BRASILIA, (Reuters) – Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first goal of the World Cup but crucially wasted several other good chances in Portugal’s 2-1 win over a haphazard Ghana yesterday that sent both sides home.
The Portuguese finished level on four points with the United States in Group G but the Americans advanced to the last 16 courtesy of a better goal difference despite their 1-0 loss to group winners Germany in Recife.
The World Player of the Year could have changed that had he converted three great chances which would have sent the Europeans through at the expense of the U.S. on goals scored.
All he could manage, though, was an 80th minute strike – his 50th goal for his country – after Ghana goalkeeper Fatawu Dauda flapped at a high ball and directed it straight to the grateful Real Madrid forward.
“We created a lot of chances we didn’t convert all of them, we needed three goals and we were depending on the Germany result. It wasn’t possible,” Ronaldo told reporters.
“We knew it was complicated, that’s football, we leave with our heads held high, we tried out best and we didn’t succeed.”