultimately proved to be the difference with his goal.

Biggest gaffe

Take your pick from either Portuguese goal. The first saw Boye skew the ball into his own net with a sliced clearance, while the second was a catalogue of errors as Jonathan Mensah's header ended up dropping under his own bar, resulting in Dauda flapping at the ball and gifting it to Ronaldo for the winner.

Majeed Waris also missed a sitter with the scores level at 1-1 having been found by Gyan's delivery. Had he scored that, Ghana would have been on their way to the last 16.

Referee performance

It was an interesting display from Nawaf Shukralla of Bahrain. He was certainly consistent throughout, but he was too lenient with a number of challenges. Joao Moutinho alone made three separate tackles worthy of a booking, but he wasn't shown the card until deep into second-half stoppage time.

Jordan Ayew was also lucky to get away without a red card for swinging an arm at William Carvalho, an incident that the ref saw but decided was only worth a yellow. It is a good thing to avoid sending players off, but he was perhaps too unwilling to brandish cards at times.

Having said that, there were three penalty decisions to make throughout the match, and he got them all spot on. When it came to the big decisions, he got them right.

What next?

Portugal: Portugal's next match sees them take on Albania as they get their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign underway.

Ghana: Ghana, meanwhile, have no confirmed fixtures on the horizon and will turn their attention to solving the off-field issues that plagued the build-up to this match.

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Ghana players pose for a team photo during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Portugal and Ghana at Estadio Nacional on June 26, 2014
Read Next:
Result: Portugal, Ghana both exit World Cup

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