If you were a fan of the “Black Stars” waking up the morning of one of the biggest games in African soccer history, it wasn’t the quite the start to the day that you were hoping for. The reports out of Brasilia were that coach Kwesi Appiah had sent home Kevin Prince Boateng and Sully Muntari from the World Cup early for causing havoc in the Ghanaian camp the night before. So it went without saying that they did not feature in the Ghanaian squad on the day. Outside of those two there were no surprises in either one of the starting lineups as both teams needed to walk out of Brasilia with three points.

Portugal had the first chance of the half as Cristiano Ronaldo’s cross from the right side hit the top of the crossbar on 5’. It definitely looked like it was a mishit cross, and lucky for Ghana nothing really came of it. Ronaldo had another chance to give Portugal the lead 10 minutes later as his free kick from about 25-yards out was put on target, only for Ghana’s keeper Fatawu Dauda to knock it out for a corner kick.

Portugal was by far the stronger side through twenty minutes as Ronaldo had another huge chance to bring the Portuguese ahead only to have his header beautifully kept out of the net once more by Dauda.

Ghana had their first real chance on 23’ as a swinging free kick from the left side was met by Asamoah Gyan’s head, only for Beto to easily catch it. Portugal was the stronger side early on but Ghana slowly began to come into this match around the 30’ mark.

Just as the Ghanaians began to come into the game John Boye scored an own goal (30’) on a cross from the left flank. He really did not know much about it, but his botched clearance went over the head of the Ghanaian keeper who had no chance.

Portugal had their tails up, as they smelled blood in the water. Ronaldo had another good chance three minutes later as he got a good shot on net from 20-yards out. Dauda did well though to parry it off to the side. It could have gone really bad real quick for the “Black Stars” at this point, but they did well to calm the Portuguese storm.

Ghana thought they had a penalty claim on 42’ as Bruno Alves brought down Gyan in the box, but the Mexican referee decided against it, waving play on. That was the last real action of the half as the teams walked into the dressing room with Portugal leading 1-0.

It could be said that Portugal was the better side during the first forty-five minutes, but Ghana had their chances pushing forward. Both teams at this point would have to continue pushing forward in the second half. 

 

Portugal once again came out looking like the stronger side, immediately creating chances after the interval. Ghana’s first chance of the half came on 50’ as Gyan had a shot on goal from about 20-yards out that went just wide of Beto’s post. The Portuguese goalie looked like he had the shot covered though.

Ghana got the goal they were looking for as Asamoah Gyan’s header leveled the score at 1-1 on 56’. The goal shifted the game into Ghana’s favor as they begun to look like the stronger side in the half up to that point. Majeed Waris should have given the “Black Stars” the lead on 60’ as he found acres of space 6-yards from goal, only to see his header go wide of the post. It has to be said that he really should have scored there.

Ronaldo thought he should have been rewarded a penalty kick on 73’, when he was brought down in the box as he was running full speed. The referee once again decided against it as both teams continued to push for the winner.  

Cristiano Ronaldo did give the Portuguese the lead in the 80’ as the ball fell for him 6 yards in front of goal. It wasn’t the prettiest of goals but all that matters in the end is that he put it into the goal. It was a huge blow for the Ghanaians as they still had a good shot of advancing up until that point.

It was Ronaldo’s late goal that brought Portugal the three points. Credit to both teams for coming out and giving it their best, but it was too little to late. At the end of the day, Portugal won 2-1. It wasn’t enough though as both teams were eliminated from the World Cup.