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Sunday, 22 June 2014 21:20

Late equaliser keeps Seleção alive in World Cup - just

Portugal 2-2 USA

varela-diving-header-usa.jpgAn equaliser in the dying seconds by substitute Silvestre Varela salvaged a 2-2 draw for Portugal against USA on a hot and humid night in Manaus. Nani had given the Seleção an early lead, but Jermaine Jones and Dempsey turned it around in the second half for the Americans, before Varela powered in his late header from a Ronaldo cross.  

Injuries forced Paulo Bento to replace Rui Patrício, Fábio Coentrão and Hugo Almeida with Beto, André Almeida and Hélder Postiga respectively, while Ricardo Costa came in for the suspended Pepe.

As such, the Portugal coach refused to bow to the loud media clamour to select midfielder William Carvalho and striker Éder, although both players would end up playing a significant role.

Perfect start

Portugal had a dream start when Veloso's cross was poorly dealt with by Cameron, the ball fell to Nani, and the Manchester United winger lifted it into the roof of the net over Howard to put the Seleção 1-0 up on five minutes.

The match immediately took on a discernible pattern with Portugal happy to soak up pressure and try and hit the US on the break. What appeared sensible tactics (the Seleção have generally played their best football using a counter-attacking game) was undermined by sloppy passing from most of Portugal's players. Not only did America gain confidence and largely boss the game, but Bento's men were rarely able to release Ronaldo, Nani or Éder (who came on for the injured Postiga on 16 minutes) to test the US defence.

Moreover, captain Cristiano Ronaldo was so obviously unfit his contribution to the game was negligible.

The impressive Johnson, and Dempsey, Jermaine Jones and Bradley all threatened for America before half time. Nevertheless, it was Portugal who came closest to scoring again before the interval, Howard making a mess of Nani's shot that thudded against the post and Éder's follow-up just tipped over by the goalkeeper.

William takes his bow

Bento brought on William Carvalho at half time, Miguel Veloso dropping to left back in place of André Almeida, who had struggled in the opening 45 minutes, and Portugal immediately looked more balanced.

The United States were showing commendable determination and fighting spirit in chasing an equaliser in the stifling conditions, and only a superb last-ditch goal-line clearance by Ricardo Costa prevented Bradley from equalising in the 55th minute.

Ten minutes later and America got the equaliser they deserved, a brilliant Jermaine Jones shot from 25 yards giving Beto no chance.

Portugal briefly rallied, Raul Meireles and Nani coming close, but disaster struck on 81 minutes as some sloppy defending allowed Dempsey to chest the ball into the net from close range.

Paulo Bento's men rallied again with a series of crosses raining down on Howard's goal. Just when it seemed it would be to no avail, Cristiano Ronaldo swung over a peach of a cross that the sprinting Silvestre Varela met with a thumping header to score a dramatic equaliser.

Even so, for Portugal to progress the Seleção need to beat Ghana in their final game and hope the Germany-USA match does not end in a draw, as well as overturning a vastly poorer goal difference in relation to their rivals.

by Tom Kundert


Portugal:
Beto, João Pereira, Ricardo Costa, Bruno Alves, André Almeida (William, 45'), João Moutinho, Miguel Veloso, Raul Meireles (Varela, 68'), Nani, Hélder Postiga (Éder, 16'), Cristiano Ronaldo

USA:
Tim Howard, Johnson, Geoff Cameron, Matt Besler, Beasley, Beckerman, Bedoya (Yedlin, 71'), Jermaine Jones, Bradley, Graham Zusi (Gonzalez, 90'), Clint Dempsey (Wondolowski, 87')

 


Comments (166)
home Dna test
166 Thursday, 26 June 2014 23:41
lusiads/Canada
Wow! You're a Ukrainian dishwasher that works with a guy that looks like Veloso.

By the way, I hate to break it to you but despite what he keeps telling you, two men cannot physically have a love child, so, ah, stop trying.
About Lusiads
165 Thursday, 26 June 2014 14:50
Home DNA testing kit
Does anyone else think this poster is Paulo Bento and Miguel Veloso's love child?

It would explain why Veloso always starts for the Seleccao despite his regular day job at a Ukranian restaurant as a dishwasher.
Eddie Eddie Eddie
164 Thursday, 26 June 2014 12:53
LHE
Hey Eddie Gomes you can just come out of the closet with your USMNT jersey on already we know you dont care about the NT so take a break every 2 years from futebol and go scout south america and eastern europe for your beloved benfica. Help them earn as much money from transfers as possible on foreign players so they can flop in the champions league and continue to make the finals of the europa league every year.
Steve austalia
163 Thursday, 26 June 2014 11:22
lusiads/Canada
Hey Steve thanks for the comments first of all I’m not some big defender of Paulo Bento I just think he has been unfairly critized. I don’t think he is perfect and that he does not make mistakes, but the criticism is bias and extreme. That said here is my response to your critique of my points.

1. ** He delivered the cross for the first goal (in reference to the cross from Veloso for the first goal) ** - OK, so that cross you are referring towas one that barely went off the ground and went straight to a USA player. Not sure that was the one to choose to justify what a great crosser of the ball Veloso is. Very strange. The goal was a defensive error, i.e. the USA player cleared it straight to Nani and had nothing to do with the quality of what was indeed an obviously very poor cross.
My overarching point when I mentioned the cross (as seen through my other posts) is that Veloso is a more astute offensive player than Carvalho. The value that Veloso brings with his offensive characteristics is one of the reasons that Veloso is playing and Carvalho is not. Another is that Veloso has gelled with the rest of the squad for four years, Veloso has played many significant games for Portugal: sudden death home and home qualifiers, he has played the Germans and Spanish several times, euro cup elimination games, European club championship games etc…, He is far from over the hill at 28. Carvalho (who I have said many times is a great player) was not put in the starting lineup because, he was not involved in the qualifying campaign as he only had his break out season this year, he brings a more defensive minded game and Bento has a more offensive philosophy, which I prefer. Bento has shown that he prefers bringing in Carvalho as a second half sub once we have the lead. See (Sweden 2nd leg). While Carvalho had a breakout season in Portugal he did it mostly against lower level competition in Portugal and has little to no senior level international experience at the club or national team level.

2. ** Delivering good crosses is not Carvalho's stay ** - yes that is correct, but can you tell me what "decent\quality" defensive midfielder is a good crosser.
Veloso. Indeed you acknowledge as much in your next sentence.
“The fat that Veloso is a good crosser might hint at the fact that he's not a decent DM.”
I don’t see how those two characteristics are mutually inclusive. He’s a good crosser because he once was a left back and he still has that skill.
Player's in that position are not expected to deliver crosses into the box but they are expected to shelter the defense from attacks, something Veloso is not either capable of or shows any enthusiasm to do.
That’s just not true. If your point of reference for a good tacking DM’s is Carvalho then I agree he is not as good as Carvalho but he still does make good tackles and provides defensive cover. I sighted one from the Germany game that almost lead to a goal before all hell broke loose in that game in an earlier. One example does not make an argument but you have sighted no examples. Ultimately it’s a give and take. Bento gives up Carvalho’s better defensive ability for sufficient defense along with better offense and familiarity with the squad, experience against top flight completion in international games, etc…

3. ** In the first half Veloso played well ** - OK, we could agree that Veloso as a player is solid but the problem is he is not a defensive midfielder. He offers no protection to the defence, he is slow, cannot tackle, weak and is easily pushed off the ball. Plain and simple he is not a defensive midfielder and should not be played there.
I’m not sure how you can saw he is solid and have such bad characteristics. Regardless everything you say is merely unsubstantiated opinion and exaggeration. I completely disagree that he is so useless and I think multiple clubs in Europe that he has played for would also disagree with you as well.
Add to this he hasn't been playing regulary in what is a poor Ukrainian league.
This is completely untrue. Carvalho played in 34 games this year in all competitions including no European competitions and 4 internationals (3 friendlies) prior to the World cup. Veloso played 31 games For Kiev in all competitions including European cup games. When you add competitive qualifiers and friendlies he played over 40 games. When you consider competitive internationals, cup games, and games against Shanktar I would say he played more high competition this year than carvalho. Basically Carvalho’s tough games were against Benfica and Porto the rest of the games were against teams with a bunch of players named “who”. Compared to the past ten years I think all would agree this was a down year in the Portuguese 1st division which makes Carvalho’s breakout season less spectacular ( who in Portugal is the Di Maria, Hulk, Coentrao, Falcao, David Luiz, etc… of years gone by to name just a few of the great players that once played in Portugal but no longer do.) As for Ukraine being a week league I again have to disagree Ukraine is a solid league with many wealthy owners. They are ranked 7th just below Portugal (5) in the UEfa coefficient rankings so I don’t think we are talking about a huge drop off in quality here. Yes Porto and Benfica are consistently better than Shanktar and kiev but not by as much as you might think.
I guess one might say that veloso is or was good at reading the play (not as good as Carvalho) and passing.
OK. They are different players with different qualities. Agreed.
but in the Seleccao system full backs go bombing up forward and we are vulnerable to the counter because no one is offering cover on the flanks. If a central defender goes out to cover then we can be exposed down the middle. The game is not just about attack we need to be able to retrieve the ball and break down opposition counters and Veloso offers no support in this area.
There are many aspects to Portugal’s game. Different strategies offer different advantages and disadvantages. And different strategies to defend against them. To say Veloso offer no cover is a complete exaggeration. Give me three examples of Veloso providing no cover. You make it sound like the guy just learned to play the game.

4. ** Veloso forced a great turnover which he used to release ** - Whilst this might be correct, William Carvalho was able to steal the ball within a few seconds of being on...
So what? How did he help Portugal win?

he tackles and steals the ball in his sleep.
Physically impossible.
The guys is a legend.
Your joking right. Figo is a legend. Eusebio is a legend. Ronaldo is a legend. Carvalho is a 22 year old kid who had one kid season in a 2nd tier league who had played all of 30 min of competitive international football prior to this world cup at the senior level and who has never played in 1 champion league game in his life. To call him a legend is an insult to true legends.
For the record I have said many times that Carvalho is an fine player who will be great for Portugal in the build up to 2016. My comments are just to show that he is not the panacea he is made out to be at this point in his career.
He loves a hard tough tackle and doesn't mind the physical stuff something most of our attacking players like Veloso hate. Citing the 1 time in the game that Veloso done something defensively where he put his body on the line doesn't make your arguments any stronger.
My argument was not based on 1 example (although you provide none by the way) It was simply a point in my general argument to show that people saying he was a complete stiff was unfair and incorrect. That said I’ve given many reasons why he is not a write off and why your arguments and those of others are for the most part claims without substantiation.
Consistency is the key here and over the game he showed that he was not capable of doing this even in the first half when he was in his favourite position.
Portugal outplayed USA in the first half when he was in his preferred position. My main point is that he brings offensive characteristics and continuity with the squad that make up for any advantage that Carvalho provides defensively. Again he provides the crucial assist of Ronaldo’s game winner in game one of the Sweeden play-off.
You might not have known it but the US knew where our weak link was and they exploited it with attack after attack.

I’m not sure what game you were watching but Portugal outplayed the USa in the first half. If you are sayng the the USA was trying to exploit the weakness of Veloso in the middle in the first half then the fact that they were unable suggests that Veloso was sufficiently good. It was the Almeida injury that forced Veloso to go out of position that lead to goals. The usa astutely took advantage of an out of position player as all goals came from attacks from Veloso’s defensive wing position. It firmly believe that if Almeida had not been injured we would have won the game. Because Carvalho would have come in for Veloso and provided better defense know that Portugal already had they lead as they did vs. Sweeden in game two of the home and home play-off.

5. ** Bento's mistake was that he chose to bring in carvalho in the second half and move Veloso over to the left back position ** - OK let's get some perspective here. Bento's Mistake was not having another left back alternative to Coentrao who mind you has been injured and hardly played all year. He has only played *** 10 GAMES yes 10 GAMES *** and yet Bento decides that we do not need cover in that position when we had Antunes whose had a great season at Malaga as a starter. Coentrao like many others were injuries waiting to happen if you expect then to play with high intensity, hard running etc.
Once again you are misinformed. 1. When you add regular season domestic cup games, European championship games and national team qualifiers and friendlies Coentrao played about 30 games. Look it up. Which incidently is about how many games Carvalho played. Coentrao also just played in the champions league final and was absolutely fine.
I must say with so many old injured and out of form players Paulo Bento must have been a genius to qualify this motley crew for the world cup.
As far as a back-up for Coentrao. Almeida can and has played left back. HE is 23 and not 28 so while he has not played their as much of late it’s not like we can say that he is specialized yet. He played left bak this season at times and is capable. I think if you offered Malaga a trade for almeida for antunes straight up it their would not even be a discussion. Also, yes he did have a fullseason this year but it was basically his first full season in a top leagus (for an avg team) in his career. Also, he is 5’9 wherqaas almeaida is 6’1. Almeida is bigger stronger and more athletic. I think those are the characteristics we need against top teams with big players like Germany and France. Also Antunes proveids us with no flexibility. What if we had had suspensions and injuries in the midfield? Then we would be saying “why didn’t stupid bento bring guys with more flexibility? Look at Almeida from benfica he’s young big, can play multiple positions what a dumb Bento we got to fire this guy when is he going to bring in young players. Someone needs to deport him. Bring back Scolari!!!”

6. ** In Bento's defence one could point out that he has lost five players to injury ** - This is where you totally missed the point.
Helder Postiga was already injured coming into the tournament. He's only played 5 games but Bento thinks I'll start him in a game played in the most extreme oppressive conditions. That was just plain stupid
First of all those were not the most extreme oppressive conditions. Since he was injured so early I don’t think the injury had to do with extreme conditions. Portugal has the most laughable colelction of strikers of any decent team in Europe. My God someone even posted that he could not understand why Bento didn’t bring Bebe onto the team. My God 11 goals on Pacos de Ferreira. Are you kidding me. Indeed the sad reality of Portugal’s inability to develop a striker of decent quality wince Nuno Gomes (Paulete never should up when it mattered) should itself give Bento a pass. Besides I think most people now realize that EDER is not the answer at striker. So the best Bento could do was use the guy who has the most experience and continuity with the team and hope we get an early goal. Once we get that goal we can take off Positiga and bring on Carvalho. Sadly injuries in the game screwed up Bento’s plans.

Coentrao has been injured all year and has hardly played. He was an injury waiting to happen.
He was inured but not all year see my above point.

Hugo Almeida was unlucky but at his age over 30, the risk of a minor leg injury is a lot higher than someone over younger.
Not sure what your point is here should teams not bring 30 plus year old players? How many 30 plus year old players have been injured this tournament? How many under 30?

Bruno Alves was clearly carrying an injury with his old tired body. He could not een get off the ground on that second goal.
Clearly. What are you talking about? Who would you have started in Portugal’s two games over Alves? Find me one football Analyst who wrote an article that suggested that Alves should not be Portugals’s starter if he says he is available to play. Did he look old when he scored that amazing header against Mexico?

Cristiano Ronaldo was clearly carrying an injury dispite Bento saying he was fit.
What’s your point? Not bring Ronaldo, bring another winger to the tournament? Listen if some one told you that in the first game of the tournament one of Ronaldo, Coentrao, or moutinho was going to be out of the tournament then no matter what Portuguese eligible player you brought to the squad you would say Portugal has no chance of winning the cup or achieving it’s objective.

Rui Patricio - Agree that was hard to see coming.
Agree.


7. ** Weakness of Bento is that he is too wedded to the 4-3-3. Indeed, so much so that he would rather play players out of position ** - OK, so let me get this straight... on one hand you agree that he got the tactics wrong and yet on the other hand you say we should not blame him and it was not his fault. How does that even make sense? The key here is taking ownership and that is something that the coach must do.
It does make sense. I have been consistent in all my posts. I am not some great defender of Bento and I try to see him objectively. I have tried t respond to the criticism people have levied against him which I think is wrong. Fe have questioned the 4-3-3 until recently. My point was in the USA game he should have went away from the 4-3-3 because of injuries which left him without personal to execute that formation effectively. If he had his full complement of players than the 4-3-3 is fine. But he didn’t. Ultimately if he hadn’t been hard done by injuries and suspensions then we would be advancing no question. No team can survive that many in tournament injuries and suspensions and advanced to say that he should have anticipated so many is harsh. Furthermore to say that he should have anticipated injuries and then say he should have brought in one dimensional player like Antunnes over Almeida is inconsistent.


8. ** What Bento should have done was keep Almeida at left back and and bring in Carvalho for Nani ** - In my humble opinion, what Bento should have done is bench out of form and injured players. That would have meant starting with someone other than the injured Helder Postiga, starting William Carvalho at DM, benching Mereiles, and playing Veloso or Ruben Amorim in his position. When Andre Almeida went down then Ruben Amorim should have moved to cover on the left. I know Ruben Amorim is not a natural left back but hes the best of a bad bunch as looking around the squad he would have been the best option because playing a centre back there out of position won't work with our style.

I would have started Eder over Psotiga. But Bento wanted to go with experience over inexperience. I won’t fault him for not wanting to start a guy who had one decent season at Braga and has barely played for Portugal in a decisive game. In the USA Postiga would be going against a much less physical and experienced back line so he figured Postiga could get him a better chance at a goal than Eder. In fact many people were critical of Eder after the game. Again merieles played enough games has a wealth of experience and continuity with the team. Making Veloso an attacking midfielder over meirieles is not a good idea. Meireles is a better attacking player. Ruben amorin is not as good as MEireles and less has experinence with the team, Meireels has been in wars for Portugal amorin has not. Based on your substitution pattern Bento would have used up all his substitutions at the half and would have had no subs in case of another injury and would not have been able to bring on Varela late in the game. Without Varela no goal. No hope.

I think Bento realized that he did not have a perfect squad and that like all the teams their were some injury concerns but at this point to cut these players and bring in inexperienced guys would have been a mistake. You can win the world cup by having truly exceptional players at many positions or having solid players and excellent team cohesion. Portugal does not have truly exceptional players so Bento has to go with team cohesion. All things considered he made the best bet for Portugal for this world cup. Unfortunately it looks like it’s over. I’m sure bento will make changes and integrate new players into the 2016 build up as he did for the 2012 euro build up.
Lastly. No team is perfect. Why don’t you suggest your 23 man Portugal roster for this world cup and I’m sure we will see that many of the players have flaws or concerns. Even with the advantage of 20-20 and knowing which players have got injured I think I will be able to show that many of the players if not all pose some risk. It is easy to attack Bento because he actually has to do the job and not just write blog posts like us where he never really has to step up to the plate and get the job done.
Steve austalia
162 Thursday, 26 June 2014 10:11
lusiads/Canada
Hey Steve thanks for the comments first of all I’m not some big defender of Paulo Bento I just think he has been unfairly critized. I don’t think he is perfect and that he does not make mistakes, but the criticism is bias and extreme. That said here is my response to your critique of my points.

1. ** He delivered the cross for the first goal (in reference to the cross from Veloso for the first goal) ** - OK, so that cross you are referring towas one that barely went off the ground and went straight to a USA player. Not sure that was the one to choose to justify what a great crosser of the ball Veloso is. Very strange. The goal was a defensive error, i.e. the USA player cleared it straight to Nani and had nothing to do with the quality of what was indeed an obviously very poor cross.
My overarching point when I mentioned the cross (as seen through my other posts) is that Veloso is a more astute offensive player than Carvalho. The value that Veloso brings with his offensive characteristics is one of the reasons that Veloso is playing and Carvalho is not. Another is that Veloso has gelled with the rest of the squad for four years, Veloso has played many significant games for Portugal: sudden death home and home qualifiers, he has played the Germans and Spanish several times, euro cup elimination games, European club championship games etc…, He is far from over the hill at 28. Carvalho (who I have said many times is a great player) was not put in the starting lineup because, he was not involved in the qualifying campaign as he only had his break out season this year, he brings a more defensive minded game and Bento has a more offensive philosophy, which I prefer. Bento has shown that he prefers bringing in Carvalho as a second half sub once we have the lead. See (Sweden 2nd leg). While Carvalho had a breakout season in Portugal he did it mostly against lower level competition in Portugal and has little to no senior level international experience at the club or national team level.

2. ** Delivering good crosses is not Carvalho's stay ** - yes that is correct, but can you tell me what "decent\quality" defensive midfielder is a good crosser.
Veloso. Indeed you acknowledge as much in your next sentence.
“The fat that Veloso is a good crosser might hint at the fact that he's not a decent DM.”
I don’t see how those two characteristics are mutually inclusive. He’s a good crosser because he once was a left back and he still has that skill.
Player's in that position are not expected to deliver crosses into the box but they are expected to shelter the defense from attacks, something Veloso is not either capable of or shows any enthusiasm to do.
That’s just not true. If your point of reference for a good tacking DM’s is Carvalho then I agree he is not as good as Carvalho but he still does make good tackles and provides defensive cover. I sighted one from the Germany game that almost lead to a goal before all hell broke loose in that game in an earlier. One example does not make an argument but you have sighted no examples. Ultimately it’s a give and take. Bento gives up Carvalho’s better defensive ability for sufficient defense along with better offense and familiarity with the squad, experience against top flight completion in international games, etc…

3. ** In the first half Veloso played well ** - OK, we could agree that Veloso as a player is solid but the problem is he is not a defensive midfielder. He offers no protection to the defence, he is slow, cannot tackle, weak and is easily pushed off the ball. Plain and simple he is not a defensive midfielder and should not be played there.
I’m not sure how you can saw he is solid and have such bad characteristics. Regardless everything you say is merely unsubstantiated opinion and exaggeration. I completely disagree that he is so useless and I think multiple clubs in Europe that he has played for would also disagree with you as well.
Add to this he hasn't been playing regulary in what is a poor Ukrainian league.
This is completely untrue. Carvalho played in 34 games this year in all competitions including no European competitions and 4 internationals (3 friendlies) prior to the World cup. Veloso played 31 games For Kiev in all competitions including European cup games. When you add competitive qualifiers and friendlies he played over 40 games. When you consider competitive internationals, cup games, and games against Shanktar I would say he played more high competition this year than carvalho. Basically Carvalho’s tough games were against Benfica and Porto the rest of the games were against teams with a bunch of players named “who”. Compared to the past ten years I think all would agree this was a down year in the Portuguese 1st division which makes Carvalho’s breakout season less spectacular ( who in Portugal is the Di Maria, Hulk, Coentrao, Falcao, David Luiz, etc… of years gone by to name just a few of the great players that once played in Portugal but no longer do.) As for Ukraine being a week league I again have to disagree Ukraine is a solid league with many wealthy owners. They are ranked 7th just below Portugal (5) in the UEfa coefficient rankings so I don’t think we are talking about a huge drop off in quality here. Yes Porto and Benfica are consistently better than Shanktar and kiev but not by as much as you might think.
I guess one might say that veloso is or was good at reading the play (not as good as Carvalho) and passing.
OK. They are different players with different qualities. Agreed.
but in the Seleccao system full backs go bombing up forward and we are vulnerable to the counter because no one is offering cover on the flanks. If a central defender goes out to cover then we can be exposed down the middle. The game is not just about attack we need to be able to retrieve the ball and break down opposition counters and Veloso offers no support in this area.
There are many aspects to Portugal’s game. Different strategies offer different advantages and disadvantages. And different strategies to defend against them. To say Veloso offer no cover is a complete exaggeration. Give me three examples of Veloso providing no cover. You make it sound like the guy just learned to play the game.

4. ** Veloso forced a great turnover which he used to release ** - Whilst this might be correct, William Carvalho was able to steal the ball within a few seconds of being on...
So what? How did he help Portugal win?

he tackles and steals the ball in his sleep.
Physically impossible.
The guys is a legend.
Your joking right. Figo is a legend. Eusebio is a legend. Ronaldo is a legend. Carvalho is a 22 year old kid who had one kid season in a 2nd tier league who had played all of 30 min of competitive international football prior to this world cup at the senior level and who has never played in 1 champion league game in his life. To call him a legend is an insult to true legends.
For the record I have said many times that Carvalho is an fine player who will be great for Portugal in the build up to 2016. My comments are just to show that he is not the panacea he is made out to be at this point in his career.
He loves a hard tough tackle and doesn't mind the physical stuff something most of our attacking players like Veloso hate. Citing the 1 time in the game that Veloso done something defensively where he put his body on the line doesn't make your arguments any stronger.
My argument was not based on 1 example (although you provide none by the way) It was simply a point in my general argument to show that people saying he was a complete stiff was unfair and incorrect. That said I’ve given many reasons why he is not a write off and why your arguments and those of others are for the most part claims without substantiation.
Consistency is the key here and over the game he showed that he was not capable of doing this even in the first half when he was in his favourite position.
Portugal outplayed USA in the first half when he was in his preferred position. My main point is that he brings offensive characteristics and continuity with the squad that make up for any advantage that Carvalho provides defensively. Again he provides the crucial assist of Ronaldo’s game winner in game one of the Sweeden play-off.
You might not have known it but the US knew where our weak link was and they exploited it with attack after attack.

I’m not sure what game you were watching but Portugal outplayed the USa in the first half. If you are sayng the the USA was trying to exploit the weakness of Veloso in the middle in the first half then the fact that they were unable suggests that Veloso was sufficiently good. It was the Almeida injury that forced Veloso to go out of position that lead to goals. The usa astutely took advantage of an out of position player as all goals came from attacks from Veloso’s defensive wing position. It firmly believe that if Almeida had not been injured we would have won the game. Because Carvalho would have come in for Veloso and provided better defense know that Portugal already had they lead as they did vs. Sweeden in game two of the home and home play-off.

5. ** Bento's mistake was that he chose to bring in carvalho in the second half and move Veloso over to the left back position ** - OK let's get some perspective here. Bento's Mistake was not having another left back alternative to Coentrao who mind you has been injured and hardly played all year. He has only played *** 10 GAMES yes 10 GAMES *** and yet Bento decides that we do not need cover in that position when we had Antunes whose had a great season at Malaga as a starter. Coentrao like many others were injuries waiting to happen if you expect then to play with high intensity, hard running etc.
Once again you are misinformed. 1. When you add regular season domestic cup games, European championship games and national team qualifiers and friendlies Coentrao played about 30 games. Look it up. Which incidently is about how many games Carvalho played. Coentrao also just played in the champions league final and was absolutely fine.
I must say with so many old injured and out of form players Paulo Bento must have been a genius to qualify this motley crew for the world cup.
As far as a back-up for Coentrao. Almeida can and has played left back. HE is 23 and not 28 so while he has not played their as much of late it’s not like we can say that he is specialized yet. He played left bak this season at times and is capable. I think if you offered Malaga a trade for almeida for antunes straight up it their would not even be a discussion. Also, yes he did have a fullseason this year but it was basically his first full season in a top leagus (for an avg team) in his career. Also, he is 5’9 wherqaas almeaida is 6’1. Almeida is bigger stronger and more athletic. I think those are the characteristics we need against top teams with big players like Germany and France. Also Antunes proveids us with no flexibility. What if we had had suspensions and injuries in the midfield? Then we would be saying “why didn’t stupid bento bring guys with more flexibility? Look at Almeida from benfica he’s young big, can play multiple positions what a dumb Bento we got to fire this guy when is he going to bring in young players. Someone needs to deport him. Bring back Scolari!!!”

6. ** In Bento's defence one could point out that he has lost five players to injury ** - This is where you totally missed the point.
Helder Postiga was already injured coming into the tournament. He's only played 5 games but Bento thinks I'll start him in a game played in the most extreme oppressive conditions. That was just plain stupid
First of all those were not the most extreme oppressive conditions. Since he was injured so early I don’t think the injury had to do with extreme conditions. Portugal has the most laughable colelction of strikers of any decent team in Europe. My God someone even posted that he could not understand why Bento didn’t bring Bebe onto the team. My God 11 goals on Pacos de Ferreira. Are you kidding me. Indeed the sad reality of Portugal’s inability to develop a striker of decent quality wince Nuno Gomes (Paulete never should up when it mattered) should itself give Bento a pass. Besides I think most people now realize that EDER is not the answer at striker. So the best Bento could do was use the guy who has the most experience and continuity with the team and hope we get an early goal. Once we get that goal we can take off Positiga and bring on Carvalho. Sadly injuries in the game screwed up Bento’s plans.

Coentrao has been injured all year and has hardly played. He was an injury waiting to happen.
He was inured but not all year see my above point.

Hugo Almeida was unlucky but at his age over 30, the risk of a minor leg injury is a lot higher than someone over younger.
Not sure what your point is here should teams not bring 30 plus year old players? How many 30 plus year old players have been injured this tournament? How many under 30?

Bruno Alves was clearly carrying an injury with his old tired body. He could not een get off the ground on that second goal.
Clearly. What are you talking about? Who would you have started in Portugal’s two games over Alves? Find me one football Analyst who wrote an article that suggested that Alves should not be Portugals’s starter if he says he is available to play. Did he look old when he scored that amazing header against Mexico?

Cristiano Ronaldo was clearly carrying an injury dispite Bento saying he was fit.
What’s your point? Not bring Ronaldo, bring another winger to the tournament? Listen if some one told you that in the first game of the tournament one of Ronaldo, Coentrao, or moutinho was going to be out of the tournament then no matter what Portuguese eligible player you brought to the squad you would say Portugal has no chance of winning the cup or achieving it’s objective.

Rui Patricio - Agree that was hard to see coming.
Agree.


7. ** Weakness of Bento is that he is too wedded to the 4-3-3. Indeed, so much so that he would rather play players out of position ** - OK, so let me get this straight... on one hand you agree that he got the tactics wrong and yet on the other hand you say we should not blame him and it was not his fault. How does that even make sense? The key here is taking ownership and that is something that the coach must do.
It does make sense. I have been consistent in all my posts. I am not some great defender of Bento and I try to see him objectively. I have tried t respond to the criticism people have levied against him which I think is wrong. Fe have questioned the 4-3-3 until recently. My point was in the USA game he should have went away from the 4-3-3 because of injuries which left him without personal to execute that formation effectively. If he had his full complement of players than the 4-3-3 is fine. But he didn’t. Ultimately if he hadn’t been hard done by injuries and suspensions then we would be advancing no question. No team can survive that many in tournament injuries and suspensions and advanced to say that he should have anticipated so many is harsh. Furthermore to say that he should have anticipated injuries and then say he should have brought in one dimensional player like Antunnes over Almeida is inconsistent.


8. ** What Bento should have done was keep Almeida at left back and and bring in Carvalho for Nani ** - In my humble opinion, what Bento should have done is bench out of form and injured players. That would have meant starting with someone other than the injured Helder Postiga, starting William Carvalho at DM, benching Mereiles, and playing Veloso or Ruben Amorim in his position. When Andre Almeida went down then Ruben Amorim should have moved to cover on the left. I know Ruben Amorim is not a natural left back but hes the best of a bad bunch as looking around the squad he would have been the best option because playing a centre back there out of position won't work with our style.

I would have started Eder over Psotiga. But Bento wanted to go with experience over inexperience. I won’t fault him for not wanting to start a guy who had one decent season at Braga and has barely played for Portugal in a decisive game. In the USA Postiga would be going against a much less physical and experienced back line so he figured Postiga could get him a better chance at a goal than Eder. In fact many people were critical of Eder after the game. Again merieles played enough games has a wealth of experience and continuity with the team. Making Veloso an attacking midfielder over meirieles is not a good idea. Meireles is a better attacking player. Ruben amorin is not as good as MEireles and less has experinence with the team, Meireels has been in wars for Portugal amorin has not. Based on your substitution pattern Bento would have used up all his substitutions at the half and would have had no subs in case of another injury and would not have been able to bring on Varela late in the game. Without Varela no goal. No hope.

I think Bento realized that he did not have a perfect squad and that like all the teams their were some injury concerns but at this point to cut these players and bring in inexperienced guys would have been a mistake. You can win the world cup by having truly exceptional players at many positions or having solid players and excellent team cohesion. Portugal does not have truly exceptional players so Bento has to go with team cohesion. All things considered he made the best bet for Portugal for this world cup. Unfortunately it looks like it’s over. I’m sure bento will make changes and integrate new players into the 2016 build up as he did for the 2012 euro build up.
Lastly. No team is perfect. Why don’t you suggest your 23 man Portugal roster for this world cup and I’m sure we will see that many of the players have flaws or concerns. Even with the advantage of 20-20 and knowing which players have got injured I think I will be able to show that many of the players if not all pose some risk. It is easy to attack Bento because he actually has to do the job and not just write blog posts like us where he never really has to step up to the plate and get the job done.
Teams Records Post Manaus
161 Thursday, 26 June 2014 03:46
Robert/Marina Del Rey
0-5-1

I am having a hard time believing Ghana won't run circles around Portugal. Portugal is going to have to be prefect on the counter.
Uma promessa
160 Thursday, 26 June 2014 03:04
Dave LA
If our team manages a miracle tomorrow and actually makes it to the next round:
I promise to stop informing people for the next four years that Brazil is just a place where Portugal sends all their hookers and thieves.
Quaresma versus Nani wasn't the real problem...
159 Thursday, 26 June 2014 02:04
Adam/Canada
Put aside the injured, out-of-form Vieirinha, or the inexperienced and never-used Rafa...Nani barely featured for Manchester United, and I am VERY upset with how he "defended" Jones' goal. Nani was right there and he's fast...he gave Jones all the space, and time in the world, and made no effort to close him down or block the shot.

Dump on Quaresma. It's very easy to do. Just point at his career and dump on him. Fact remains, he's always played well with Ronaldo, he had a MUCH better season than Nani, and I GUARANTEE that if you put him in Nani's shoes at that exact moment, he would've: a) closed Jones down, and force him to pass or go left. b) fouled him. c) slid and blocked the shot with his body.

We all know none of this was the MAIN problem. It was just part of the problem which was midfield. A TOUGH midfield wins tournaments. I firmly believe that if we had at least TRIED: William, Moutinho, and Amorim as our trio for the last year, we would be in a much better position right now...

AND Eder has barely played alongside Ronaldo, when he was clearly the best striker. Regardless, Eder, Bebe, and Nelson should have been competing for the top striker position, and they should've been given minutes upon minutes to build chemistry/understanding with Ronaldo...

I just want to add, that if you are going to dump on Quaresma (and I'm a Benfica fan BTW, but a Portugal fan FIRST), but think Hugo Almeida, Postiga, Meireles, and Veloso, deserve to be on this team, then maybe you should be re-evaluating your criteria. Another upside to Quaresma is his chemistry with Varela, which would allow Ronaldo to play more centrally as an alternative tactical system. Danny is another noticeable absence...That could be substituted/starting instead of Amorim for a more offensive side, but I am not the coach. I don't claim to be a football expert, but it makes no logical sense to bring a bunch of injured, out-of-form players, do our pre-season in the U.S.A., play a game less than a week from the World Cup, be one of the last teams to arrive, make no tactical changes when losing with 10 men, sit on a 1-0 lead, and bench William, bench William, BENCH WILLIAM. Now Bento says he won't quit.

Well, if he wants to job. Show me that you've changed in the line-up you set up. Prove me wrong Bento because I am so tired of being right, but feeling so depressed...I'd rather be wrong, and be happy!
The Universe
158 Thursday, 26 June 2014 00:24
Antonio / Oakville
Everything that could go wrong went wrong during the Germany game...... Everything that can go right will go right during the Ghana game.......the universe tends to balance these things out.

I can't wait for Portugal to destroy Belgium in the round of 16.

Força!
ok........deep breath....
157 Thursday, 26 June 2014 00:07
Alex/NYC
After a few days after Sundays game, let me just get some things off my chest. If I mirror anyone's comments, my apologies...

I want to first thank the gentlemen who created this website. It has become my "go to" site when it comes to anything to do with Portuguese Football. In addition, I've come to enjoy all the comments from all the regulars around the world (aside from the occasional knuckleheads). In fact, the last few days this site has almost been therapy for me haha.

There is a pattern I've seen with the NT for so many years. They don't have a killer instinct.When Nani scored that gift against the USA so early in the game,I didn't get to excited cause I knew what was to come. They would sit on the 1-0 lead and that's what they just did....Someone commented, on this site, about comparing it to a boxing match and he was spot on. If you hurt your opponent, go for the knockout! Don't take the chance and go for the decision. I'm sure that the weather was unbearable and they were tired but damn, they didn't seem to tired and turned it on when they went down down 2-1.....So frustrating!

Paulo Bento........(sigh).....I'll be honest, I never agreed with his appointment to the NT from the start. I wasn't impressed with his stint at Sporting. And frankly, I can't stand his face....We need a foreign coach who has absolutely no connection, favoritism, bias to any team and/or individual in Portugal. Someone who comes in a with fresh thoughts and ideas...Look at our NT's history...The most successful were with a foreigner at the helm....

Ricardo Quaresma: I wanted him on the team. Considering the form/injuries of all the other wingers, what did we have to lose? Look, I know the guy is a head case and some say RC could disrupt the NT's chemistry. But lets be honest, the chemistry on this team doesn't seem to healthy by witnessing their body language on the pitch....I may be naive, but I feel that CR7 and RC on the pitch at the same time could've produced some magic...RC is a great 1 on 1 player and with all the attention on CR7, he may have done some damage.

I would like to mention how disgusted I am the World Cup coverage in the United States..Can ESPN be ANYMORE bias..Alexi Lalas & Tyler Twellman are an absolute joke..Can you make it more obvious who you want to see win..And please spare me your patriotic rally call...sickening and I'm American. Even Ian Darke is horrible...Did anyone get the feeling he doesn't like the Portuguese NT when he called the USA/Portugal Game?

Well going into the Ghana game, mathematically we have a chance and crazier things have happened....I'm hoping for a miracle...but to be honest...I scheduled june 26th off from work before the cup started and well.......I told me boss to disregard that request and I'll be into work.......I hope that regret doing that...

Thanks guys.....
Brilliant
156 Wednesday, 25 June 2014 23:17
NJ/USA/ SLB
I love the report from TMZ.
The only thing missing is the report on too many foreign players in our league. The much needed restrictions. We can all clearly see how Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, France, etc... have suffered from having all their players playing abroad. Please don't tell me anyone in those leagues developed them.
As for England and Italy, that have mainly in league players, they're going home.

Talent always shines through in the end. Sometimes it's the clubs fault for missing out on someone or it's being greedy. Sometimes it's the players who are greedy and take off too soon for inferior leagues.
When we had a league full of Portuguese players, we qualify for nothing.

On a side I was happy to hear that a Maca Podre throw away, who they'll claim to have come from and developed at the beloved academy, signed a long term deal with Valencia. He played well and hopefully will develop into a Selecao regular.
Portugal teams (mentality)
155 Wednesday, 25 June 2014 22:51
Harvey / Brampton/ Canada
I love Portugal and want them to win and cheer them ...but sometimes I wonder why Portugal teams have so much skill but cant play like a "team ". Even Iran, Australia have heart and play together more like a team than us. To me the players run this team , instead the coach. You have to be disciplined even when you're loosing 3-0 to Germany ....you have to keep going and have pride....pour players cant give up. ..... I think No.4 or 5 FIFA ranking gets in their heads too......France and Dutch teams had some bad years now they are back on top because of new coaches and better mentailty..........we can clean house too.
Go down with a fight
154 Wednesday, 25 June 2014 21:29
Joao Cagao Boston,USA
Bento's main problem is that he has NO plan B,C,D etc. If his original plan doesn't work? Or if his original plan gets him into trouble? He makes absolutely no effort to make a tactical/player change to try something new. It is admirable when we win that he stuck to his guns and came out on top, but when we lose THIS happens, we go on a witch hunt and want everyone player/person associated with Bento and we want them ALL fired/Cut. It's his absolute biggest flaw as a coach, he has no adaptability. If the theory of survival of the fittest is true, Bento won't be a coach for such a high profile team much longer (again, due to corruption..maybe he will)

At this point, it's far too late to complain this much. What's done is done. The system has been implemented.. we are not changing formations, We are not starting any of the youngsters who have veterans infront of them able to play ( I can't wait to see the reaction when we all see Veloso back at DM tommorow , when everyone knows Carvalho deserves it).

All we can do is HOPE and PRAY that the boys wearing the Shield over their hearts tomorrow, have a sense of pride, have self respect and hopefully have a chip on their shoulders to prove the haters wrong, that Portugal is not just a team of players looking for limelight in the wrong places..that Portugal is not just a team of kids who grew up poor and only care about making big bucks and could give a F**K less about the jersey they wear... We have to hope and believe that tomorrow Portugal is going to give us the best 90 mins of Portuguese football we've seen in 2 weeks, because for all we endure are fans we deserve to go out (and if miracles do happen, go on) on a high note.

I just hope that Portugal forgets USA and GER are even playing and go out and get the result THEY deserve for the harsh reactions from fans all over the world have been giving them. Even if it isn't meant to be and our boys at this time tommorow are on their way home... I would rather leave Brazil on a highnote, then ending it on a low note.. it is time to rebuild the fort...

FORRRRRCCCCCCCCAA.
Predictions
153 Wednesday, 25 June 2014 21:00
Dave Los Angeles
Portugal will win
Germany and the USA will end up as a tie and simultaneously setting a record for the most hand injuries in one game due to the 90 minute high fiving fest they'll have with each other.
Game plan for Ghana: Go "North Korea" on them
152 Wednesday, 25 June 2014 20:56
Matthew
Of course Portugal needs to play for the win against Ghana. But breaking it down a bit, I'd say that for the first half they should play aggressive and hope to be up 1-0 or 2-0 at the half.

If at halftime the USA/Germany game is tied, or if Germany leads by 1 point, then in the last 45 minutes of Portugal's World Cup 2014, they should go all-out crazy to try to score 3 or 4 more goals.

I would rather lose 1-6 tomorrow than draw or win by 1 or 2 goals that aren't enough to make up the goal difference.

What do we have to lose? Just hum Bon Jovi's "Blaze of Glory" and hope for the best.

Forca Portugal!
Important Portuguese News
151 Wednesday, 25 June 2014 20:48
TMZ/USA
We are currently investigating the disapearance of Joao Moutinho. If anyone has seen this footballer over the past 3 weeks, please contact Pedro Papseco @ 001-55-11-57849-1254178-#*#-112345. Code word is: "Maca Podre"

In entertainment news Ricardo Quaresma will star in a new reality TV show called "How i tanked an entire career but still have fans". All his secrets will be discussed like how to manipulate youtube clips to only show the good stuff, why make a great technical cross when you can trivela-trivela-rabona-trivela, and how to be voted worst player in 3 different leagues and succeed!

Also he will discuss his short lived boy band "Never Was Kids on the Block" along with co founders, Hugo Viana, Makakula and Edmundo. They will sing their greatest hits ever, like "Gimmie the Money and I no play no more", "How do i ride the comboio to Saudi Arabia?" and the breakout gold record "Stats no tella da trutha."

Obrigado and good night!
Home-grown player
150 Wednesday, 25 June 2014 20:04
Shawn Gomes
I do think in order for the portugal national team to become successful in the long term and not having to rely on a minority of great players to cover up the teams flaws, the fpf needs to start laying down strict restrictions on the maximum amount of foreign players allowed to play for portuguese clubs. I think it is an absolute joke that clubs like benfica and porto only have 1 or 2 portugal players in their starting 11. Portugal is a football nation oozing with talent, but how do the fpf expect this talent to develop when their being kept out of the team by foreign players? you only have to look across the border to see the effect of giving home grown local players a chance. They have a brilliant pool of players (even though they may have not done so well) and further more they have one of the best youth teams in the world with players like alcacer, jese and deulofeu.
I'm coming around....
149 Wednesday, 25 June 2014 18:51
Nelson / Canada / Burlington
I've defended Bento, much of my defense is based on a view that you can't blame him for CR7 being out of form, Pepe's red card, or the injuries. BUT I have to agree to with some points... please Bento, or whoever is managing this team going forward, remember the following:

1) If a player is not good enough for their club team they should not play for the selecao (see Nani)

2) If a player is an emerging star for their club team or their league for that matter you should find a way to have them start (see William)

3) If you get an early goal don't let up, attack while your opponent is vulnerable! (see the start of the US game)

4) If you find yourself down a man and down 2-0 early on in the first group game vs the best team of the group, change your tactics!!! Remember 2014! We will beat Ghana, and Germany will defeat the US but we won't make up the goal differential...

5) Winning is the best marketing tool and greatest money maker. Focus on preparation more than selling in the lead up to the WC!!
LOL
148 Wednesday, 25 June 2014 17:16
NJ/USA/SLB
No Justin I don't think Quaresma would have scored five goals verse Germany or eight goals verse the US.

Again, Quaresma didn't have that good a year with Porto. He was only there for the second half of the campaign, when Porto collapsed further. You mean to tell me Porto would have finished 5th without him?

People need to stop being prisoners of the moment. Some of Bento's decisions were horrible because he picked names not in form players. He basically gave this bunch a last run and it failed miserably. If Quaresma was there, it would have solved nothing and been a complete waste of time.

Hopefully we'll be able to start incorporating some fresh legs for the Euro qualifiers.
Bite, Strike & Obessession
147 Wednesday, 25 June 2014 16:34
England
The last 24 hours could be part of a comedy script.

Last night I turned the tv on to watch a game being disputed by 2 teams who were considered by many as contenders (Italy & Uruguay). Instead I observed far too much dirty play and a scene that would be more fitting in a Dracula movie. Seriously, what was Suarez thinking?! It’s the 3rd time he bites an opponent. As shameful as our performance was against Germany, at least none of our players did anything as bizarre as this.

Not long after…The Ghanaian team threatens to leave Brazil and refuses to play against Portugal if the money they were promised for taking part in this world cup doesn’t reach them before tomorrow’s game.

And to add to the circus Paulo Bento’s refusal to leave the national team begins to resemble an obsession. The following is his latest statement.

"My feeling today is precisely the same I had before the game with Sweden. The pride and joy of being with this team remains, and also the gratitude I have for these players, as they made our presence in Brazil possible.”

"I know my responsibilities, I know that last April I came to an agreement with the Portuguese Football Federation and that was not centered solely on the results obtained in this World Cup but also the goals/objectives for 2016. Given these facts, no matter what happens in tomorrow’s game, I will not quit. Neither will the rest of the managerial staff. That is not the intention/desire of the FPF president either.
I have nothing else to add.

And that’s that people.
Home truths
146 Wednesday, 25 June 2014 14:55
John/Australia
Let me start by saying @ TomTom, saying that CR7 retires soon is pretty stupid. Taking shots from midfield is what he has done before and scored....so he may be selfish with his shooting...but then again who else takes shots with more success than CR in the team. CR is clearly injured....but again you can say that about most of the players...blame bento for his choices...but to wish a quick retirement of our best player and one of the best in the world is just ludicrous. When he does retire..I'm sure people will be talking his name and how they would love to have another one like him.....so support and enjoy one the of the best.

Secondly, bento' s choices have been poor..picking players who have been either injured, coming back from injury or not playing enough in their respective leagues is outrageous and plain lack of care of the greater of good of the team.

Thirdly, his preparation leading up to the tournament was crap....USA summer tour.....changing formations, open training sessions, arriving last in the Brazil all contributed to bad planning and miscalculation.

Also, a jibe at the Brazilian fans who were clearly taking sides for USA.....vai par merda.......I HOPE ALL PORTUGUESE do not take your side against any team you play you bunch of shits. I will no be supporting your sorry ass and any shirts I have with Brazil on it will be thrown in the trash.

Lastly, players like -Alves, Pereira, Meirelles, Costa , Postiga, Hugo Almeida, -time to retire.

Bring on a new coach.....and start bringing new talent straight away.

Also, to Porto and Benfica... Stop buying and developing South Americans and develop our own...think about the national cause....instead of having eleven foreigners in your respective teams you bunch of morons.

Go / Forca Portugallo
Boxing facts
145 Wednesday, 25 June 2014 14:42
Luis Ramos Netherlands
Portugal was good for about 12 minutes.
We started bette. We scored a glucky but good goal.
USA was grogy for 5 to 10 minutes,which is normal.
If I would have been the coach, I would have urged my team forward the seconds after the first goal. With another 5 to 10 minutes of pression, we would have scored a second and maybe even a third.

In boxing when you land a punch and see the other guy shaking on his kness, you don't back off, you attack with all what you have and try to finish it off. Even in the first round.
So, why do football teams (almost always) back off after taking the lead? It has been puzzling me all my life.

The..let's lean backwards and let them do the work.. is plain stupid.
Have you seen the Netherlands backing off once they took the lead against Spain? Or germany against us, for all that matter.

So, why do football teams have coaches for?
coaching bloopers
144 Wednesday, 25 June 2014 14:17
Luis Ramos Netherlands
Not taking Antunes to second Coentrao who has being injured on various occasion during the season has already been mentioned. Plain stupid.
Not taken a second right back (Eliseu for examp.) is just as inresponsible. Pereira is just too weak sometimes.

During the USA match, he decides to put Veloso as left back, which he is not, being a decisive mistake. There was a warning earlier on in the second half, cleared by Ricardo Costa, but the second USA goal was again the result of a break on the left.

Furthermore, while in desperation he brings in Varela, leaving us with 3 wingers. Still Pereira kept rushing forward, while he is uncapable of delivering a decent pass. We were lucky not to suffer a third goal, because their was no defence whatsover.

Why taking all these youngstes to Brasil when Bento prefers to play with our Paralimpics squade?
It's almost hilarious...
143 Wednesday, 25 June 2014 14:07
Adam/Canada
When you think about how many out-of-form and injured players we brought to the World Cup WITHOUT adequate cover for them.

Postiga and Hugo Almeida were questionable choices in the Euro 2012, let alone now!

Meireles and Veloso are FINISHED. Bento brings William Carvalho, and starts these old hacks over him?

Ruben Amorim is tactically smarter, plays regular football on a better team, in a better league...WHY wasn't our new midfield: Moutinho, William, and Amorim. If they had been starting in qualificaitons/friendlies for months, we could've seen if it worked, and their chemistry develop.

As for midfielders? Take your pick...Where was Danny, Adrien, Josue, Andre Gomes...

Where was ANTUNES our only TRUE Leftback cover?

Why bring Rafa or Vieirinha, when Quaresma was in top form, BETTER than Varela (but I prefer to bring them both, as they are team mates on Porto and already have chemistry). Nani barely feature for Manchester United; that's when a manager HAS to go with in-form players like Quaresma...

As for Postiga and Hugo Almeida, after your done laughing, and dying inside...They shouldn't have received a SINGLE call-up in the last two years. It should've been a competition between Eder, Bebe, and Nelson Oliveira. Yes, Nelson took a horrible shot when he should've passed to wide-open Ronaldo. Yes, he deserved to be benched and punished...but is he now banned from Portugal for life?
USA
142 Wednesday, 25 June 2014 10:49
support for RQ7
Agree with Quaresma comments. At least he is aggressive and not afraid to try 1v1.

Again took too many injured and unfit players from the start. Set us up for failure. Have to blame coach and his full staff for that.
@lusiads/Canada and more add-ons and thoughts
141 Wednesday, 25 June 2014 06:05
Steve/Australia
Hi Lusiads,

Firstly thank for taking the time to write your many posts in support of Paulo Bento. I'd like to respectfully say that I do not agree with a lot of your comments and I've explained my reasons with your quotes separated by ** below;

1. ** He delivered the cross for the first goal (in reference to the cross from Veloso for the first goal) ** - OK, so that cross you are referring towas one that barely went off the ground and went straight to a USA player. Not sure that was the one to choose to justify what a great crosser of the ball Veloso is. Very strange. The goal was a defensive error, i.e. the USA player cleared it straight to Nani and had nothing to do with the quality of what was indeed an obviously very poor cross.

2. ** Delivering good crosses is not Carvalho's stay ** - yes that is correct, but can you tell me what "decent\quality" defensive midfielder is a good crosser. The fat that Veloso is a good crosser might hint at the fact that he's not a decent DM. Player's in that position are not expected to deliver crosses into the box but they are expected to shelter the defense from attacks, something Veloso is not either capacble of or shows any enthusiasm to do.

3. ** In the first half Veloso played well ** - OK, we could agree that Veloso as a player is solid but the problem is he is not a defensive midfielder. He offers no protection to the defence, he is slow, cannot tackle, weak and is easily pushed off the ball. Plain and simple he is not a defensive midfielder and should not be played there. Add to this he hasn't been playing regulary in what is a poor Ukrainian league. I guess one might say that veloso is or was good at reading the play (not as good as Carvalho) and passing but in the Seleccao system full backs go bombing up forward and we are vulnerable to the counter because no one is offering cover on the flanks. If a central defender goes out to cover then we can be exposed down the middle. The game is not just about attack we need to be able to retrieve the ball and break down opposition counters and Veloso offers no support in this area

4. ** Veloso forced a great turnover which he used to release ** - Whilst this might be correct, William Carvalho was able to steal the ball within a few seconds of being on... he tackles and steals the ball in his sleep. The guys is a legend. He loves a hard tough tackle and doesn't mind the physical stuff something most of our attacking players like Veloso hate. Citing the 1 time in the game that Veloso done something defensively where he put his body on the line doesn't make your arguments any stronger. Consistency is the key here and over the game he showed that he was not capacble of doing this even in the first half when he was in his favourite position. You might not have known it but the US knew where our weak link was and they exploited it with attack after attack.

5. ** Bento's mistake was that he chose to bring in carvalho in the second half and move Veloso over to the left back position ** - OK let's get some perspective here. Bento's Mistake was not having another left back alternative to Coentrao who mind you has been injured and hardly played all year. He has only played *** 10 GAMES yes 10 GAMES *** and yet Bento decides that we do not need cover in that position when we had Antunes whose had a great season at Malaga as a starter. Coentrao like many others were injuries waiting to happen if you expect then to play with high intensity, hard running etc.

6. ** In Bento's defence one could point out that he has lost five players to injury ** - This is where you totally missed the point.
Helder Postiga was already injured coming into the tournament. He's only played 5 games but Bento thinks I'll start him in a game played in the most extreme oppressive conditions. That was just plain stupid
Coentrao has been injured all year and has hardly played. He was an injury waiting to happen.
Hugo Almeida was unlucky but at his age over 30, the risk of a minor leg injury is a lot higher than someone over younger.
Bruno Alves was clearly carrying an injury with his old tired body. He could not een get off the ground on that second goal
Cristiano Ronaldo was clearly carrying an injury dispite Bento saying he was fit
Rui Patricio - Agree that was hard to see coming

Note: In the next game expect Raul Mereiles to be the next one to go down injured. I doubt Nani will get injured because he only plays hard when we have the ball. On defence he just treats the game as a training match. Eder could get injured if he plays as well

7. ** Weakness of Bento is that he is too wedded to the 4-3-3. Indeed, so much so that he would rather play players out of position ** - OK, so let me get this straight... on one hand you agree that he got the tactics wrong and yet on the other hand you say we should not blame him and it was not his fault. How does that even make sense? The key here is taking ownership and that is something that the coach must do.


8. ** What Bento should have done was keep Almeida at left back and and bring in Carvalho for Nani ** - In my humble opinion, what Bento should have done is bench out of form and injured players. That would have meant starting with someone other than the injured Helder Postiga, starting William Carvalho at DM, benching Mereiles, and playing Veloso or Ruben Amorim in his position. When Andre Almeida went down then Ruben Amorim should have moved to cover on the left. I know Ruben Amorim is not a natural left back but hes the best of a bad bunch as looking around the squad he would have been the best option because playing a centre back there out of position won't work with our style.

general thoughts

On a final note if we are going to get anything from the Ghana game then our best chance is with our fittest players starting the game. This means not picking our friends, mates and most experienced players but the ones that can put in a solid effort for the whole game. In my opinion that would be the following lineup;

GK - Eduardo\Beto
LB - Andre Almeida (Amorim if injured)
CB - Pepe (unfortunately we have no choice)
CD - Ricardo Costa
RB - Joao Pereira (attacking wise he's quite solid)
DM - William Carvalho
CM - Amorim (veloso if Amorim has to cover at LB)
AM - Joao Moutinho
LW - Rafa\Varela can swap
RW - Rafa\Varela can swap
CF - Ronaldo

Notes:
Eder He only played 13 games and scored 3 times. He's not about to find his form.
CR7 should start up front as firstly he's injured and everyone else that plays there is out of form or injured as well. He's to good a player to bench so we can risk him if he is the only injured player on the pitch plus playing him at forward will allow him to use his headering skills
If Andre Almeida is still injured then I'd put Ruben Amorim at LB and start Veloso in CM. Hes the best alternative in the squad for that position
Nani - He will be a great sub for the last 30 minutes were he can use his skills and long range shooting
Rafa and Varela are our only not injured or out of form wingers and have to start.

Of course this will be the lineup that Paulo Bento goes with barring injury and if he does we'll be beaten to a pulp as we wither in the second half due to the trying conditions

GK - Beto (Rui Patricio if he has recovered from injury)
LB - Andre Almeida (Veloso if injured)
CB - Pepe (unfortunately we have no choice)
CD - Bruno Alves
RB - Joao Pereira
DM - Veloso (William Carvalho if Veloso is playing left back)
CM - Mereiles
AM - Joao Moutinho
LW - Ronaldo
RW - Nani
CF - Eder

Thanks Steve
@lenny figo
140 Wednesday, 25 June 2014 04:20
hareesh,kerala/india
Thank you for sharing the same idea.Heynckes will be a perfect manager for NT.But this is not going to happen i think if the FPF measure him by his performance with Benefica 1999-2000.But the whole world know he is a great coach.Bring him please...we are saying this only because of our love towards Portugal team...Welcome Euro 2016 with a great change...
Viva Portugal...
139 Wednesday, 25 June 2014 04:18
hareesh,kerala/india
Thank you for sharing the same idea.Heynckes will be a perfect manager for NT.But this is not going to happen i think if the FPF measure him by his performance with Benefica 1999-2000.But the whole world know he is a great coach.Bring him please...we are saying this only because of our love towards Portugal team...Welcome Euro 2016 with a great change...
Bento
138 Wednesday, 25 June 2014 02:29
John
Bento stepping out before he get's fired. Too funny !!
Response to recent posts
137 Wednesday, 25 June 2014 02:22
Chris/USA
To the two latest posts, I completely agree.

Some of these players need to stop caring if Ronaldo may get mad for them not passing to him the ball and go for goals and pass to someone more open. There needs to be more playmaking flair from players other than Ronaldo and Nani.

As for Coentrao, yes if he was on the field I believe 100% we would have scored at least 3 goals. Andre Almeida is clearly nothing but a back up.

For now i'll hold out hope that we destroy Ghana (which is possible with that defense and Muntari out via 2 yellow cards) and Germany handles the US by hopefully 2+ goals.

If/when we're knocked out, we'll start talking Euro 2016 qualifiers and all the young guns who need to start getting time NOW.
Well
136 Wednesday, 25 June 2014 01:10
Frank/USA
Very disappointing game. That game was probably my low as a Portugal supporter. How that game was competitive really bugged me and what bugged me even more was how USA looked like the better team I mean wow.

As much as I love his effort and love for the Portugal jersey Bruno alves is a liability for this team. He is easily the slowest player at this world cup.

Ricardo Costa was wildly mediocre as per usual but he did make a nice save on the goal line. Either way the two center backs were rubbish.

Andre Almeida should never see the field again for this national team. And Miguel veloso filling in for him was comical almost as comical as Miguel veloso playing at all.

Joao Pereira is so hot and cold some games he is good others he is hard to watch. This world cup he has been atrocious defensively and offensively.

Joao Moutinho lacks anything closely related to creativity yet I'm not sure who would replace him.

Raul Meireles is a work horse that is constantly hustling for this national team.

Nani did well to put that gift away early on and was unlucky to hit the post later in the game. I still don't think he is aggressive enough.

Eder just blows my mind to be honest. What a big guy that seems like he would be so dangerous in front of goal but man is that all smokescreen. Is he trying to be cheeky or does he actually have a weak strike of the ball?

Ronaldo is clearly not fit which I'm sure saddens everyone.

William not starting is really getting under my skin it's clear as day he should be starting but of course it never happens.

Beto wow what a terrible goalkepper I mean seriously he is very bad his hair is very nice though.

Not like there are many options to solve all these glaring problems it is just so sad how far this team has dropped off. This is the same team that gave Spain all they could handle two years ago in the euro semis.

Let's just hope Germany thrashes USA and we thrash Ghana. Forca Portugal.
Dave/LA
135 Wednesday, 25 June 2014 00:40
LHE
I like the cut of your jib sir. Youre hired!
couple more things
134 Tuesday, 24 June 2014 21:18
justin/rochester
You know what my biggest pet peeve is I think about the portuguese team? I can;t stand when they are around the box and they just do these little 5 yard passes to each other. It's so incredibly frustrating to watch. I picture a little cartoon bubble above their heads that says( oh ok quick I'll give it back to you then you give it back to me then again again again) It's like moutinho, meireles and veloso and nani have this fear of just taking a player on and shooting. Do you know that ronaldo takes around 60-70% of the teams shots? I think last game against the USA he took 8 out of 14 or something like that.

I guess whats funny is growing up in the united states raised as a portuguese american I seem to carry both traits and ways of playing. As a forward my whole life I loved taking players on with dribbling tricks and setting up a quick give and go pass with someone. I loved the jogo bonito way of playing up until around 16 years old. As I got older and the defenders were better I remember my coaches(american) would tell me "justin just take a shot, you miss all the chances that you don't take". That motto stuck with me and I started becoming much more effective. Now at 30 years old I still play that way. This portuguese team doesnt have that mentality its all pass and be pretty, almost like they think they can pass the ball and dribble it into the goal.

Do you know why the americans won the game...its because they run hard and take chances. Portugal doesnt run hard and they dont take chances its as simple as that. With a team like portugal that is so decimated with injuries and they know they dont have the same speed or stamina as other teams..... why didnt anyone step up and take chances? That is something you cant blame on bento...these guys play year round in the biggest leagues. Why havent they noticed their teammates in europe taking shots and creating somethign themselves? Maybe im just a frstrated player/ fan but honestly you guys that is what bothers me the most about this team. We can talk tactics and positions and players but really...somebody just try and score a freaking goal who cares what it looks like!!!
quaresma....im back
133 Tuesday, 24 June 2014 20:52
justin/rochester
Hey everyone I'm back. I was the annoying quaresma supporter... the biggest quaresma supporter pre-world cup probably on this website. Remember I was the one that said portugal relies to much on ronaldo, i was the one that said they need another selfish player to take the pressure off of ronaldo, i was the one that said this team doesnt do anything during the open play and needs set pieces to try and score, I was the one that said that merieles and veloso and moutinho just pass the ball backwards to each other all game and never create anything.

Ok with that out of the way...its not that I want to come on this website and say "I told you so" because it doesnt matter at this point what I think and quite frankly it never mattered. I just want to hear from the people that called me crazy. Do you guys see what I was talking about now? I don't think quaresma would have scored 5 goals against germany and I dont think he would have scored 8 against the usa I do think...actually I know that he would be better on that field than nani and meireles though. WIth quaresma on that field it would have opened up more space for ronaldo. Do you know why coentrao was such a big piece to this puzzle? Its because obviously defensively he was sharp but he also attacked the goal and drew defenders towards him. Quaresma could have played outside left wing and they could have moved ronaldo in more and stupid nani could have kept his friend bento and his right wing position.

I agree with you guys that bento has to go, its a no brainer to me. What this team needs for the euros is another 2 scoring options other than ronaldo. Did anyone see france play yet...seriously they have 5 guys who will create and take a shot on goal. That is what portugal needs to do. Obviously the center back spots are in need of replacement because of bruno is to slow and old, pepe might have another euro in him but quite honestly I hate him right now. Joao P has to go, he is ok going forward but he will get embarrased defending one on one. Watch on thursday what the Ghanaians Atsu and Asomoah do to joao p or almeida...they are going to make them look like they have their shoes tied together as they fly by them.

Klinsman was a smart coach he knew veloso couldnt run or almeida so he told fabian johnson and yedlin at the end to just attack the goal line and cross it and see what happens. Missing coentrao was more important than ronaldos injury and yes you didnt read that wrong. I really believe that if coentrao was avilable we would be taking second place in this group. Anyways hope I didnt annoy anybody that much haha.
Danny
132 Tuesday, 24 June 2014 20:48
Rui / Canada
I Forgot to mention Danny being excluded as another Bento mistake. Moutinho has been a shadow of his euro 2012 performance, and unfortunately the squad lacks any other real playmakers. Danny could have offered another option if he was played in his natural position. Unfortunately Bento has refused to pick him ever since he claimed he was injured for a call up.

Danny wasn't the first player to be injured for a national team's game and then play for his club the following weekend (in fact, i've recalled the very same scenario with Ronaldo). Bento was within his rights to overlook him for a short time, but his stubbornness by never calling on him since demonstrates his fatal character flaw.

A top quality Manager would make his point with a player and then welcome him back into the team. Look at how Scolari dealt with the same scenario with Marcelo. He left him out of the confederations cup, but he's back in the team now.

Paulo Bento would cut off his nose to spite his face.
@ Lenny Figo
131 Tuesday, 24 June 2014 20:29
Chris (Canada)
I won't comment on the WC as it is, since it's too upsetting at the moment. I agree with some of your points, and have my own thoughts.

1. Vitor Pereira. Go ahead, have a few chuckles. Done? Ok. Great tactician, unlike Bento. Plays in-form players, unlike Bento. Does not have a buddy system, unlike Bento. Is all about discipline, unlike Bento. Many people would disagree, but he'd be one of my top choices. He doesn't take sh_t from any player, even "stars" with egos. He sent Rolando, Iturbe and Alvaro Pereira packing for bad attitudes and now he seems to have been proven right.

Much as it pains me to say this... JJ would be a second choice. While he is lacking in mental fortitude, there is no better developer of young talent than JJ. He would be ideal for making this next cluster of youngsters real stars.

2. Agreed. But you need to remove Adrien and Andre Gomes from that list. Creative, they are not. Adrien is like another Moutinho but with a better shot and poorer passing. He would still be a leg up on Meireles right now, and he has a very bright future. But for the long haul, he is not that creative. I would go with Rafa Silva and even Josue from Porto. Two guys that are quick, creative and score goals (Josue is a PK and freekick specialist as well).

3. Could not agree with you more. Patricio comes across as a dumb jock in many interviews and I think we can surmise that is exactly what he is. Unintelligent on the field and unable to deal with pressure on his shoulders. I'd slot Eduardo as the main man now but also start giving Anthony Lopes the nods for all friendlies and some of the Euro 16 qualifiers (smaller teams).

4. Andre Almeida is and always will be a decent sub. JP is a great attacking RB but defensively, he is a liability. With William on the field, you can afford to have him on as he creates some great opportunities though. I actually really like Cedric and would consider him as a future starter. But the real deal may be a youngster at Benfica called Joao Cancelo. Word is, he has a huge upside and could be quite the big deal. Let's hope that is the case.

5. Nelson Oliveira cannot ever be seriously talked about with the Seleccao again. His attitude, play and general effort are awful. Saying you want a guy who can put the ball in the back of the net and then mentioning that guy is like saying you're really thirsty and then chomping down on a bowl of pretzels. Eder is good, but he has not gotten a lot of chances either. He does score goals, but his finishing needs work. I would consider giving him more looks and using a different system so he can get fed more often.

A final point: the FPF. They are as much to blame as anyone. There is word out today that Humberto Coelho, the VP of the FPF says there is "no reason" why Bento should be axed even when Portugal are left behind at the group stages. This is a loser's mentality. And it is rife in the FPF. It all starts from the very top. If the FPF has low standards, then the coach and team will be happy with mediocrity.

I also want a ban on Jorge Mendes and Portuguese players. Aside from the Real Madrid 3, the majority of these players never play together. The success of our 2004 team came from a Portuguese backbone (Porto), just as our success in '66 came from another Portuguese backbone (Benfica). More Portuguese players need to develop in the Liga and the teams must try to hold onto them longer.

Cheers.
Future is bright, CR7 at striker
130 Tuesday, 24 June 2014 19:53
Chris/USA
As plenty have already mentioned, there is a TON of young talent coming up to go along with William. Bruma, Mane, Illori, Rafa Silva, among others already listed. I'd imagine Illori will stay with Portugal over England now that it is clear England is absolute garbage with minimal talent in the pipeline, and Bruno Alves is all but done with the national team. 2 good seasons and he is one of our starters at CB for Euro 2016.

If we can get a coach to play these young guys and let them form team growing up together, we've go a real shot to win a major trophy. Think about Bruma and Mane on the wings with CR7 at striker. That would be amazing assuming they develop properly.

Looking at CR7, with the shape he keeps himself in I could easily see him as our striker post euro 2016 for both World cup 2018, euro 2020, and maybe even world cup 2022. He'll still be 6'2'', and his technically skills and experience will still be world class. Even when he loses a step going into his 30s, he'll still be more athletic that most true center forwards.

If these young guns develop, portugal has a REAL shot. Yes, it sucks that Cristiano didn't win a major title in his prime, but he still could as a striker or a super sub.
Blog Suggestion
129 Tuesday, 24 June 2014 19:40
Nelson / Canada / Burlington
It would be great to hear of some of the best group stage comeback's of all time, surely there are some on par with what Portugal would need on Thursday? Perhaps a sliver of hope over the next couple days will take the edge off of all the negativity. And I'm not saying the negativity is not warranted!

Look at it this way, if the USA is down 2-0 at the half and Portugal is up 2-1 the knock out stages really aren't that out of reach. That scenario is not THAT unlikely is it?
Euro 2016 and Beyond
128 Tuesday, 24 June 2014 13:58
Lenny Figo / USA
Looking ahead to Euro 2016 and beyond here are the changes that are needed to ensure our selecao continues to be one of the top national teams on the planet:

1. Bento needs to go. I thank him for a great run at Euro 2012 but his stubborness and inability to see what is so painfully obvious has ultimately done him in. Good bye and don't let the door hit you in the cu on your way out. Although I usually would be against a foreign coach I think one of the previous posts has it right. Jupp Heynckes would be a good fit. Other than Mourinho / Villas Boas / Jorge Jesus / Jardim I don't see any other Portuguese manager that can do the job.

2. We need to develop a creative midfielder to play alongside Moutinho and Carvalho. Rafa Silva / Bruno Fernandes / Adrien / Andre Gomes / Andre Martins. One or two of these youngbloods need to step up and become the Rui Costa / Deco for the next 10+ years.

3. Need to develop a world class keeper. Patricio is not the answer. He has been hyped up by his agent and president looking to get him a move to a big club but he is NOT a world class keeper. Not yet anyway. Makes too many bonehead plays in big games. He's still young so maybe he needs more time to mature. Anthony Lopes has more long term potential in my opinion but for now Eduardo is the best we have. He played amazing at WC2010 and a few weeks ago against Mexico showed that he was ready to recapture that form at WC2014. But as usual Bento decided to play his "buddies" instead of the player who was in top form.

4. Joao Perreira is not the answer at right back. He is a good option against weak teams that do not attack but is a HUGE liability against top teams like Germany. His defensive ability is suspect at best. Cedric is not the answer either. Too similar to Perreira. There is a reason why Mourinho inisists that his wing backs have size. It is essential when defending especially against top teams. Silvio / Miguel Lopes could be the answer but they do have a history of injury problems. Andre Almeida could be a good option in the future. He has size and strength. I know he looked lost at left back but that was Bento's fault for playing him out of position. Hopefully Bento did not kill the confidence he had gained after a good season with Benfica. He played well at right back for Benfica. With Jorge Jesus he could develop into a very effective right back...especially defensively.

5. We need a striker who can put the ball in the back of the net. I was hoping Eder was going to be the answer but he has had some chances and has come up shooting blanks. Hopefully Nelson Oliveira can develop into the stud striker we need but he reminds me an awful lot of Postiga...loads of promise but no output. We may need to be creative and groom a player like Bebe into that role or move Ronaldo to the middle. As he gets older it may make sense. How about Varela? I remember when he first came up with Sporting he was nicknamed the Drogba from Caparica. He seems to have the characteristics of a great striker...has a strong accurate shot and can score with his head. We need to stop complaining about not having a top striker and be creative to find a solution. Look at Germany, they didn't have a pure striker in their lineup agianst us but they found solutions. We need to do the same. Of course with Bento that wasn't going to happen. It's the same starting 11 no matter what. Which brings me back to point #1.
Annoyed
127 Tuesday, 24 June 2014 13:29
Mister montreal
Ok people, i keep reading how our future looks bleak
And how our team is pathetic, here's food for thought:
R u pessimists telling me that the USA, Iran, algeria, switzerland, belgium, etc have better youth development?
Look at our recent u19, u21. R theirs better?
Our u21 surprised everyone a couple of years ago. They didn't have a ronaldo or Messi. Therefore, the problem is at the higher level--- where the decisions r being taken. It's a question of combining the right atoms. Apparently klinsmann is a trained baker. Well i guess he put the right ingredients together. We have a short memory. Wasn't it bento who was suspended in 2002? In hindsight, it was perhaps a bad decision to pick bento With his buddy joao pinto. We need REAL coaches. Who's next? Rui Costa? Figo? Pauletta? Why not Zidane? I digress
Bento the cause of all evil
126 Tuesday, 24 June 2014 11:39
lusiads/Canada
So I've been reading all the Bento hate mail over and over again all night and I think I have been converted to the dark side. In fact, not only did Paulo Bento destroy our chances at the World Cup he is the source of all the world's problems. Think about it:

Global warming... Paulo Bento
Portugal economic crisis... Paulo Bento
9/11... Paulo Bento
The Beatles breaking up... Paulo Bento
The Khardashians... Paulo Bento
Dancing with the Stars... Paulo Bento
Cristiano Ronaldo bad hair day... Paulo Bento
Ghanaian witch doctors... Paulo Bento
Paulo Bento... Paulo Bento
win win win
125 Tuesday, 24 June 2014 09:18
jesualdo/qatar
don't count us out yet guys. I believe in our team. Germany and USA match will not be a draw and we will trash Ghana. respect for Ghana
Dumb dumb dumb dumb
124 Tuesday, 24 June 2014 08:42
Dumb bento
They wanted to defend a 1-0 lead for 85 mins? Just plain stupid.
That coach!
123 Tuesday, 24 June 2014 08:24
Garcia/England
I was just hearing the latest press conference with Fifa, where Joao Pereira states that the players disappointing performances are entirely their fault. On that, I will say: speak for yourself! You certainly have been poor. But the main culprit, without a shadow of a doubt, is Bento!

And I don’t get the people who are rushing to defend him. The choice of players, the delayed substitutions. The lack of physical, mental, and tactical preparation. The inexistence of a decent plan B rests solely on Bento’s shoulders.

That defeat against Germany was one of the most embarrassing episodes of Portugal’s sporting history. And like many, I wanted to silence the critics, to respond to the humiliations that followed on foreign press but I’m left with barely any arguments. I’m left with the fact that we have a truly incompetent coach who also lacks the integrity to admit that the failure that we are witnessing is not solely the result of several injuries.

It’s in fact the result of a bad tactical layout. Coming from a narrow minded individual who could not put his ego aside and select the players who could take this team much further. I’m absolutely appalled by his inefficiency. The sooner he’ll go, the better will be. Just don’t replace him with another idiot.
My Resume
122 Tuesday, 24 June 2014 07:22
Dave Los Angles
Dear Prospective Fans,
I'd like to take this opportunity to formally apply for the upcoming vacancy as Portugal's manager.
The following are some of the crazy revolutionary policies that I would implement immediately:
1) If you you don't start for your club team you will not be called up. You might think we're friends but guess what I'm your f*&*ing boss 1st.
2) If you look like a white Mr. T, and you run like the real, and old Mr.T. Than hop back on to your A-Team van, but be cool and leave me your handicap sticker, parking sucks
3) No open practices. This is a team not a circus. If you want to join the circus than go apply at ESPN Soccer.
4) If we loose its my fault, if we win its my fault, in fact every thing is my fault, since I'm supposedly in control.
5) Remember that one time you scored and we were all happy and 5hit! ? You do! awesome, cause I don't, I have a short fu*&ing memory and the only way to stay in it is to be consistently good.
and the # 1 reason I'd be an improvement to the current staff....I am so damn optimistic that people think I'm retarded.
thank you for your time
Bento is to blame
121 Tuesday, 24 June 2014 06:37
Bruno Martins/ Nepal
I know we didn't have a good team but we could have done better than this. Bento is the one to blame. Picking up Miguel Veloso and Nani was a very awful decision. Look at Nani. Oh my lord!! What a bad player he is. Look at his passing success. Bento is the one to blame. There is no one in the team with character. Bento chose the players who were injured throughout the season, who didn't play well this season. Meireles, Bruno Alves were poor. Moutinho hasn't been the one he was in the past. Not choosing William in the first game was weird. Coentrao got injured. Cristiano not fully fit. Pepe was out of his mind and he never thought about the country.
There were so many things that happenned and Bento is the one to blame. He should be sacked after the worldcup and we need a new manager who will give roles to the younger generations for our future. Portugal till i die.
Real Madrid
120 Tuesday, 24 June 2014 02:55
Anon
What a jinx it is playing for this Team...

Fabio Cannavaro - won a world cup before joining the team, Italy would be on the decline after that.
David Beckham - jinx for England penalty kicks
Luis Figo - Bridesmaid never the bride wanted the fame
Kaka - nuf said
Zidane - Red card (World Cup)
Wesley Sneijder,Aren Robben,Vanistelrooy what a disastrous world cup
Luca Modric - looked exhausted
Pepe
Fabio Coentrao
And the best for last Christiano Ronaldo I liked him better at Manchester United
Something about this Team getting every single drop of blood before any major tournament from their foreign players.
way to much hatred
119 Tuesday, 24 June 2014 00:46
Jose/Can
There is no doubt that Bento will have allot to answer for after this world cup.

His biggest mistake was taking so many injured, and out of form players,,,,,,,,I've counted at least 10……that's way to many!!!

His loyalties have also cost him, and our team dearly!

His lack of creativity as a coach has been exposed.

He knew that Portugal would be week defensively on the left after Fabio went down, no matter who played LB.

He need to start Verala who is one of our best defensive forward to help cover that side.

Ronaldo, is simply not fit enough to help Veloso, instead he should have played up the middle for Eder.

I was against bring RQ7 because one bad moment can kill team, and that bad moment came through Pepe.

Pepe, is Joao Pinto all over again!! You simply can't do that to your fellow players and country.

Pepe red card has gone a long way to ruin Portugal's world cup.

Discipline is of the up most importance, and we never seem to learn our lesson.

You never see Germain players being red carded of the field!

They are willing to take a punch in the face to win a world cup, and we are not. When you don't learn from history, then history will repeat itself.

We didn't have mother luck on our side, in both games.

In the first game we had a penalty that should have never been call against us. We had a clear penalty on Eder that wasn't called.

In the first 10 minutes yesterday the Ref missed a clear elbow to Raul M, face that should have been a red, and it wasn't.

The 2nd USA goal the initial pass to the winger was offside, and it was also missed.

Nani chipped the ball by one of their defenders and was nocked to the ground…..No penalty. I have seen much weaker penalty called in this world cup!!! Brazil Fred anyone.

At the end of the day, to many injured, out form players, Bad team selection, poor coaching, Indiscipline players, and no luck or breaks…..cost us big.

The brazil of the 60's with Pele would have trouble winning a world cup with all these challenges.

The one thing that turns my stomach is when people come on here and throw it all on Ronaldo.

He is the biggest reason why we are even at a world cup……Remember the playoff vs Sweden!!

No one is more hurt or frustrated with what has gone down in this world cup then Ronaldo!! Just listen to his after game interview yesterday.

He isn't fit or sharp enough to go and and carry Portugal like he has when healthy.

For a few of you to trash our greatest ever player……is a f_ _cking joke.

Mouth breathers no doubt!!
Young talent
118 Tuesday, 24 June 2014 00:31
Mike Sousa
It pains to hear you guys so negative for the future. I get Ronaldo only has 3-4 left for the National team. But i believe we have some Incredible talent coming up. Marco Lopes( Man city) (can go to Brazil but he seems to stick with portugal) Bernando , Bruma, Joao mario, carlos mane. Just to name a few. Sure we may not have A Figo or a Ronaldo coming out but that doesnt mean we can be competitive. We have talent players across the board in all potions.
Bento's to blame. Injury excuses are for losers.
117 Tuesday, 24 June 2014 00:31
Adam/Canada
Qualification struggles, wasted friendlies, and the worst World Cup since 1986. Why did it have to come this? The blame falls squarely on Paulo Bento's stubbornness of sticking with his Euro 2012 squad: Postiga, H. Almeida, Meireles, Veloso have been FINISHED for a long time. Their spots should've been given to Quaresma, Bebe, Jose Fonte, Antunes (and Tiago, if he could be persuaded to return). William was player-of-the-season, Real Madrid & Chelsea are battling for his signature; he had to be a starter. Eder & Ruben Amorim should have been regular starters as well. A. Almeida is better then he's shown, but he's young, and played out of position, when we had Antunes (a true leftback).

Best Portugal squad without injuries:
Ronaldo-Eder-Quaresma
William-Moutinho-Amorim
Coentrao-Pepe-Alves-Silvio
Rui Patricio

Best current squad (with players that were not called up):
Ronaldo-Eder-Quaresma
William-Moutinho-Amorim
Antunes-Costa-Fonte-Pereira
Beto
24 hours after Manaus
116 Monday, 23 June 2014 22:12
PacificBeach/Surrey
I've been a big supporter of Bento, but I think he's time has come. I don't fault him completely. The numerous injuries to this squad is the prime reason and with little depth, this is why Portugal are where they are. I do fault Bento for not winning the qualification group which is why we are in the group of death not in group h. Where the Russians are.

Another point is our midfield has been non existent with complete lack of service. I don't know how people can blame Eder since he doesn't get the ball. Moutinho, Meirles looked like they aged 50 years in the 2nd half against the US.

In the final game, let's hope Bento throws out a 3-5-2 or a 4-2-4 formation and just go out with a bang (hopefully lots of goals). It's not like Ghana plays formidable defence.
Apologies
115 Monday, 23 June 2014 21:58
NJ/USA/SLB
I owe Cristiano an apology. The zig zag in his hair was to show support for a sick child.

De acordo com a Eurosport, o risco que Cristiano Ronaldo apresentou do lado direito da cabeça não foi feito por razões estéticas mas para imitar a cicratiz do jovem Erik Ortiz Cruz.

"A criança em questão foi notícia em Março, também devido a Cristiano Ronaldo. Na altura, foi revelada a informação de que o internacional português do Real Madrid iria pagar na totalidade os tratamentos de Erik, que incluíam a cirurgia."

That being said, Nani is still a douche for his star.
World Cup is over, time to think Euro 16
114 Monday, 23 June 2014 21:17
Tony/Turlock, Ca
Anyone who thinks we can advance still is delusional. While mathematically possible, team morale wise over. Time to rebuild.

Look at teams that have played well.... Netherlands, Chile even USA. What do they all have in common? Coaches that injected youth into their side. Van Gaal is moving onto Manchester United. That's no coincidence. Where's Bento going? Nowhere!

If the Portuguese football federation was even remotely competent they would fire Bento before Thursday. And for those of calling for Mourinho I would be hesitant. While tactically he is a genius especially compared to Tonto Bento he also is known to have his favorites. We need a coach who is going to call on the best 23 our little country has. We can't afford anything else.

People that need to be out after Thursday:
BENTO!
GK Beto
CB Bruno Alves
RB Joao Peireira
CM Raul Meireles
CM Miguel Veloso
RW Nani
LW Varela
CF Almeida
CF Postiga

People that need to be brought in:
A FOREIGN FUCKEN COACH!
GK Anthony Lopes
CB Flavio Ferreira
RB Cedric Soares
CM Andre Gomes
CM Bruno Fernandes
RW Carlos Mane
LW Bruma
CF Nelson Oliveira
Others: Marco Lopes, Joao Mario, Paulo Oliveira, Ivan Caveleiro, Tiago Ilori

Build it, don't wish it
next
113 Monday, 23 June 2014 21:05
Monah/ Dubai
Portugal 3 ghana 0 AND Germany 2 USA 0 OR Portugal vs Albania, September 7, 2015...time and squad to be announced latee unless Bento stays, then only time to be assigned later and squad will be the same: Patricio, Meireles, Veloso Postiga and Almeida! I'm depressed!!!!
pre-Figo/Rui Costa
112 Monday, 23 June 2014 21:04
Antonio/ Viseu
Do any of u all remember our beloved Seleccao b4 it was a fad to rawk the vinho Jersey?? Course u guyz don't, well maybe sum but for all sure not all. Well Meu primos , they days of 82-94 are upon us. No more euro/ world cup semi finals. Mediocrity is here fellows n it ain't goin anywhere anytime soon soooo sit back n enjoy the 3rd n 4rth place finishes n the qualifying stages :\
Response: to those who think is unfair To blame Bento.
111 Monday, 23 June 2014 19:18
Ciro/Brasil
Have you started to Watch Foot - ball yesterday? if so is understandable if not you should try to understand more about foot - ball.

who selected the players? who left Antunes home a natural left back? who left players who play left and right back as their natural position and instead chose to go with 6 defensive mid? whom he thinks they are versatile players and can play any position. we are not in olimpic game.

who made substitution? Who chose the players who havent played for months cause of injury to come to the world cup a shord tournament? is a short tournament seven game. There is no time to gain form, no miracle will happen for sure.

We dont have players? Bento call up players he used to. He did not care if they are in form or not, injured or not, it has to be them and that is that. I told my friend that Rafa will not play a game and it is so.

I mention Quaresma here not as a solution but only to tell you that had he come to brasil he wont see the field. It will always be those players loyal to him.

I cant agree that we dont have players. we have Bebé and cavalero as strikers in form. we have Adrien in form and Josue is better than Meireles. Did you see william carvalho on the bench? I guess you see what do you tell me now? we have plyers Bento wont call them if he call them, is useless cause he will play those he used to.

How can Bento be a coach and keep a gruge with many players? He did not call some players cause he has discussion with them.
I cant go on and on it is done and is useless to go on and on.
Changes needed, but not just for change sake
110 Monday, 23 June 2014 19:14
David/Canada
Most everyone would agree that Bento has made a lot of mistakes. I fully agree and feel that he's had his opportunity with the national team and a new coach/direction is in order. I say that not for the sake of change, but it's needed from a coaching/leadership point of view. From the fitness trainers to the coaches, new blood is needed to get the team moving in the right direction. That direction needs to include younger players and providing them with every opportunity to play and grow. I already new what the player selection was going to be for the US game. I think the whole world new. William and Eder weren't going to be in there and we all know several players were left back home. Bento was going to play it safe and go with 'his boys' as he has been doing the entire time he's been the coach. There are plenty of options that should have been in play building up to this World Cup, but he's not interested in that. I can only hope that the PFF will make a change and this time, open the door up to a non-Portuguese individual. Just like picking the best from the pool of Portuguese players should be the norm, because there is no restriction at the coaching level, the door should be open to the best coaches available - regardless of nationality.
This is yet another painful tournament to watch and I can only hope things get better moving forward.
Couple of quick comments:
-Pepe is a disgrace and I wish he was sent 'home'
-CR is trying, but clearly not in good form from both health and play perspectives
-Moutinho has been a real disappointment, even a mess I'd say
-Alves is clearly on the decline and I get those were tough conditions to play in, but had he got off his a$$ on the second goal, it would have been offside
-Veloso is a back up at best now
-Mereilles is done; stick a fork in him
-William is solid
-Nani sometimes will flash, but I think he should be coming off the bench with Varela starting.
-Perreira needs to be a back up

Just my humble thoughts.
portugal
109 Monday, 23 June 2014 18:21
Jonathan
First off vergonha. You couldn't beat a country where soccer isn't even there number one spot is shameful. You tied mls players. First off bento, why didn't varela and carvalho play from the start. There is also a wake up call to the fpf. You need to put a cap on how many foreign players each liga team can have. All of these south American kids who take young portugese jobs is not how you develop young players. Look at the American team and how far they have come over the years because of this rule.
Are formation next game should be.
Beto
Costa, neto, alve
Amorim carvalho
Rafa moutinho nani
Varela ronaldo
Tristezas
108 Monday, 23 June 2014 17:57
B.G /UK
Fact is we didnt have a trinque protecting the back 4 till carvalho came on in 1 and half games then they were protected but attacks went down left side exploiting veloso (why was one proper left back all up with antunes left behind). Now this guy should of been dropped years ago, slow, inability to read game, no strength like postiga. The idea these 2 play with ronaldo is puzzling, no club wants them (maybe the MLS?). Fact is we had better players who should of got a call up.
Poor nani great euro, no game time this year and it showed, touch was appaling took to long on ball. Our youngsters are good we just need to stop pricing them so high, and let them leave to develop. Carvalho needs to be sold for 15 mil tops not 45 we need our youngsters playing in top leagues, not in the poor mans league, benfica and sporting always produce kids, Porto not so much. (Look at England players never leave and they have no european experience outside of england)

For sure if it was neto and r.costa and carvalho we would of won comfortably. Bruno alves was sold by zenit cause he was not the same player he was at porto, he was a brick wall now hes a broken vase.
We have young players like cavaleiro, bruma, marcos lopes, andre gomes, cancelo, mane, bernando silva, tiago ilori, paulo oliveira, who can be top players if in the right team and a world class player can be made out of them.

Bento starts well then he never replaces deadwood which he didnt do at sporting. We have decent managers in portugal who push small teams to do well but we need Jesualdo or Vitor Pereira, we need someone with no outside influence to work with rui jorge, illidio and peixe and help nurture youngsters who perform for both club and country as soon as they hit 22.

patricio, beto, eduardo
almeida, antunes, coentrao, r.costa, neto, pepe, c.soares, rolando
varela, moutinho,meireles,a.gomes,carvalho, calvaleiro (similar to sterling explosive winger), vierinha, amorim.
n.oliveira, eder, ronaldo quaresma , should of gone.....
Disappointed.
107 Monday, 23 June 2014 17:44
bd/canada/SLB
That game was a big disappointment...but we were without our left sided attack as Coentrao/Ronaldo duo is broken/damaged, and our vital CB was gone (although Costa played well, he's too slow.. as is Alves. Id like to see Neto and Pepe in the 3rd game).
Nani scored, and provided a lot of chances that lots of players didnt for our side, HOWEVER... I saw him have the most AWFUL touch I have ever seen. Passes rolled off of his foot, out for a USA throw, and he couldnt control anything properly, and he gave the ball away usually. I was disgusted in his touch.... and he was the main reason Jones scored, since he didnt clear the ball, Nani basically flicked the ball onto Jones' foot, and there you go...1-1.
Rafa deserves a chance up there, because he, as I sound like a broken record, is quick, and has a lot of flair, and can beat most defenders to get the cross in. Our crosses were terrible, except for the last one of course...
I like Eder, but he is just not doing it. All of our strikers are garbage this WC. I would have liked to see Oliveira, because it adds a different approach up front than slower strikers... Eder hasnt been doing well.. and he hasnt taken chances well either.
We have to absolutely hammer Ghana in the last game, and hope Germany doesnt BULLSHT and go for the draw, like I can see them doing, against the USA. In a perfect world, Germany would hammer the USA 3-0, we would do the same to Ghana, and we'd qualify. But so far it doesnt look nice.
This would definitely be my starting XI for the last game to save our WC.


.................RAFA.......RONALDO.........NANI.................

..............MOUTINHO.................AMORIM/MEIRELES....

............................WILLIAM*...................................

VELOSO..........NETO...........PEPE...............PEREIRA..

...............................BETO........................................

If we play with this squad Bento keeps choosing for Euro France qualifying, good fking luck. We need new blood in our midfield/defence/GK.

New players to play...

Forwards- Tomane, Oliveira, BEBE.

Midfield- Adrien Silva (Chemistry with William), get rid of Meireles.

Defenders- Antunes, Fonte, Paulo Oliveira, Miguel Rodrigues, a new RB.....

Save our World Cup Portugal. Don't want to be like the other top teams crashing out early...
goodnight, thank you Brazil for your hospitality, someone turn of thel lights on the way out..
106 Monday, 23 June 2014 17:42
Larry USA
C'mon, with all due respect to Portugal, its over. Realistically we need a crap load of goals, PLUS Germany crushing the USA. It isn't going to happen, no way, no how. Germany will beat US by like 1-0 then park the bus, Portugal will win but by 1 or the most 2 goals, but that isnt enough, we need about 3-5 goals. Lady Luck wasn't and isn't on Portugal's side this tourney. It's time to give this dream a whimpering ending, pack their bags, and head off back to Lisboa. So, lets all realize to focus on Euro 2016 qualifying come September and put this World Cup dream to sleep..FYI people start blaming Bento, he doesn't cause all the injuries they have been having, is he the one out there playing?, no...Only flaw I think he had the last game was put Postiga in the first place and not Start Eder right from the start. Otherwise, hes done a decent job, b plus I'd give him...Goodnight and Good day Brazil , you were fun...
Some Levity
105 Monday, 23 June 2014 17:26
NJ/USA/SLB
Let me add that the hairstyles, or lack there of, were very disturbing.
Nani actually had a star etched into his hair and Cristiano had a bit of Kid & Play etching. I thought I was watching highlights from a match in 1980's.

To be fair Meireles Hipster Doofus look, is trending.
More on the Supposed Brasil / Portugal "Connection"
104 Monday, 23 June 2014 17:24
Matthew
Just came across this article in the NY Times, thought it was interesting:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/22/sports/worldcup/world-cup-2014-portugal-may-be-second-favorite.html?hpw&rref=sports&_r=0

"Frances Hagopian, the Jorge Paulo Lemann visiting associate professor for Brazil studies at Harvard, said she never sensed antipathy toward Portugal when she lived in Brazil. But nor did she sense any special connection."
Bento the Stubborn Burro
103 Monday, 23 June 2014 17:21
Rui / Canada
I can't believe some are actually defending the jackass. Just as a reminder......

Bento's stubbornness reared it's ugly head when he had the dust up with Ricardo Carvalho. Despite Carvalho walking back his comments and others trying to patch up the relationship, Bento declared that he would never play on his squad. That really says it all. It became all about Bento, and Portugal lost Carvalho who at the time was still one of our best options on defence. He also had a needless war of words with Bosingwa. Why alienate players like this? We have a small population and the talent pool is not finite.

Another example of the mule's stubborn demeanour that hasn't been touched on was his refusal to call Lima to the National Team. Everyone knows that our options at striker have been abysmal, yet Bento preferred to waste 3 spots of our roster on below average players because of our lack of depth. Lima stated that he wanted to play on the team - several times - yet Bento refused because of his absolute pigheadedness.

Under his stewardship Portugal has finished 2nd in both of his qualifying runs and required playoff wins to make it to the tournaments. While he deserves credit for the Euro 2012 run, a semi final finish doesn't excuse his shortsighted squad selection and his inability to adapt and refine the team.

I really hope the federation doesn't dilly-dally on selecting a replacement and repeat the scenario where Queiroz overstayed his welcome and the Team's morale suffered. The FPF never should have given him that contract extension, and I sincerely hope they have some sort of plan on potential candidates already in place. However, that is probably giving the FPF far too much credit....
USA vs portugal recap
102 Monday, 23 June 2014 17:04
Daniel. Canada
Hey all portugese fans, I'm new to this site and I have been reading comments these last few days and I'm really happy we all understand where the national team is coming from at this stage of the tournament. I'd like to say the game yesterday wasn't a totally bad game, but we could have played better. We scored in the first 5 min of the game (yes Nani, finally he shows us what he is capable of), but why did bento make us sit on the lead versus Go out and score another goal!!. Eder missed a lot of good chances, and the only thug he's really good at is headers, he can't dribble or shoot which is frustrating. Coming euro 2016 we need to bring in youth players like william carvalho, Bruma, carlos mane, ilori, texiera, lopes and more. The future looks good. I hope the impossible happens on Thursday but if not always euro 2016. Forca portugal!
MDC Violenes / Pepe
101 Monday, 23 June 2014 16:53
Nelson / Canada / Burlington
I agree with your comment 100%. I did not intend to single out Pepe. My point was intended as a counterpoint to those putting the blame ALL on Bento. My intention was to say that if I had to pick ONE individual to lay blame on (as unfair as it is to pick just one) it would be Pepe. I feel that red card was A major turning point, it was selfish, unnecessary and the single most significant individual mistake made in the first two games as it had us playing a man down to a powerful German side for 2/3rds of a game Along with losing a world class player for the US game.
Main reason I blame Bento
100 Monday, 23 June 2014 16:44
Carlos/USA
There are many reasons why I blame Bento for our poor showing at this tournament but there is one reason I just cant comprehend for the life of me and is very hard to swallow. Are you ready?? WHY IS CARVALHO ON THE BENCH?! I put money on it we win yesterdays game had William started. Veloso is GARBAGE. He used to be better but he just isnt playing good soccer anymore. He's slow, out of form, can't anticipate a pass, can't defend, and holds the ball to long. Sometimes all it takes is one special player to make a difference instead of Ronaldo all the time. Carvalho is that special player. I guess it never crossed Bento's mind why clubs like Man United and Real Madrid are ready to break the bank for this kid. He's the real deal. Mark my words if Carvalho starts against Ghana we will win. I will gladly come back on this website and admit I was wrong, but I dont see that happening.
Starting eleven
99 Monday, 23 June 2014 16:38
SupremoGino
During the game I kept saying how crap this team was top to bottom.

Here's some general player ratings..

Bruno Alves - played top flight football until Zenit came knocking with a big paycheck, stopped caring and rotting in Turkey for the past year.

Joao Pereira - appears to have lost a step, defensive liability

A.Almeida - playing out of position, looks lost and inexperienced.

Miguel Veloso - too slow and inflexible.

Raul Meireles - a workhorse in his prime now on a rapid decline. Portugal's flop of the tournament (Euro 2012) how the hell is he starting two years later?

Joao Moutinho - poor season at Monaco, tasked to defend, create, and distribute with little help from his teammates.

Nani - 2nd most talented player after Ronaldo, never properly developed. Hogs the ball forever and even worse decision making.

Postiga - No longer suited for high pressing game.. lost his pace, true goal poacher.

Eder - athletic, fast, formidable scoring record with Braga.. nothing yet to show for nt.

C.Ronaldo - Plagued with injuries after a long season. Burned out in the CL final. Should have never flew to Brazil.

Paulo Bento - Stubborn imbecile. Shows no regard for player's form/injuries. Inept to tactics/adjustments. Little to no transitioning of players in last 2 years.

Instructs wing backs to push forward who aren't physically capable to track back leaving acres of space behind.
One more thing
98 Monday, 23 June 2014 16:32
Andre/UK
Can anyone tell me that Lima and Fernando wouldn't have improved this team? Two of the best players in our Liga for the last few years, both willing to play for the Selecao. But no Bento says there will be no more naturalisations for the squad and makes no effort to get get them available for selection. He thinks there's no need for Lima in our attack and that Almeida and Eder are both good enough, lol. And furthermore contradicts everything by continuing to select Pepe for the squad, who is no more Portuguese than Lima or Fernando is, or Deco was for that matter. How many serious errors will the FPF continue to put up with?
Re: Brazilian crowd cheering for USA
97 Monday, 23 June 2014 16:28
Matthew
In response to Virgilio [81] - thanks for the report from the stadium about the Brazilians cheering for the USA. It confirms what I suspected from watching on TV.

Despite the affinity that Portuguese may feel for Brazil, it's clearly not mutual. Get it out of your heads that Brazilians on the whole are favorable to Portugal; they aren't. For the most part, to them we just seem to be another European team that they'd be happy to see eliminated in favor of any of the South American teams.

It's sort of ironic to see the Brazilians cheering for the USA, because honestly I think that the USA will come to dominate football in the decades to come, and sooner or later will start to pound Brazil into the dirt on a regular basis.

300 million+ people in the USA, the richest nation in the world, constant stream of immigrants from football-loving nations all around the world . . . USA is an up and coming powerhouse and soon will be dominating the sport, just like it does everything else in the world. It will be boring, but at least then I can laugh and think back to the pathetic Brazilians cheering for the world's superpower-in-everything-else against the small European nation that created their own country.

Really, when you think about it, Portugal has the population of New York City. So it's like NYC playing against the entire United States. How long do you think imbalance like that will last? Not very much longer.

I relish the thought of the USA blasting Brazil on a regular basis in the decades to come.
It is all about expectations!
96 Monday, 23 June 2014 16:26
Mental
The good news is that Bento is staying on as coach.

This is good news because it will auto lower everyone's expectation of our Seleção in all future events.

At that time when and if we make it to the next step, than we will all be happy once again because we climbed up the ladder.

I'm not a pessimist, quite the contrary. I'm a realist and I do not like to suffer nor see others suffer, for improper decision making that can be completely foretold in advance.

Look at Iran, for instances, they lost to Argentina (barely) and how proud their fans are, and rightfully so, given the extra barriers that country is forced to face.
Historical WC fact that any combo of these
heat + humidity + Age + Lack of Prep = bye WC!
formation and first eleven against Ghana
95 Monday, 23 June 2014 16:24
hareesh,kerala/india
BETO
. PEPE COSTA NETO
. NANI MOUTINHO CARVALHO VELOSO VARELA
. RONALDO EDER

Just because we want a victory with high goal margin.play possitive.
shame on you comunist editors
94 Monday, 23 June 2014 16:24
antonio/orlando
my post was professional
Gutteded
93 Monday, 23 June 2014 16:08
Nelson / oakville
I'm a rare find, a very optimistic pork chop, but honestly I put our chances at less than .1% and that even with us finding form in the final game. I don't think anyone has really impressed me on the team. Ronaldo is hurt, nani has been hot and cold, Moutinho hasn't been very sharp and our D has been awful. With Coentrao hurt the US did all the attacking on the left, WTF was Antunes not included in the squad there is no excuss for that decision. I can excuse Queresma not being called up based on chemistry concerns but Antunes is not disruptive and a very talented replacement to Coentrao vs Almeida who is garbage. Yes Almeida is versitle but versitle garbage is still garbage. If Coentrao or Antunes was playing yesterday I believe we win.

Eder was okay but not great. I'll still be cheering for a miracle on Thursday but like everyone else here I believe Bento needs to go after the tournament and we need to bring in new blood especially in D and the midfield.
Bento Footnote
92 Monday, 23 June 2014 15:55
MDCViolenes- NY, USA
Oh and a footnote as well-- Nelson/Canada/Burlington with all due respect to your comment, no one person is to blame for the almost impossible goal differential bro. To go after Pepe is one thing, but coach should have put in another CB, plus other subs earlier rather than have Meireles back there temporarily. He also should have played William from the off. Carvalho has nothing to do with Pepe, but who knows, maybe the game would have been totally different. It probably would have helped.
Totally unfair to blame Bento.
91 Monday, 23 June 2014 15:53
lusiads/Canada
I've just learned that the reason Almeida was substituted and Veloso was moved to left back in the USA game is because Almeida was injured about 3/4 of the way through the first half but struggled on to survive the half. With this in mind I have to take back my criticism of Bento for removing Almeida and moving Veloso to left back as he was to a great extent forced into it. More and more I think this has simply been the most unluckiest major tournament ever for Portugal. I can't blame Bento for five in game injuries and one brutal suspension call. I don't think we can blame Bento for choosing unfit players either as young guys (Almeida), prime aged guys (Coentrao, Patricio), and older guys (Almeida and Postiga) have all gone down with injuries.
Paulo Bento
90 Monday, 23 June 2014 15:24
MDCViolenes- NY, USA
I don't see how anyone could defend him this time, he's been riding on the team barely getting by the last few years in qualifying for major tournaments. Euro 12 was a highlight, but Portugal has enough talent to potentially dominate and hasn't done so.

I've tried to support him through it all as he's our manager-- you work with what you've got. But last night's match and the overlooks/ mistakes from a managerial standpoint were dreadful. Always playing a 4-3-3, playing the same players, not calling up ones that can help you, not having the players mentally prepared to play… Really how much time have you got to go through it all? I can understand the 4-3-3 being a very 'Portuguese' formation. The problem is every team knows that-- what we will do and who we will start. Making opposition mangers jobs easier than it needs to be. And how many relationships can a guy ruin or not cultivate with the proper players? If he's the manager, I'm gonna go ahead and assume he's in charge. Either he's not the one really calling the shots for Portuguese football, or he just isn't that strong of a personality to command his team and maintain the respect of the players and the FPF.

Coach has had his good moments, but many a time it seems more about the players going out and just doing what they do, and he can't take all the credit for that. I'm thankful for the memories, good and bad. Everyone's time has to come at some point, from Coelho, Scolari, whoever. I want to say let's bring in a foreign manager to shake up the mentality and tactics, but as a country that has some history of at times feeling a dissociation with the national team I doubt Portugal or the FPF would be having it. Closest we've come is Felipão and Otto Gloria and well… To me Brasileiro doesn't exactly count as a foreign manager. It's too bad FPF didn't have the vision for this sooner as Cris may be on the downside in four years after all the mileage Madrid is putting on him. As some have said he may not want to be involved in the NT in four years. I believe he will, but the team and conditions have to be right for him. Sad to see such a talent not get his due on the world stage, but managers, Gomes and the Federation need to have a vested interest in seeing young talent grow in Portugal and play in the best leagues. Just about all of the teams who have won int'l competitions have strong foundations at home, letting players grow through to their senior teams. The Porto's and Benfica's are just stewarding mostly South American talent now. Little to no loyalty.
No good centre forwards, don't play with one.
89 Monday, 23 June 2014 15:23
Filipe
Beto

Amorim Neto Costa Almeida

Pepe William

Rafa Silva C. Ronaldo Varela


Nani
Sad
88 Monday, 23 June 2014 15:21
NJ/USA/SLB
Our awful World Cup performance continues. I'm a bit shocked Bento didn't see this coming and at the very least would have more youngster experience the moment. Then again, there seems to be no Plan B never mind a Plan A.

Cristiano is clearly playing injured. He had several opportunities to take up the sideline at full speed and chose to stop. When healthy he would have blown by player.
Nani is nowhere near the player he used to be. Poor vision and touch.
Veloso was a statue on the first goal. Nani at least tried to close down Jones, badly, but Veloso just stood there and watched.
The whole entire squad stopped playing once the cross was made, on the second goal. Plenty of time for players to control and pass/shoot.
Meireles has been asked to start and play in all of the matches. Crazy, due to the mileage on his legs and conditions.
Eder was poor.
Almeida playing in his least favorite position.
Carvalho sits.
No option for our second best player, Coentrao, once he's out.

I wish I was shocked, but I'm not. Cristiano spoke no truer words;

«Temos que ser humildes e saber a capacidade que temos. Neste momento, há melhores seleções e melhores jogadores que os nossos. Somos uma equipa média, se calhar, sim. Seria mentir se dissesse que éramos uma seleção de topo. Temos limitações, lesões... Temos uma equipa limitadíssima»

I hope he doesn't get grief for this. I know the younger players that could have been brought might of not made any difference, but...
Frankly I don't see Bento as the type of manager that could rebuild a squad with youngsters. Sadly we could be looking at much the same, come Euros, should we qualify. Not an easy group.
Ghana game, Euro 2016
87 Monday, 23 June 2014 15:06
Chris/USA
I'm not trying to be the eternal optimist, but with Muntari suspended via two yellow cards for Ghana, I could see Portugal scoring 3+ goals, especially because they have to. What sucks is we need Germany to beat the USA by 2+, and they might just park the bus if they go up 1-0. But again, 3+ goals against Ghana is possible.

As for Euro 2016, that is probably the last chance Portugal has for the foreseeable future to win a major trophy. Ronaldo should still be the same player at 31 because of the shape he keeps himself in. Hopefully Moutinho and Coentrao are still world class, and in two years time hopefully William is world class as well. Need a few others to emerge. Spain could be in shambles, and the Netherlands are getting old.

Euro 2016 is Portugal's last stand.
Jupp Heynckes to Coach Portugal!
86 Monday, 23 June 2014 15:02
Marco Van Basten
Wouldnt that be the best headline ever?

I have one word...Preparation...
We were simply unprepared for this World Cup and for that I solely and ultimately blame Paulo Bento and hes useless coaching staff...

Thank you for your time Mr Bento but lets be honest. If you were a humble man you would have declined the job to coach your national team for the very basic fact that you have less than three seasons experience coaching club level.

FPF, youre no more corrupt than your parent company FIFA.
You all suck from the same shaft.

And good people of PortuGoal, I leave you with this one horrible thought...
Its not going to getter better for the Portuguese National Team,only worse.
Until Porto and Benfica start investing in local talent and developing young Portuguese players that make up majority of the two clubs starting line up's...until then, developing a striker will be the least of our worries.

We need a Hard pounding German coach who has experience in coaching tactics & fitness and who can prepare a team mentally and physically over a long period of time.
There is no Portuguese coach available that I know can meet the level of our players...And for that we will surely fail at every tournament.
Portugal needs a Coach who can revolutionize Portuguese Football from ZERO.

Just like what Jurgen Klinsmann did for the United States. Not only is he the coach of the USA but he is also the Director of football for the entire country...They say americans are arrogant? Well, this clearly says otherwise.They allowed a foreigner to revolutionize their football...and its working!

"Know when you need the Help"

Thank you, Im done.
MVB
STAYING POSITIVE
85 Monday, 23 June 2014 14:31
vsc/USA
I understand all the negativity but it’s not the time and it’s too late for much of it. Deal with it after the tournament – it doesn’t help the cause. I have an endless list of things (like everyone) I would like to rant about and address but the fact is we’re still in it. It’s easy to be negative because you’re less open to criticism – but I am positive…positive for the chance that WE COULD PULL IT OFF. WHY NOT?

What I find funny is how negative the US fans and media are about their inability to “make life easier for themselves” – same as Portuguese. So which one is it? The answer is no country is alone in this regard – inferiority complexes.

Anyways the US press are much more weary and negative than you would expect given their favorable position…many saying elimination for the US is not out of the realm of possibility. And it’s not – Germany who has to win and will go for it averages over last 9 games (qualifying thru the last 2 WC games)…

Ave 3.44 goals scored per game
Ave 2.33 goals for margin of victory (goal diff)
4 out of 9 games are wins of 3-0
6 out of 9 games are wins of 3 goals or more
1 draw in 9 games – all rest are wins

So what I am saying is Germany WILL do their job and help Portugal with reference to the tie-breaker of goal difference. The question is can Portugal (players, fans and management) put aside the negativity and meet Germany half way. Germany will put 3+ goals past the US…all Portugal needs to do is put 2-0 to Ghana…not impossible.

And yes they may not even beat Ghana but I would like to see POR go down swinging if anything – I’d rather them lose 0-5 going for a 2-0 win than playing with caution and getting a result but still coming up short.

WIN 2-0 and let the chips fall where they may – if it doesn’t work out then it wasn’t meant to be. If they win 2-0 against Ghana but fail to go thru I would be very proud of the fight back knowing they did what they could and that we live to fight another day.

STAYING POSITIVE…
Post Mortem
84 Monday, 23 June 2014 14:04
Rick/USA
1. William needs to start immediately.
2. Coentrao was SORELY missed.
3. Pepe is not the worth the stress.
4. Players in MLS are fresher than European based players...their season just started.
5. Ronaldo better not take part in Real Madrid's annual simmer money grab tour. This man needs a break.
Why is anybody suprised?
83 Monday, 23 June 2014 14:03
Steve/New Beige
Famous Quote:

"Nao Somos Tao Forte do que Pensamos" Pauleta.

I mean our Donkey of a coach didn't help, But honestly, we have maybe 3 world class players (CR7, Pepe, Moutinho) The team has poor fitness partly b/c bench players or players recovering from injury were selected over in form players (quaresma, etc)

Sweeden would have probably made a better show of it. Fifa ranked us #4(should be like 15+) to hype up Ronando who has promptly laid and egg.
Thoughts
82 Monday, 23 June 2014 13:46
Andre/UK
Well we just don't deserve to progress in this tournament, if we can't beat the USA in a do or die match, we deserve to go home, simple as that. No excuses. I don't care about the bad luck of injuries and suspensions we had, without all those guys and Ronaldo half fit, Portugal should've still beaten USA hands down.

On this occasion I put all the blame on Bento. What a terrible coach he is, and he should be shown the door as soon as the Ghana match is over. You need 2 hands to count the serious errors Bento has made in this tournament. Bringing on current form the best Portuguese midfielder, William, and not starting him in either of the opening 2 games. Why even bring him then? Insisting on a rigid 4-3-3 with a solitary forward no matter what the score. Continuing to play with an injured Ronaldo for the whole of the second half when we were 3-0 down against Germany. What was the point of keeping him in a match that was gone when he was clearly far from full fitness? Cristiano looked even more injured last night as a result. We then get a blessing in disguise with Patricio getting injured, and Bento still doesn't play the best Portuguese goalkeeper EDUARDO...and plays Beto instead, who was awful on both the USA goals.

Worse of all though, last night after Ghana already did us a favour the day before by stopping Germany from qualifying...we take the lead inside 5 minutes, just what the doctor ordered, we could suppousedly then play our natural game with much less nerves and keep attacking and dominate proceedings...and what does Bento order the team to do? Get defensive now and protect a 1-0 lead in a match we need to win...against the USA! Haha, he's hopeless and if the PFA keep him as coach after this tournament, I won't bother watching Portugal anymore, I really won't. What did Bento ever achieve anyway to get the Selecao job? He didn't win anything with Sporting and my biggest memory of him there was the 12-1 annihilation by Bayern Munich. He's stubborn, unwilling to change and not very bright tactically...I know this sounds harsh, but this Mundial has been total affirmation. I would even welcome back Queiroz at this point over Bento, at least Queiroz teams are organised.

As for the players, yes we had very bad luck with injuries but most of the guys who played still didn't perform nearly well enough in this tournament. For all those who've been praising Eder and saying he's the future of our attack: he was woeful last night. Awkward and clumsy, the amount of times he fell over or failed a simple control of the ball was untrue. I'm sorry people, he's even worse than Hugo Almeida. At least Almeida has scored some goals for the Selecao, Eder has not even looked like scoring every single time I've seen him play. Meireles is over for the Selecao, quite simply. Same could be true for Bruno Alves. The biggest disappointment for me in this tournament though has been Moutinho. His first WC and I had big expectations for him in the midfield, but he went totally missing in both games.

It's not mathematically over yet, but it's practically over chaps! We need to beat Ghana by at least 3 goals, and need Germany to beat USA by at least 2 goals. I just don't see both those results happening, perhaps the Germany comfortable win yes, but us beating a good Ghana team by 3 goals? Anything can always happen in this game, but it's much more unlikely than possible at this point. In fact I have to work on Thursday evening and will miss the match, and I don't really mind at all.

We have to bring in a new coach, perhaps even a foreign one who can bring more discipline, tactical awareness and flexibility...and moreover a winning mentality. And we have to ditch all the spent players and start a new project for the future with much more opportunities for the young talented players being produced, the likes of Illori, William, Andre Gomes, Bruma, Cavaleiro, Rafa and Bebe have to all be developed and brought into the squad. This Mundial has been clear evidence that this team really needs to evolve if we are going to be successful. This is the silver lining.
Brazilian crowd
81 Monday, 23 June 2014 13:22
Virgilio/Madeira
For those Portuguese who have for cheered Brazil in the past when Portugal either was eliminated or was not in a tournament should really consider what is taking place in Brazil. I was at the game yesterday and was disgusted how the Brazilians in attendance were cheering for the US and booing CR7 whenever he had the ball. I have no issue with the US fans doing it but the Brazilians?? WTF!!! I hope all the Portuguese in Toronto think twice about putting that stupid Brazilian flag on their car if/when Portugal are eliminated. I am cheering for Portugal to win the World Cup and my second choice is anyone who plays Brazil.

Forca Portugal!!
Bento adeus he has to b sacked
80 Monday, 23 June 2014 13:21
Tomtom
Terrible terrible nani what a joke postiga ha William we're do I start ,William man of the match by far took control bento what a wanker, can some one please tell me what has to happin in the next game for us to go thru, ronaldo quicker he retires happier I'll b what a selfish little cunt shooting from midfield play mate messi far better player n I no ronaldo twat
Agree with Nelson about Bento, myth of the heat and of coming late
79 Monday, 23 June 2014 13:20
lusiads Canda
I have to agree with Nelson. Portugal's tournament was lost vs Germany and that lose had a lot less to do with Bento than people are saying. While Pepe takes some of the blame for the red it was a harsh call.

No coach can field a team that anticipates so many problems. If Bento had gone with a youthful side (which I think would have pissed off a go for it now Ronaldo) the youth probably would have wilted under the pressure as Almeida did vs. the Germans. Then we would have had a ton of posts about examples of teams with experience winning championships or that Bento was stupid for bringing so many young guys when Cr7 is probably at the end of his Prime.


So many of us clamored for Eder to play. Why? Because we had not seen him play for the selaccao so we assumed that he would be a huge upgrade over our other strikers. Now that we've seen a few games people are knocking him and saying he has no future.

Any team that wants to win a major tournament needs experienced depth and no key injuries or suspensions to win a cup. (look at how valuable the 33 year old Costa has been for us. Classic example of experienced depth player)Even Germany with it's depth looked suspect against Ghana because of their injuries. At the end of the day the difference between 2012 and 2014 is that in 2012 Ronaldo was 100% (although I think he is actually closer to 100% than people think) and we had no major injuries or suspensions.

Take away the bad referee decision in game one and we lose lets say 1-0 to Germany. Bring Coentrao back into the squad fully fit and I think we beat the States.

This team going in under Bento was a solid "quarter-final team-and-then-lets-hope-for-the-best-let's-see-if-we-get-lucky sort of team. No matter what coach we had or what combination of players or system we would still have been that level of team.

People who talk about coming to Brazil late don't know what they are talking about. We played our first game on the second last day of the opening games so it was understandable that we came later to Brazil. Mexico actually arrived in Brazil closer to their first game but no one is knocking them because they are likely going through and played a great game against brazil. These guys are professionals and they travel all the time so the travel issue is over blown. Also, I honestly don't think heat was a factor in the USA game I didn't see Portuguese players hunched over in exhaustion. The primary issue was injuries and suspensions period.
our Indian and international fans
78 Monday, 23 June 2014 13:02
antonio/orlando
Just like to say, I appreciate your comments and passion for our national team.
Now if you from India, I assume our connection thru Vasco da Gama is probably one of the reasons. Also im going to include Pedro Alvares Cabral that went to brasil. these 2 navigators went to India and Brasil, had a plan and for them was do or die trying. Now I don't remember reading on their twitter account, oh shit we are 75% there and if we dont make it we pack our bags and go home!!!! I am sure many times they were lost and desperate but as captains they never told their crew their concerns and kept sailing. Also Cabral didn't say my gps says amazonas is to fricking hot lets go home. (Unlike Paulo Bento)

Now re William. He was good enough to start game 2 against Sweden. If anything his stock got bigger after that and become player of the year, can someone tell me if the stock for players in his position got bigger than his?????
I read a lot and everyone in Portugal is screaming for him to start including benfica fans lol.
Now there is also a lot of talk about Jorge Mendes pushing his people into the seleccao and William hasn't signed with him. (could that be a reason?) He is very good at what he does but he runs a business and done quite well for himself. But seleccao should be run with National team best interest not our friends or ones that have no problem greasing hands.
I have defended Bento in the past, but this time he went way over board and it shows clearly. Would buy his contract its a small price to pay for our sanity.

Now regarding the game, after the goal we pulled back and defend the score wtf? USA is so average that any of our national teams would kick their asses, but they show heart n passion which we never had.

I have put way to much emotion to this team, and you know what they say, you should only bet what u can afford to lose.
Sadly today my emotions are bankrupt!
One last thing...
77 Monday, 23 June 2014 13:00
Nelson / Canada / Burlington
My level of interest in Portuguese soccer as a first generation Canadian of Portuguese descent has always been strong but discovering this site a couple years back has made it even stronger. There is no equal to Portugoal.net, congratulations gents and thank you for your hard work! I will be ordering your book as soon as I have a few spare minutes today!

Mister Montreal's suggestion to do a post mortem and provide some information on the "next generation" is great. One thing we need right now is some optimism.

Finally, to put things into perspective. I watched the game with my old man and my 7 year old son and 5 year old daughter last night in my man cave, everyone else stayed upstairs as the atmosphere was pretty tense after the USA tied the game! My daughter held my arm the whole time after the 1st USA goal as she knew I was upset. My boy (still optimistic) asked me at the 92nd minute of the game yesterday how Portugal could still get through and I told him we needed at least 3 miracles to get to the knock-out stages at that point. Just as I started to explain... "two goals to win 3-2 at this point would be two miracles" and "a win vs Ghana combined with a German win on Thursday would be the other..." CR7 made that cross and we got the equalizer.... I looked at my boy and told him that was the first one. Obviously we need 2 more "miracles" here but its not over yet. This has been a crazy world cup so far and you never know....
We suck
76 Monday, 23 June 2014 12:27
Pedro Vasconcelos - London, UK
I have never been so underwhelmed by Portugal's exit (come on, there is no way we can beat Ghana by 5 nil even if Germany beats USA). Naturally, Portuguese people are proud of their nation and wants it to do well but the truth is we are just not good enough compared to even USA, shocking, but they are better against this weakened Portuguese team. Ronaldo plays with 10 thoroughbred stallions for Real Madrid, unfortunately for the Portuguese national team, bar Moutinho, Nani, Coentrao - there he plays with 10 donkeys.
Bento
75 Monday, 23 June 2014 12:09
Nelson / Canada / Burlington
Guys, I cannot believe all the hateful comments directed at Bento! I don't agree with some of his decisions but his mandate was not to set the table for 2016 / 2018, he went with experience over youth, CR7 is a generational talent and the time to win was now.

This tournament was lost vs. Germany. Pepe's red card contributed at least 2 goals to the differential. If one individual deserves the blame its him.

As for CR7, he has been almost invisible, but he is hurt and is the reason we are in Brazil in the first place.

My anger is directed towards the Federation, the games in the USA and arriving in Brazil so late are inexcusable. All for a few extra $$$$.
beto goal
74 Monday, 23 June 2014 12:01
Berton usa
I haven't seen any posts regarding our goalie, he followed the ball right into the net at least m a key an attempt it wasn't tty hat far from him, dude dive for the ball that's your job, your a worl dc class go as lie a supposed ly.
Ask tom kundert, he ll agree
73 Monday, 23 June 2014 11:54
Mister montreal
Bento will obviously say that injuries are to blame and not him.

Message to all With Pessimism regarting the future

We have LOTS of talent in development
Lets learn what went wrong and Start fixing it
Problems: tac tical, structural, managerial, behaviourial, physical...

I,m no expert but these are as need to addressed if we are to be ready for euro '16

Tom, it would be great (once wc is over) to do a post mortem and look at up and coming talent for the NT. I think it would help some fans to be more optimistic and movie on.
Portugal US
72 Monday, 23 June 2014 11:43
John/UK
The reason Almeida and Postega got injured is because they are so terrible they hardly play for their teams so their aging hamstrings snapped at the slightest movement - We were soooo happy when they got injured. At least Eder is a handful and keeps defenders occupied.
The federation will need to untangle the coach-agent dynamic for Portuguese football and appoint a new coach who will pick players with energy, skill and purpose. Playing in Turkey = semi retirement (a clue you should not be in the squad). Pereira is way to small/slow to continue in his position and Mereilas needs a zimmer frame to get around the pitch. Wilson C - what a class player!!!! (and I support Benfica) - what kind of moron would not play him - strong, plenty of time on the ball (sign of greatness) - good decision maker - excellent tackler. My word Bento, please resign like a man and go and manage someone in the Middle East. I dont mind losing, but not when my team is 80% of the reason for the loss.
Usa/ portugal
71 Monday, 23 June 2014 11:37
Sam
Don't feel so bad , in 2002 wc usa beat portugal anyway .
Per USA/Germany match
70 Monday, 23 June 2014 11:32
Tom/USA
Not positive but in 2010, it looks like Portugal and Brazil went into the 3rd match and a draw would do for both teams and that was the result. But there certainly was nothing agreed on when I look at the boxscore of that 0-0 game. 4 yellow cards for Portugal and 3 for Brazil, 11 fouls by Portugal, 18 for Brazil. http://us.soccerway.com/matches/2010/06/25/world/world-cup/portugal/brazil/878812/ Also, it looks like who would have won that game would have avoided playing Spain so the Brazil/Portugal draw was an honestly played fixture.
Goodbye stupid Bento
69 Monday, 23 June 2014 11:09
Berat Macedonia
Goodbye you stupid Bento, this will happen when you dont call in selecao RicardoQuaresma, he deserved more than anyone to be in this worldcup, cuz he is 31years and he was in exellent form, another world cup he cannot play cuz he will be old :(

so i hope Portugal will sack this stupid Bento
team of donkeys
68 Monday, 23 June 2014 11:06
Emilio/ Wales
althought we have a team of quality players such as ronaldo, nani, pepe, alves and velso so on. we need to clear out, after this world cup we should force many players to retire, bento had picked a team that is almost the same as the world cup 2010. After we had cleared a few out we need to bring young players to portugal who will have a project of russia 2016, we need to start early and we have 4 years to bring a group of players together, i think with englands problem is that we have brought a alot of new players together and the chemsity is correct, we have 4 years to bulid a strong successful relationship that can go far in major tourements.
we have players such as willam C, eder and josue who have had a chance but we have a great under 19s team and we need to recruit a few,
cr7 would be in his 30s in 2016 and will possibly need to play in the stiker position.
what does it matter anyway
67 Monday, 23 June 2014 11:04
Luso/USA
Let's say Portugal beat the USA and then Ghana to finish second. There would be this team called Argentina waiting for them. The way Portugal has played, even when they try to park the bus against the USA it didn't work. Who ever comes out of the group as second will get the pleasure of enjoying an additional game because Argentina will send them home. Making it to the round of 16 might be good enough for the Americans but it means nothing for Portugal.

Bento needs to go. His tactics were all wrong against the USA. He knew they would be coming down the wings but moved slow ass Veloso to stop them?he should have played William from the start, as well as Eder. Sould have played Varela as well. Nano was involved in both USA goals with give ways. Starting the players would have gave Bento better sub options. He could have brought in Rafa who is good technically and a bit of a poacher.

How the Portuguese FA allowed him to pick the players he did I will never understand.
Its all Bento's fault
66 Monday, 23 June 2014 11:02
paulo/australia
Bento's got to take the entire blame here.
Poor choices
Poor line ups
Poor decisions
Poor squad

We have not improved since he has taken over and in fact
He should fall on his sword and resign.


He simply doesnt have any vision.
The last throw of the dice...
65 Monday, 23 June 2014 10:48
@joeldoporto
Okay... enough people have let off enough steam on these comments, and I agree with most.

But if I could be coach for a day, just for the Ghana game, and in the situation we are in what would I do? The squad has been selected, the points have been dropped and the we have the injuries we do... What Now?

Do we try the same formula and get our front teeth knocked out by a very hungry and capable Ghana outfit?

I would make some drastic changes to the formation, we are anyway on our last breath...

I would go for a 3-5-2 formation ( and yes, I know Bento has no clue what that is) and here is why...

Fact 1: Ronaldo is injured and cannot contribute to defence on the left. Playing just behind the striker removes this responsibility and allows him to roam in the box.

Fact 2: Nani can't track back

Fact 3: Our 2 CB's can't handle the heat, especially if the fullbacks are pushing forward, and additional CB would add some steel.

Fact 4: We are being bossed in midfield and need some more bodies here.

Proposed lineup....

Beto

Bruno Alves Pepe Costa(Neto)

JP Carvalho Veloso

Moutinho Meireles

Ronaldo
Eder

Hell, that's not great...but probably the best of what we have...

If we start the Ghana game with a 4-3-3 we will be slaughtered by their pace and muscle...3-0 minimum...
Why I mainly blame Bento
64 Monday, 23 June 2014 10:29
England
You would understand his selection if there were no other options. The thing is: he had them from the start. Instead he chose to play Meireles and the likes until it was too late.

Yes the substitutions were left for too long. William and Varela should have been part of the starting 11. Those are players that would have changed the game if they had been played earlier but this idiot wanted his way. I believe I stated before in my previous post, His mentality is a liability itself.

Portugal will not beat Ghana. Not following Bento’s poor tactics or his inability to motivate the payers. Stating that they can pack the bags if they don’t win this match doesn’t quite cut it Bento.

I’m sorry if the following will depress you but let me just address the ones who believe that Mourinho will come to coach the team after Bento’s departure (who we unfortunately are likely to endure for the next 2 yrs). Its not going to happen.

Mourinho is more inclined to coach England than to coach Portugal. And I believe one of the main reason is connected with what took place when he announced he wanted to leave Porto and venture aboard. It’s a shame because he could really help this team but that’s how it is.

So what is left now is to consider other options. My suggestion would be a German coach if the Portuguese Football federation can afford it. They are known for their efficiency and discipline. We need someone with those qualities, who feels no loyalties to any particular club, someone sharp and motivating. That’s what we should be aiming at.

Yesterday we saw glimpses of an injured star (Cristiano) let’s hope we can find someone that can build a decent team around him. And maybe, just maybe we can begin to dream again.

As final note, I would like to thank the fans from Lebanon, India, and other Asian countries that took the time to come here and comment, offering their views and support to the national team. Obrigado, as they say back home.

Let's hope that after the following Euro, we find a coach with the traits mentioned above. Because I have no doubts that there’s undeniable talent on Iberian soil, it just needs to be nurtured/developed & then managed properly.
70% Bento - 30% Players
63 Monday, 23 June 2014 10:05
Ahmad/Lebanon
I remember reading an article by Tom Kundert, editor of this site, days after Portugal lost that semi final against Spain in Euro 2012 and in it their was hope that Portugal were going to do something big in 2014, Tom even predicted a podium finish! So my question is, what went wrong?

'Gutted" is not remotely enough to describe how I'm feeling right now. To be honest I was incredibly excited for the game until the 85th minute of the Algeria - S.Korea match because at exactly that minute I saw the official lineup of our team vs the USA. The moment I saw Veloso's name in DM position I knew for a fact that:
1) Bento is a jackass, and that's taking it lightly.
2) Our chances of qualifying are screwed.
3) USA will exploit our obvious weak points and will definitely score.

Those three points were cemented clearly in my head an hour before kickoff so to a certain extent I was not at all shocked by the end result of that game. What really shocked me is just how bad Bento is. Many give him credit for Euro 2012, but it seems they forget that we were lucky to go through the group stages back then and it was also thanks to a last second winner from, yes you got it, Varela the same man who saved our asses yesterday. Bento is not the type of coach with the strong mentality to lead a hoping nation like Portugal. This country needs a coach who is stronger than all his players, Mourinho and JJ pop immediately into mind but I doubt they'll take charge anytime soon.
That being said there was one incident during the game were I cursed Bento's existence and that happened roughly around the 75th minute if not mistaken. William Carvalho had the ball right after the midway line and 2 USA players tried to take it from him, one of them out-muscled William and it seemed as if he's gonna fall and leave the ball behind for the USA to go on a very dangerous counter. What happened? Carvalho used his hands, stopped himself from falling all the way through and used his long legs to snatch the ball just as it was going away and kept hold of it until he made the pass. I swear this happened in a split of a second and it left me bamboozled; Veloso would have never managed to do that, not even during his prime years so why the hell is Bento still refusing to rely on that 22 year old gem from Sporting? Safe to say that I no longer have faith in Bento, I only have faith in a selected few from this team since many others have disappointed me.

As a Manchester United fan I keep going on and on about Danny Welbeck, a striker who can run for a year nonstop but he'll always fail you in the final third. Eder is a spitting image of Danny Welbeck it seems and I can't help but say he was a clear disappointment yesterday. No confidence, can't dribble, can't create a chance and most importantly can't score. With him also out of form it's clear that the only scorer Portugal have at the moment is Cristiano Ronaldo, the nation's all time top scorer who is yet to score one goal in this tournament.

Moreover, what happened to Moutinho? I remember two attempts at a through pass to Ronaldo yesterday both got easily cleared away, other than that all he did was pass to the wingers for a cross. How can a team PLAY if it doesn't have a good playmaker? It was evident from the start of this tournament that we were gonna suffer and that we were gonna suffer bad. I blame the friendlies for giving us the false image that Portugal have a solid backline which they clearly don't. So basically we are now looking at a team depleted with injuries, has no genuine striker, no genuine LB, a stubborn useless excuse of a coach, a not even 70% match fit captain and last but not least an out of form playmaker, yet I still read comments on Social Media saying Portugal can make the unthinkable happen on Thursday, excuse me for not stopping myself from crying at the moment.

Back to Bento, by the raise of hands, how many of you think he has the guts to Keep Ricardo Costa for the game against Ghana and actually replace Bruno Alves with Pepe? Costa was clearly our man of the match and played an almost perfect game. However get ready to see more of the Pepe - Alves and Meireles - Veloso combinations, perhaps the most depleted and overrated combinations in Portuguese football history.
Bento doesn't take the blame alone, his staff gets a fair share as well. 4 muscular injuries, that 3 more than what any normal team gets in an official tournament, some don't even get any! Something inside me told me Almeida was gonna get injured early in the game yesterday, I just knew it; the players are not being prepared well enough for any game and don't expect that to happened versus Ghana.
Another issue that bothers me is the fans. I am in no position to talk about them but here goes nothing. Can someone explain to me why the Americans showed more support and spirit during the game than the Portuguese? Every time Ronaldo held the ball all I kept hearing were boos, shouldn't the Portuguese fans retaliate? Shouldn't the Brazilians who watched that game have supported Portugal? I read in an article that this is not the case and quite frankly the Brazilians don't give a damn about Portugal and if they qualify or not. Again, I am not Portuguese so maybe what I'm saying here is not accurate at all and I hope it's not.

As for the Ghana game, they'll be without Muntari while we'll be missing Coentrao, a key player for a key player. Forget all permutations and possible scenarios, the bottom line is that Portugal will most probably have a very hard time beating Ghana let alone doing that by a 3-4 goal margin. Not only that but I really really doubt the Americans won't be able to snatch a point from Germany not because the latter will play it safe but because Klinsmann knows this German team very well and always the coach has an advantage over his former players not the other way around. The way I see it USA will tie 1-1 with Germany while we'll lose 2-1 against Ghana. I also don't expect Carvalho to start because Bento would rather get someone from the crowd to play our defensive midfield role. Also I don't expect Ronaldo to give a performance of a lifetime because he is now officially psyched out of the tournament, I love you capitao but I am almost sure you are now thinking about your trip back to Spain. Let me put it this way: Remember how we decimated N. Korea 7-0 in 2010? Yeah well now not only do we have to mimic that display against the best African team right now, but also we have to wait and pray that Germany does that exact same thing to the 'Muricans. That's why a small part of me never wanted Varela to score that header because even though I know Portugal won't qualify I also know that I'll be spending the next three days contemplating over the useless permutations that look out of reach at the moment.
I love this team so much, and it aches me to see it play this way, hopefully with Portugal exiting from round 1 Portugal will get itself a good coach, someone who trusts the youngsters and maybe then we can really think about having a great Euro 2016.
Sad day, but move on, but Ronaldo stay in Brazil
62 Monday, 23 June 2014 09:41
Elio Manuel
Dear Ronaldo,

Stay in Brazil, change your citizenship to Brazilian, and you will probably get a much better supporting cast of team players and a much better coach !

Sad day for Portuguese futebol.
NO STRIKERS
61 Monday, 23 June 2014 09:21
Canada
You could see this in all the qualifying games ......Postiga , H. Almeida , Eder are just too slow to be "starting" strikers . BENTO ONLY CHOICE .... RONALDO = STRIKER, VARELA and NANI on WINGS. William has to start for Ghana for his size against strong GHANA players.
Portugal/US
60 Monday, 23 June 2014 08:45
Scott Gouveia
I don't know what game most of you were watching, but I think Portugal should feel fortunate to get a draw. Their first goal came on a horrendous mistake by the U.S. After that, they could manage nothing until the last few seconds. Ronaldo is obviously not a 100 %, and there are other injuries and a suspension. They stunk it up against Germany and looked very lackluster against the U.S. I really expected a lot more from this team.
Germany to Play US to 0-0 Draw
59 Monday, 23 June 2014 08:17
Carlos/USA
Chronicle of a Death Foretold

See West Germany-Austria in the 1982 World Cup

0-0 sees both teams through.
Thoughts
58 Monday, 23 June 2014 08:17
João/Holanda
I think we can all agree this is the worst tournament Portugal since 1986 even in 2002 we managed to get a win.

We won't win against Ghana, they went head-to-head with the Germans, out muscled them and got a draw (should have been a win) What was our result against the Germans? Right we got trashed.

Bento, the entire coaching staff (including medical) needs to go and get replaced. The way we prepared for this tournament showed the total incompetence of the staff. We had two games in the tropics (Manaus and Salvador) and our staff did not prepare our players for such conditions. Why go to Boston for pre-tournament preparation, why is our base camp so far south? Oh right, that's where there are large Portuguese communities, the FPF wants to earn some easy cash from the local communities rather than doing what's best for the team.

As for the replacement I argued for a foreign coach four years ago (particularly Luis Aragonese (RIP) would have been perfect) but sadly some Portuguese don't like the idea of a Spanish coach (archaic I know) or any other foreign coach.
Ultimately we need a coach that works great with youth players and is willing to change the system. Sadly that excludes nearly every Portuguese coach. Some say Mourinho but frankly I don't want to watch two years of boring defensive football thank you very much.

Depressingly we'll be saddled with Bento for another two years. It's almost impossible not to qualify for Euro 2016 (first two spots in the group guarantee qualification) so our next tournament with Bento won't be any better.
Portugal USA
57 Monday, 23 June 2014 06:18
John/UK
We can't even beat a poor team like the USA. We're out as Ghana will beat us. - easy .

The good news is that Bento will get fired. A man who puts his ego ahead of his country - a total disgrace.

Postega!!!!!

Not playing WC!!! - the only other world class player Portugal has.

Bye-bye.
Coach?!!!
56 Monday, 23 June 2014 05:19
hareesh,kerala/india
Is Bento really a coach?if your answer is yes you have not seen a good football coach.that first goal was a luck and what Bento thought that time?winning with that single goal?what a man he is?a coach with so much negative attitude?unbelievable!iam sure this is not portuguese football.for what do we advance to pre quarters?for playing fearfull football like this?to win or lose is a part of the game.play with possitive attitude is main.yes attitude is the problem here.
sadness
55 Monday, 23 June 2014 05:06
Nuno/USA
I agree with everyones comments it is sad to see this generation of the nation team , they have no fire no passion. Watching them after that first goal was painful. It was like they were just content with a 1-0 lead and didn't plan on doing much else. This coach is horrible, picks over the hill players instead of new talent. When have Almeida and Postiga done anything for the national team in the last 4 years . Our wings are lacking . Start with the defense and work your way up. This team needs an overhaul .I hope one day Mourinho takes the helm , I know he's arrogant and a primadonna but I really think he is the only one to give us a national team we can be proud of.
Blaming Eder is missing the plot
54 Monday, 23 June 2014 05:03
Adam/Canada
We lost 4-0 to Germany. We allowed the U.S.A. to score 2 against us, and Portuguese fans are STILL talking about strikers? Eder is rough around the edges, and lacks experience, but he did his job well enough.

A fact Portugal fans should be aware of, is despite Carlos Queiroz getting our tactics wrong against Spain, we were MUCH tougher to score on when he was our manager. Look at Iran now. IRAN. They're as organized as Germany or Italy. That's exactly what we lack.
Old Habits Die Hard
53 Monday, 23 June 2014 05:01
George/Canada
Well, it was another prototypical Paulo Bento Portugal performance... And one that we were lucky to even get a draw in. You'd think that Bento would have some extra motivation or tricks up his sleeve to beat the United States considering he was a part of the team that lost to them in 2002 - but NOPE, no flexibility to speak of. Unless of course, something works (like our starting midfield/defensive line up against Ireland) in that case, changes need to be made.

I'm still trying to sort out how I feel about this result. In a lot of ways, a draw was the worst result possible. A loss would've definitively knocked us out of the tournament and put us out of our misery: no chance Bento would be coming back and some of the youngsters might've actually - FINALLY - gotten a chance to shine. As it stands, the point advertises an illusion of hope and gives Bento more of an excuse to earn sympathy when he deserves none.

As if we hadn't had enough unfit players on the field either through injury or lack of match fitness, Bento decided to add ONE MORE: Bruno Alves. Why oh why did he need to start? Was a healthy Luis Neto that much of a downgrade on a less than 100% Alves? If so, then why even select him to the team in the first place? Without Jozy Altidore there was NO physical presence to worry about in the US lineup. I think Neto would've been just fine.

But, much to Bento's discredit, that wasn't really the stupidest decision he made during that match. He made the defensive situation much worse by instructing both full-backs to push forward, often really deep into the American's side of the pitch. Neither Andre Almeida nor Joao Pereira have the speed to bomb up and down the pitch like Fabio Coentrao, and, neither have the speed to recover when they get caught. Given the fact that Alves was less than 100% and had no speed, and Miguel Veloso doesn't have that kind of speed, and Raul Meireles doesn't have that kind of speed... What was he thinking exactly? No wonder Almeida looked like he had a horrible game - there was next to nothing backing him up and we gave the entire left side to the Americans.

Aside from that, I don't understand how Beto started over Eduardo (he has WC experience and has been healthy), or Veloso started over William. You like Beto better than Eduardo Bento? Fine. Then don't just give him the first 45' of your first friendly against Greece (a team that hardly shoots to begin with) and Eduardo a game and a half. Everyone's already commented on William, there's nothing more that can be said. Raul and Joao Moutinho were pretty horrible today but that was to be expected given that they were chasing Germans around for most of their last game. Frankly, Moutinho might just be Portugal's worst player over these two games. What the heck is wrong with him?! Would've started Ruben Amorim over Raul. And in regards to Eder - he had a poor game. BUT, I still believe he's the best striker on this team. Keep in mind he's been recovering fitness himself and he hasn't had any opportunities to start with a healthy CR7 by his side, Helder Postiga and Hugo Almeida have had many. Would you have rather had Postiga start this match only to be ineffective due to injury and waste a substitution in the process like what happened today? I certainly hope not. Eder should've started this match. At least in that scenario Bento would've had another option to play with in the Amazon when his players wilted towards the end of the match... But I think we can all agree that thinking isn't among Bento's strengths.

There's being pessimistic and then there's being realistic - realistically, we are not getting out of this group. The writing's on the wall and it's been on the wall for some time. Frankly, I don't understand how people can see us beating Ghana. If we were actually Portugal, then I could see it, but that's not the case. This team may play under the label of Portugal, and the players may be players that we recognize, but this is not the Portugal we've all come to know and love.

There is no speed making it next to impossible to counter effectively. There is no form making it next to impossible to be confident. There is no health making it next to impossible to be comfortable. There is no luck making it next to impossible to have faith. And there is no leadership making it next to impossible to proceed in the right direction. It's all over for us in this World Cup.

BUT, greatness has to start somewhere. All empires are built on rubble and I believe that, in time, if the appropriate moves are made, this Phoenix will rise from the ashes more dangerous than ever.

HOPEFULLY Bento goes sooner rather than later, and we find a replacement worthy of Portugal and it's tremendous pool of young talent. HOPEFULLY the FPF gets as much blame as Bento for this failure and the heat gets turned up on the likes of Porto and Benfica to produce and develop more Portuguese talent. And HOPEFULLY, CR7 sticks around for another 4 years...
The Perfect Scenario
52 Monday, 23 June 2014 04:55
Anthony/USA
- It goes without saying that the USA need to lose by a minimum 2 goals

- The rest would be in our hands. The perfect scenario against Ghana would be for us to score a very early goal (i.e. first 20 minutes). Given that Ghana absolutely needs to win, they would then be forced to attack, leaving them more and more vulnerable in the defense with every goal. If our defense could resist their attack, we have a good chance of walking out +3 if we can score early.
Goodbye Bento
51 Monday, 23 June 2014 04:49
Joao De Bacalhau/Canada
Another four years is a costly price to pay for a better future on the national stage, but it had to happen. Bento needs to go.
WC 2014 over FACT, Euro 2016 Prediction
50 Monday, 23 June 2014 04:48
Paulo6
This WC is 100% over, FACT. I would like to take this opportunity to make a Euro 2016 prediction. Qualifying: Portugal barely qualifies, and comes in second in the group, goes into playoff.. Makes Euro 2016 and gets bounced!.. If I were CR7 I would say screw the Selecao, bunch of jokes. We need a foreign coach OR Mourinho FACT!.. Knowing the FPF gongshow they will probably bring back Antonio Olivera.. And I called it be4 the WC started why in the blue hell did they go to the USA to set up phase 2 of camp, phase 2 shoulda been straight to Brasil even tho its a dump!. Lastly the crowds at Portugals games booing CR7 has made me sick.
Fair result, but only just.
49 Monday, 23 June 2014 04:48
Brian/USA
I see a lot of comments saying that this was a disappointing performance, though I would of rather of gotten the 3 points and agree that a win was the only result this Portugal team should have settled for from the out set, a draw was a fair result and happy with the late equalizer to ensure so.

This was a team decimated by injures, forced into another early substitution, playing in the middle of a rainforest against a tough organized opponent. Take a point and live to fight another day and pray for a lot of German help.

What is frustrating this tournament is the lack of preparation and ideas by our coaching staff. Andre Almeida simply needed to be instructed/coached to stay home in the second half. Instead Veloso was moved over and was clearly too slow. No true LB replacement on this squad hurt after Fabio went home. A majority of the squad selection seem to be based on flexibility, yet the same formation and starters are run out. With a not fit Ronaldo and out of form Nani the 4-3-3 loses it's punch and is a defensive liability.
postives
48 Monday, 23 June 2014 04:36
william/california
so after a few hours I have been able to see the positives of this WC. I am delusional enough to think that Portugal with the right coaching will be a favorite to win the Euro's in 2 years time for several reasons.
1. Bento will surely be fired now and with that hope for a promising coach.
2. Ronaldo barring any injuries should still be a top 5 player in the world.
3. Bruma will be an upgrade from Nani who has lost his confidence.
4. William Carvalho will be 2 years older and surely will be the heart of the Portugal midfield.
5. Moutinho and Fabio will still be in their prime and still top players in their positions.
There you have it Portugal will win its first major tournament and be European champions 2016!!!!
Not over yet, but it's highly likely that we won't progress
47 Monday, 23 June 2014 04:35
Ricardo/usa
Bento must go if we can find an appropriate replacement. He's done a couple of good things, but it's clear that he is too stubborn to change the lineup. We need to bring in young players and a new coach. Veloso is not bad, but William will be better playing in a deep role. Maybe we should bring in Cedric at right back soon. Maybe we should bring in Andre Gomes as well. We have a lot of young players (especially midfielders and wingers) coming up and we need to take advantage of that
Poor selection
46 Monday, 23 June 2014 04:31
Jose/Can
Looking back, when you pick a squad that has so many out of form and injured players…….this is the result!

Rui P.
Nani
Hugo A
Rafa
Pepe
Ronaldo
Helder P.
Eder
Raul M.
Everyone of these players missed at least 5 week, because of injures.

2 games in a row our starting strikers are off before the 15 minute of the game.

I understand why you have to pick Ronaldo, Pepe, and Nani even though they weren't fully fit or in great form.

Portugal simply doesn't have the dept to replace these types of players.

All bets our off with the others!!!

Bebe, was healthy and in form. and was by far our best option at the striker.

Adrian Silve, had a great season, and would have been a great option.

Atunes, would have giving Portugal another great option at left back was also left off.

How William C, is left off the starting squad for a game and half, i will never understand.

Also for the life of me i can't understand why we have to start a striker if we don't have 1.

Barcalona, plays without a striker, Germany also plays without a striker, and they don't seem to have any trouble scoring goals.

A player like Rafa, could help create scoring, help with ball possession, and score goals……as he did for Braga!

Better to play with 3 good forwards who can keep the ball then to play with a player like Eder, who can't even keep Possession. All of you who have bin crying for Bento to play Eder, are now crying that Eder played. {Sorry he doesn't cut it}

Many years ago Portugal played with Joao Pinto and Sa Pinto up front and neither were strikers, but the terrorized defenders and scored goals.

Last I understand ever-ones disappointment, but to say that the players didn't give their all is awfully harsh.

Please keep in mind that we just have to many players that are not in very good form, including the great Joao M, who whiffed on so many passes today.

The move to Monaco clearly didn't do him much good.

Hope is the last thing to die, and hope is all we have left!!
Portuguese clubs to be blamed
45 Monday, 23 June 2014 04:21
Victor/Perth/Australia
The Portuguese Federation has to step in to reduce the numbers of non Portuguese players playing in the Portuguese league. Who cares if Benfica or Porto are playing champions league or reaching European finals when their squad is full of non Portuguese players. I have stopped a long time to follow Porto and Benfica in their European campaign.

The national team is paying the price for the Portuguese clubs not investing in our youth.
Mistakes on top of mistakes
44 Monday, 23 June 2014 04:03
Dan B/EEUU
I'm sorry, but the truth is the other team gives you a goal at the start & you spend the next 90 minutes unable to add to it. I understand this is how things go sometimes, but tears should not be shed.

It was painful watching this with Beto in goal where every American player in the box seemed to tower over him. From minute one he looked shell shocked just being there. Then you've got Almeida who looked like you'd have to hold a gun to his head to get him to go forward. Then Nani.........How many balls did he pass to no one or mishandle? Yes, yes I know we had injuries, suspensions etc. But that is why you bring appropriate backups.

I hate to bring up the ghost, but when Portugal looked completely out of ideas for 90% of the match how many would have wished to have had the option to bring on somebody like a Quaresma that could ignite a spark, even for just a few minutes.

But at the end of the day, this result is not of great significance to Portugal because I seriously doubt we would have been able to recover in 4 days to beat Ghana anyway. Ghana on the other hand have an outside chance of going through if they demolish Portugal & if the Germans beat USA as expected.
Thoughts
43 Monday, 23 June 2014 03:58
Steve/Australia
@ George/Canada - Firstly, thank you George for your very kind words in the last post. I really appreciate them and it was quite heart warming.

Now, I'll start with a little rant....

Dear Mr Bento,

What on Earth compelled you to start with a bunch of injured, coming off injured, not regularly playing or out of form players in the most oppressive of conditions and environments in Manuas. Did you not know that this city is in the middle of the Amazon Jungle. Is it because you are Stubborn... or just plain stupid.

End rant...

but seriously, after seeing the lineup, I turned to my wife before the start of the game and told her with this lineup the best we can get is a draw... and so it seemed.

Here are my initial thoughts;

Injured, not regularly playing or out of form players;

Eder (13 games for the season, 3 goals and it clearly showed today)
Helder Postiga (5 games for Lazio and no goals)
Vieirinha (11 games and coming off a serious leg injury)
Cristiano Ronaldo (clearly injured and not at his best)
Raul Mereiles (Been injured all year and way past his best)
Bruno Alves (apprently past a late fitness test)
Andre Almeida (10 games... YES 10 games)
Fabio Coentrao (10 games... but probably still would have had him in my squad)

Negatives

Miguel Veloso is not a left back
Andre Almeida is not a left back (otherwise Benfica would be playing him there) but he's better there than Veloso
Taking off Andre Almeida (a player with a willingness to run up and down the wing) and putting Veloso, a slow, weak, out of form central midfield passing player was not an upgrade. The sub should have been Mereiles off William Carvalho on and Veloso push up slightly but then again this should have been from the start.
Playing young Andre Almeida out of position and then taking him off at half time must have really dented his confidence.
The team has no left back alternative to Coentrao
Mereiles is not only clearly unfit but he is way past his best
For a much as he gives offensively Nani is a complete passenger defensively
Nani's sloppy clearance and lack of interest in his defensive duties gave the US their goal and way back into the game
Eder is still a work in progress (which may never progress??)
Nani is too slow at moving the ball and slows down counter attacks with his poor decision making, bad passing and over eagerness to dribble all the time
Nani seems at times to play like he is the only player on the pitch. His main objective is to beat his man and score a goal when a simple pass and off the ball run into space is required
Nani lacks energy, does not effectively track back and lacks work ethic.
Nani's is really out of form period. Other than the goal (and this was given to him on a plate) he didn't do much. His passing was especially terrible. I lost count how many times he gave the ball away
William should have been on from the start. It is not fair to bring him on at half time and expect him to pick up the pace of the game from the off
I would have started Ruben Amorim instead of Mereiles or Veloso
Bruno Alves is a huge liability once the ball hit the ground (at fault for the second goal playing Dempsey onside)
Bruno Alves is way past his best thats why Zenit sold him and brought in Neto but Bento of course starts him
Being stubborn has never been a positive attribute in my opinion (reference to Bento)
Ronaldo looks badly injured and not himself... was he pumped with pain killers before the game?

Positives

Ricardo Costa played well and has to start with Pepe next match
Bruno Alves done OK up front and was a good target man (this was kinda of a joke)
Beto done OK in goal
William Carvalho played well and gave us some steal, stregnth and poise in the middle
We were lucky to get a draw
Nani - Has one thing going for him and that is a killer shot and he got a goal and two decent efforts in (but he was also directly responsible for letting one in).
Players better than some of the ones in the team and unlucky not to be in the squad
Nelson Oliveira (30 games and 8 goals - Whilst I agree he is not the complete product at least he it fit and in form)
Adrien Silva (28 games and 8 goals really solid player)
Andre Martins (27 games and a solid season)
Vitorino Antunes (36 games - Our best alternative to Coentrao FULL STOP)
Ricardo Quaresma (starred in the liga but has had attitude issues in the past however for me his pre-world cup comments were he wished the team good luck indicated to me that he had matured - Hindsight is a beautiful thing but considering we had 3 injured and out of form players (CR7, Nani, Vierinha) who play in his positions and the fact he can play up top as well he should have been in the squad.
Eliseu (28 games versatile can play anywhere on the left)

Final Thoughts on our squad so far

Bento paid the price for not going with form and playing his out of form mates (former team mates or players he coached) and regulars. I feel sorry for Ronaldo, he cannot do it by himself and the coach did not give him the right support cast to achieve success.

Moving Forward

Let's get this right. Assumming Bento is gone after the next game then If we are not going to get a foreign coach then we simply need Mourinho to coach the National team if we ever want to seriously win anything or indeed compete to win anything.

Thanks for reading and look forward to your comments

Steve
Help Us Obi-Wan Muller Kenobi You're Our Only Hope
42 Monday, 23 June 2014 03:30
Copter529
I agree with a lot of the postings, especially Berto.

I have never seen such a lackadaisical, carefree attitude by Portugal when basically their tournament progress hopes were on the line. It was pathetic, shameful and in my opinion unprecedented.

Regardless of what everyone says, Ronaldo is not %100 and it is so unfortunate.

Bem Feito to Portugal for playing for a 1 nil win, they've done that before and that has always bit them in the ass.

Instead of scrambling with intensity in the last 20 minutes, we should have always been looking to score goals and maintain a strong offensive posture.

We definitely helped the US win this game. However, I will say that the US also played well and with heart.

Even considering all of the above, there is still a "decent" chance that Portugal can come out of this group.

Germany will not play for a tie, and in fact I think after their sub-par performance against Ghana they will really come out to win and expose frailties by the Americans.

Further, I honestly think this American team is the strongest it has ever been and will actually fight for a win, which will inevitably leave them open for a strong German counter attack.

They obviously need help, but betting on Germany is never a bad bet and I think Portugal, can beat Ghana.

I don't think 2 or 3 goals is out of the question. Big question is can they stop letting in goals, if not then that will kill them.

I believe that Portugal can do it but the question is will they finally wake up in the last game? And if they do will they compete at higher level for the knockout stages?

Hoping for a Blitzkrieg and a Portugal that plays Portuguese football and up to their full potential.
Adeus Brazil 2014
41 Monday, 23 June 2014 03:29
Rui/ Dubai
Eder is useless. Probably the worse player in the WC. No more chance for him. We'll Bento? Umm I can't blame him totally. Players totally responsible for the early exit.

even if USA loose against Germany and Portugal win against Ghana it's not enough. Germany must beat USA by at 3-0 and portugal too has to win 3-0 against Ghana to go through. Like Paulo bento had said earlier "Win or we pack to Lisbon"
Damn
40 Monday, 23 June 2014 03:22
SupremoGino
There's not much to say. It's sad to see us outplayed by a bunch of MLS prods. I predicted before the qualifiers.. this team would be too old to make noise.

A month ago, I was in Toronto watching the Benfica legends match. "O Glorioso" fielded eleven turtles evidently losing 2-0, in which was a total money grab.

Well. I can't tell the difference given how A Selecção played today. It was very hot, though that's no excuse for being physically destroyed by the US.

The entire squad should be ashamed after that embarassment including coaching staff and medical personnel. What a disgrace. Undone by some hard luck (injuries, suspensions, etc.) but we have no freaking business losing/drawing to USA!

Feel sorry for CR7 who clearly was out of sorts and I see now why Nani is selfish and so frustrating to watch. We all want Eder to succeed.. but he just hasn't got it.

Not thrilled about following Portugal through the qualifiers, and getting hopes up every couple years. Life is too short.

Btw. Forget about all this Germany/Portugal wins goal differential garbage. Trust me I couldn't ask for anything more but it's not happening. No way in hell.

Besides, there's something to love about Ghana. I've grown in admiration for them since 06'.. and honestly they deserve it more than we do. Portugal could help Ghana qualify.
Portugal vs USA
39 Monday, 23 June 2014 03:22
Ernie/GA
I don't know what game you all were watching but this wasn't an even game. Outside the final 5 minutes of the first half USA was the better team all game long. They had control of this game and deserved the win.
Could Not Believe My Eyes
38 Monday, 23 June 2014 03:18
MDCViolenes- NY, USA
Wow… Just unbelievable. I was wondering whether I should vent or not because really comments may not be worth much from here on. I love all the comments though, so here's my input. Portugal should have won, USA deserved a win until they fell asleep on the tying goal. Tony from Turlock, CA I feel you bro! Bento as a whole was a let down, the tactics were a let down. I was so excited after that first goal but, the pace after that... I can understand the slow pace but really what were we doing after that first goal.

I agree with Tom that we were playing around the back trying to suck them in to counter, not a bad idea but I think coach's tactics were wrong and predictable as always. And this is why in my post when the Selecção 23 was made a few weeks ago that I said being thin in the midfield may be a problem. USA obviously flooded the midfield, Klinsmann as well as every other manager in World football knows that we will play a 4-3-3 under Bento. Not only that, but we start with the same team from Euro 2012 besides Pepe and Almeida! Not a problem if you're say Spain from the glory years, but we have quality on the bench better than the initial XI! Thing is, Bento should have known to some degree that the US would look to clog the midfield. So why not counter that with a formation like a 4-2-3-1 at best, or at worst a 4-5-1 yourself and let technical ability be the decider. Just get more mids in there to work the ball up to the forwards and cover. A 4-3-3 can work too, but we would only be able to pull that off with a healthy Ronaldo and Coentrão. And so it was seen. Space for the USA in our final third flanks thanks to no Fabio, and Pereira getting lost up the pitch and out of position. With Ronaldo not defending either, the midfield three just got overrun for the most part. Veloso was good for the cross disaster on the first goal, but not much else. Meireles, love the guy, but younger players need his spot asap. Like agora.

Substitutions were a calamity as well-- Bento just... Damn. He had to know Postiga was an injury risk, so why start him? He is a sub now at best, and probably should have not have been in Brasil if he is questionable. Eder's energy and movement was alright but he had tijolos for feet tonite. His touch let him down but he gets a cookie for taking the ball off of Bradley that led to the second goal (if that was him). The team looked much better with William in at DM as most of us said, but Veloso at LB was still brutal. I was hoping that with Ron pretty much roaming free up top front and centre, that he would just stay back and not venture forward too much to link up with him. But once the US starting putting balls through and behind him he was too tired/ slow to make it up. I'm glad Varela came through in the clutch again but really, we're looking at two, possibly three subs in velhos Postiga and Meireles that should not have been on the pitch esp. in Manaus.

As Tom mentioned, Nani did pretty well for us tonite-- he had his maddening moments, but at least he put us in position to win. Also came close to a second, put Ron in for that breakaway miss, and had a hand in the tying goal. Hats off to Jones on that rocket off of the corner but that has to be cleared better and Nani also had to close him down better. Bento and set pieces, I fn swear. The true problem to me was the midfield though, USA's confidence grew as their possession grew thanks to the 5 in midfield, Dempsey's link up play, and space in the final third flanks. Even still, we should have won easy enough-- when I saw Ron's miss on the breakaway I had a feeling of dread that we'd pay for it. How many times do you see a team this World Cup make other teams rue their lost opportunities.

The odds are not insurmountable, we could say hope Germany goes hard with a 2-0, 3-0 win and we take Ghana by 3 or 2. Remember that Ghana could go for broke and just make the game wide open. But the USA will most likely park the bus for the draw to see it through, and the Ghanaians are an amazing team, better than years past. I love the Selecção dearly and hope they can pull it off, but I'd feel more confident were we more adventurous tactically and with the team selections. I'm not sure if Bento has it in him to change much or motivate the team anymore, and our major players are hurting or out. We also need to be more dynamic, less predictable. How coach does not know this is beyond me…

Outcomes are too difficult to predict especially in this Mundial. I just hope we go out there blazing and playing for the (crushing) win in the last match. Worry about the fallout later. Força Portugal.
Initial reaction / comments
37 Monday, 23 June 2014 03:06
Matthew
A few thoughts after this game:

1) The USA deserved to win this game; the Americans wanted this game and went all out to win it. The entire Portuguese team was beat by 1% - 2% on nearly every ball; the Portuguese were lazy with their passes and slower to every loose ball.

2) I can't see the entire field when watching on TV, but in layman's terms, any time Portugal was on the attack there was a truckload of USA players blocking every path; yet every time the USA was on the attack it was like Alentejo in front of Portugal's goal, there was so much wide open space. All I can assume is that all of the USA players hustled back to defend and then were still quick enough to launch an attack, while the Portuguese offensive players were too lazy and/or tired to defend.

3) Meireles' career with the NT is over. He played horribly -- too slow, lost every chance at getting to a loose ball, slow and lazy passes, beat on defense constantly. I used to like him in midfield but he is a shadow of his former self a weak link for Portugal. He shouldn't even start against Ghana.

4) Eder is not great, but why not start him, the young guy with tons of energy, let him run around and keep up with the Americans for 60 minutes (even if he doesn't score) and then bring on our classic goal-poacher Postiga in the final 30 minutes, after the Americans are tired, and see if Postiga can nick a goal? Instead, Bento starts Postiga, who cramps up at 15 minutes and causes us to waste a substitute in a game like this where every substitution is precious and needs to be saved until the second half? I like the way Postiga plays for the NT, but at his age, his asset is his experience and timing, and he's best used late in the game when the opposition is tired. Dumb, dumb, dumb decision by Bento.

5) I don't care what CR says, he is not fit and may never be the same again. CR let Real Madrid run him into the ground.

6) What about that Rafa fellow? I think I saw a brief flash of him in a friendly and he looked decent . . . seemed to have pace. Why not let some of these young guns run against the Americans? The "skill" and "experience" have failed us because it's 90 degrees with 90% humidity and the old guys simply cannot hack it. I doubt Rafa and the other young players are all that great, but heck, the USA players aren't all that great either, and at least the young guys can run.

My friends, we have come to the end of an era in Portuguese football. I have only been following the team for 14 years, starting with Euro 2000. Since that time, however, we have always had a superstar (or a few of them): Luis Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo the most notable. We might be able to sneak into Euro 2016, maybe even World Cup 2018 (who knows, CR7 might even make a cameo appearance in 2018) but for all intents and purposes, the success we have been treated to for the past 14 years is coming to and end.

We are soon going to enter a period where we'll be walking through the desert for a few tournaments, maybe not even qualifying for them. We can only hope that the NT manages to rebuild itself with another talented crop of young players soon.

I don't usually criticize Bento, and I appreciate what he did to get us to and through Euro 2012, but I don't think he's the man for the rebuilding task that is ahead of us.

Will I be cheering for Portugal to run up a 7-0 win over Ghana and swallowing the bitter pill that is hoping Germany beats my home country the USA? You bet. Do I have any real hope that this will happen? Sadly, I do not.

I would rather see Portugal come out guns blazing against Ghana and go down to a 5-0 defeat than see the lazy, slow, sloppy playing I saw tonight.
Bye bye Bento
36 Monday, 23 June 2014 03:02
Mike/Canada
Bento thought he could get through one more tournament with the old horses and he was wrong. Heck, he even started Postiga today! When it became obvious his strategy wasn't going to work he panicked and what we got was a mess and confusion. Had he integrated some of the younger guys during qualifying and the friendlies, he would have had a Plan B. I remember the good old days when a goal at 5 minutes would have had the opposition shaking, because they knew it meant a ruthless attacking Portugal the rest of he game. Today, we just slipped back and gave the momentum away. Sad to watch. Bento has to go ASAP so we can start prepping for the Euros.
Where did Bento go wrong: My thoughts
35 Monday, 23 June 2014 03:01
lusiads/Canada
Where to being.

I think Bento got the starting 11 right save for perhaps Beto in net.

I'll be the first to admit I was not sold on Almeida starting at left back because I thought he looked nervous in the last game and blundereed on one of Germany's goals, but he played well today so I 'll eat my words there.

The most controversial selection for people on Portugoal was Veloso over Carvalho. I think Bento made the correct call. In the first half Veloso played well. He delivered the cross for the first goal. Being that deep to deliver that cross and actually delivering good crosses is not Carvalho's stay at home game. Also, Veloso forced a great turnover which he used to release Ronaldo down the wing which Ronaldo then used to send in a clinical pass to Nani that ultimately resulted in a great scoring chance for Nani. It's in these regards that Veloso is so valuable and shows Bento to be offensive minded.

Bento's mistake was that he chose to bring in carvalho in the second half and move Veloso over to the left back position. I had suggested this as a possible strategy in an earlier post but only if Veloso had recent playng time at the postion as he use to play it early in his career. However, clearly based on the second half he has not had much experience their of late.

What Bento should have done was keep Almeida at left back and and bring in Carvalho for Nani. This would mean switching to a 4-4-2. (which Portugal experimented with against Greece in their recent friendly) or a 4-1-3-2 with Carvalho as the lone DM. If you look at the second half USA goals, they happen because Veloso does not mark his man properly on the wing which allows crosses to come in for goals. Even the Bradley miss (thank-you Ricardo Costa) was caused because Veloso could not cover his position (Meireles tried valiantly to cover for Veloso but could not). To be fair, it's hard to blame Veloso for not being able to handle a position he is not accustomed to playing so the fault goes to Bento as coaches should put players into positions where they have a good chance to succeed. In Bento's defence one could point out that he has lost five players to injury or suspension so he was somewhat handcuffed. That said, I think the more fundamental weakness of Bento is that he is too wedded to the 4-3-3. Indeed, so much so that he would rather play players out of position (Veloso) than change his formation. I think this is where he needs to change his ways going forward.

If you look at the Ghana-Germany game, Ghana completely changes their formation from the USA Game so that they could take advantage of the Germans slow full backs. Likewise, KIlinsman changed to a 4-5-1 so that he could flood the midfield to counter act Portugal's better quality there.

So for me the pivotal mistake in the game was taking out Almeida and putting Veloso in a position where he could not succeed.

The more fundamental mistake is believing, as Bento has been quoted as saying, that the 4-3-3 is in the Portuguese football culture's DNA.

So for people who think the decision in midfield is a simple either/or proposition (either Carvalho or Veloso/Meireles), maybe we should be thinking about a third option which is to change formation. Sadly I believe at this stage with seemingly one game to go it may be too late for us to change our fundamental formation.
Winning isn't everything
34 Monday, 23 June 2014 02:57
Andrew/ny
Common guys, what a great game!! A lot of back and fourth battling. Let's enjoy the fact that we can still go through! Germany destroying USA by at least 3 goals is definitely doable. Beating Ghana is just as doable. Let's enjoy and support our team. Força Portugal!
Absolutely dreadful performance
33 Monday, 23 June 2014 02:40
jon/usa
First of all, let's give credit to Klinsmann and the USMNT. They may lack individual quality, but they were the better TEAM by some distance.

Portugal on the other hand were abysmal. Their careless response to Nani's extremely fortunate early goal was absolutely unacceptable. They had a chance to go for the jugular and put the game to bed before half time, but instead, they decided to take their foot off the gas, sit back, and cruise to a 1-0 draw.

Portugal also looked completely lost tactically, especially when they were without the ball. The midfield trio in particular were all over the place in terms of their positioning - a far cry from the compact, disciplined side that more than matched Spain in the euros. They were completely disjointed and consistently exploited by their far more organized opponents. It was also clear to see that the US were the much fitter side going into this match, which certainly gave them the advantage in such difficult playing conditions.

Bruno Alves' lack of mobility and tactical discipline were ruthlessly exposed in both games. I've been saying it for months - don't let his aerial dominance fool you. Bruno Alves is a massive defensive liability and he has been for quite some time now.

I didn't think Bento was foolish enough to start Veloso after the horror show he had against Germany, but I guess I was wrong. You have William Carvalho, one of the most highly rated young defensive-midfielders in Europe on your squad and you leave him on the bench!!!

Guys like Bruno, Postiga, and Meireles have been loyal servants to their Seleccao for many years, but they are all well past their prime.

In truth, what this team needs is a competent coach and a complete overhaul of our aging squad. We've got an incredibly exciting crop of young Portuguese talents under the age of 22. Many of these kids may not be ready to make the step up to the first team by the beginning of the euro 2016 qualification process, but there are still quite a few who are more than ready to represent the Seleccao.

We are still mathematically capable of moving on to the round of 16, but we all know it's not going to happen, not with this team...

And to be honest, we don't deserve to be moving on to the knockout round. I know it was always going to be difficult, but with the talent Bento has at his disposal, crashing out of the group stage should be deemed an embarrassing failure. The performances in these first two games have been nothing short of disgraceful.
Bento must go
32 Monday, 23 June 2014 02:27
Rui / Canada
Sick of that stubborn burro's face. As much as I'd love a miracle to get us through on Thursday it would be the worst thing to happen for our national team as it would mean Bento stays on for the next tourney.

Hopefully the Federation comes to their senses and tear up Bento's extension and dump the jackass. However given the incompetence of the FPF I wouldn't be surprised if he stays on. FFS!!!
The Team Played Hard
31 Monday, 23 June 2014 02:25
Tony, CA
I know everyone is disappointed and once we have an opportunity to sit back and observe I think worth considering the following.

1) I can't agree with comments that the effort was pathetic, team lacked heart, or was not enthusiastic. They gave it a good effort in though conditions, remember this team barely qualified and a lot of it was grit by being a proud team.

2) If you insist there were better options, please name them and it is likely a fringe or modest player for another player on the NT. Portugal's like of depth really hurt, that is why they head to rely on older players. The young players are not quite ready and the lack of strong players in the 23-29 year range really hurt. If you find them, please name them and let me know if top European teams are interested in them.

3) The future if there is any relies on the players in the U18-U21 range. We have 5-6 guys that probably have 3-4 years left like Fabio C, CR7, Pepe maybe etc. William along the other young players will need to develop quickly. I like guys like Bruno Alves but time for him to go along with Meireles, Veloso, and Joao P. Striker IMO as always biggest need with no answer. You get the cutting edge and it takes the pressure off the other positions.

Anyway all good and keep the passion coming. Just can't agree that this proud team lacks heart or effort.
Portugal
30 Monday, 23 June 2014 02:24
Gazza/Canada
I am confused by the selections Bento has made. I wonder why his contract was not renewed until after the World Cup to see what the results would be rather than extending his contract prior to the World Cup. Since he is now signed until the end of Euro 2016 I wonder if the players he selects will change and if he makes the obvious changes necessary for the Selecao during qualifying.
RE: Sad Sad f***** day!
29 Monday, 23 June 2014 02:17
Dan DaSilva/ United States
I was crying earlier--first time ever for a sporting event. I got to go to work tomorrow and hear from my loudmouth co-workers how much better the US is than Portugal. So maybe I'll drink a little bit before I go in, just enough to numb my hearing.

This is f'd up... it's going to take a long time to recover from this.

I don't have any friends or know anyone how is not an arrogant yankee prick.
Moutinho - offense
28 Monday, 23 June 2014 02:14
Robert/Marina Del Rey
Hard for me to criticize Moutinho. Did he create for Ronaldo, Nani, etc... no. But Portugal's problem this tournament was they never got strarted offensively.

Germany - The red card comes in 30 minutes. Prior to that Portugal was moving the ball OK.

USA - Portugal score in 5 minutes then stop running b/c the heat/humidity. The basically play at a collective trot with no direction.

I don't blame Moutinho, just like I don't blame Ronaldo who needs someone to give him the ball. Same with Eder, Nani, etc. They had very few chances and little space.
Start doing the post mortem
27 Monday, 23 June 2014 02:10
Mister montreal
I will state the obvious:

1) if eder is our future, we ´ re in trouble up front
He ´ s slow and inefficient

2) we need to Start calling up more younger players le.ss than 24 yrs old

3) bento has to go and we have to Start thinking of euro 2016

4) we need to be more creative and efficient and bury opponents, not sit on a one goal lead. This is not portuguese football. Hense, à lot of work and development lays ahead.

Btw, disappointed With fan support in the stadiums for the national team and ronaldo.
Cheers
CR7
26 Monday, 23 June 2014 02:10
Saddened/USA
Toughest part was to see Ronaldo unable to participate at 100% As a Physical Therapist a tendonosis is a problem. Actual pathological changes to tendon tissue. I cannot remember ever watching him this way. As for the rest of the team except Beto looked dead and no energy. Beto chose some players who were already unfit and/or injured. Left us in thinner shape to begin with. New coach please. Agree that Benfica and Porto need to develop more Portuguese talent.
We are out. Get ready for Euros!
lazy
25 Monday, 23 June 2014 02:05
berto USA
Our team needs a emotional overhaul, the great teams don't let you rest and drives me nuts because our teams are lazy Italy would not lose this game, by the way our head to head against Italy last 10 games? We've lost 10 in a row pathetic. We should learn from other great teams they do not h a very better teams they just just their ass, while our players are lazy.
discrace
24 Monday, 23 June 2014 02:04
uk
In the fewest possible words, go home, done, life is to precious to spend on this crap. Adeus
Bento has to be fired
23 Monday, 23 June 2014 02:00
TONY/CANADA
Bento and his selection is pathetic. Hugo Almeida, Andre Almeida, Eder, Bruno Alves over the hill, Pepe dreadfull, Nani overrated and on the decline. Instead of injecting youthful players he sticks with players that time and time again are not the right players to make Portugal sucessfull. Also for the quaresma lover forget about he would be one the worst selections and he is a complete bust. Bento needs to be replaced.
No guts
22 Monday, 23 June 2014 01:51
USA berto
No guts no class no movement offense or defense same old cap they play with no urgency they should have come out trying to score as many goals as possible the got a lucky break then kicked back sad.
How Paulo Bento become a coach is amazing Grace.
21 Monday, 23 June 2014 01:51
Ciro/ Brasil
Bento is resposible for the team to be what it is now. Eder was injured for months. Bebé was there Bento refuse to call him up. follow the old and tradicional way. we have a natural left back left home, cause Almeida can play left back. Jão perreira chose a wrong position to play foot-ball. is hight and physic prevents him so. Even if Eder was not injured for months I think Varela could have come to play forward not Eder. What was needed is someone who could hold the ball and play one two with Ronaldo and not a taller person. I never mention quaresma name before cause I think it was better Quaresma stay home than to come to Brasil and not play a game. I would have brought Rafa on the field instead of Raul Meireles cause I want to win and not a draw. Bento Is a cluless person. How he become a coach I dont know really. Hecan only coach Portugal
Future Looks Bleak
20 Monday, 23 June 2014 01:44
Joe/ Montreal
if Eder is our future striker we're in trouble.... if not for the fluorescent cleats, he wouldn't be noticed....

i shudder at the thought of the NT without CR7, which may be coming sooner than later.... how much longer is he willing to be a lone man on an island?
Tony CA
19 Monday, 23 June 2014 01:39
Nelson Canada Burlington
Kudos to you for being the voice of reason so soon after our team's elimination.

Today's game was a fair result all things considered. We will beat Ghana nut will fail due to goal differential or a USA / Germany tie... save your resentment for pepe!
Formation and attitude
18 Monday, 23 June 2014 01:33
Paulo/California
Ok, let’s be done with the farce once and for all. Ronaldo is a forward and not a winger. We currently play a 4-3-1-1-1. Ronaldo is just a deep lying forward, who likes to start on the left side and come at pace to attack the other team. I would suggest that we switch to a 4-4-1-1, knowing the two forwards are not going to track back(maybe Eder will). The only difference between this formation and a 4-4-2, is Ronaldo will start deeper and on the side on the attack. Then we would have coverage on the left side, we just let the US own that side, pitiful.

There seems to be something wrong with the attitude of the team, they just don’t have the fire or enthusiasm. I wonder if Ronaldo’s attitude is finally wearing thin. It looks bad everyone has to keep worrying about the left side and run to it. Probably Bento’s tactics, can he recognize Ronaldo is a deep lying forward? I have coached youth soccer for a while and I had a player like that. He was dangerous, but wouldn’t help on defense. But was too good to leave on the bench. So, I made him a deep lying forward, worked great.

Was sad to watch a pathetic effort from such a proud nation. I don’t mind losing(maybe I do) as much as I hate lack of effort and caring. All I want to see against Ghana is that they care. What the heck is wrong with the defense. I would say Pepe and Coentrao being gone, but we looked bad in the first game also. Also, I hate when goalkeepers do not make an effort, what was Beto thinking? If he doesn’t get it, ok, but try.

I could go on and on, but no need. Just a sad performance. Nice finish by Varela and good recognition from Ronaldo at the end, like that they didn’t quit. But how about having that effort from the beginning.
Eder sucks
17 Monday, 23 June 2014 01:30
Peter winnipeg/Canada
Bento really dropped the ball in this game. Needed to start Carvalho instead of mereiles or Veloso. Ronaldo is obviously injured and should have played as striker with Vieirinha and Nani on the wings. Eder is not the future. I saw enough of him in the friendlies and in the world cup to see that he is just another hard worker who couldn't score a goal if his life depended on it. Bento's worst mistake was putting Veloso as a defender in the second half. He had no legs and looked lost.
Lastly Moutinho played horribly in this tourney. Passing was off and had little to no creativity what so ever. Time for benfica and Porto to start investing in portuguese players. The future looks worrisome witth Ronaldo and Nani getting older and probably have one or 2 tourneys tops left in them. Time for a rebuild.
Next USA /Germany Match will be Handshake
16 Monday, 23 June 2014 01:30
Manuel/USA
Agree with Adam . We sat on the slim 1-0 lead and gave up the match.

Watch out for conspiracy between Germany/USA game .
We blew this game just like the one against Germany.

One thing is for sure, we are in the company of friends England , Brothers Spain and may be Italy. Not a bad group to be in after all .
Lets see how far USA/Germany can go ...
thats what bento deserves
15 Monday, 23 June 2014 01:29
dave/canada
This is the result he deserves by leaving quaresma at home. Varalla should of been the sub for postiga and quaresma for meirelles. Not surprised I said it from beginning that we wouldn't win a single match. What a joke
Portugal no breaks - US all breaks
14 Monday, 23 June 2014 01:25
Robert/Marina Del Rey
If this game isn't played in Manaus, Portugal win. Give USA credit b/c they were more prepared to play in Manaus. BUT, Portugal were clearly playing with extremely low energy. This was a SLOW game. They got the goal and they let USA have the ball (please ESPN quit acting like USA having possession was to USA's credit). Portugal won the first 60 minutes. Portugal needed to defend with more energy to create the counter and end the game with a second goal. Ronaldo not 100%. No Contraeo. Portugal's back line a new set up. Alves looked lost.

Goof for USA, but they got dealt a great hand.
My Thoughts
13 Monday, 23 June 2014 01:24
Anthony/USA
- Defense was poor, as usual.

- Nani should have had a better clearance on that first goal. At the very least, he shouldn't have given Jones such an easy look with his right foot.

- William should have been guarding Bradley on that second goal instead of ball watching.

- Not having a true striker (even in the mold of Pauleta or Nuno Gomes) has haunted Portugal for two straight World Cups. The number 9 has pretty much been a liability for this team for a long time now. I say that for next game, Portugal just goes with three wingers and use Ronaldo as the de facto man in the middle.

- Three costly referee decisions (Germany PK, Pepe red card, missed Portugal PK) have contributed massively to this goal differential hole that Portugal is unlikely to crawl out of. If only one of those calls were made correctly, this would be a whole different story.

- I'm worried that Klinsman's connection with Germany might lead to Germany taking it easy on the US and playing for a tie. Sure USA needs to win to be first place, but I don't think they will risk losing the game and being knocked out of the World Cup. I see them playing all defense.
Pack your bags
12 Monday, 23 June 2014 01:22
Mario / Canada
It's over. Germany vs United States will end up in a draw assuring that both teams advance. Even if Germany does decide to go for victory, Portugal's goal difference is still a big issue to overcome. It would be nice, if Germany wins by 2-0 and Portugal wins 3-0 but I doubt that's wishful thinking.

I blame Bento for all this, touring the States instead of going straight to Brazil, holding open practices and being stubborn in playing the old familiar names. In today's game Bento made a grave error in putting Veloso at left back.
It's basically over
11 Monday, 23 June 2014 01:22
Mdot
I can't blame Ronaldo, he's playing injured. However people basing Portugal because Ronaldo has no support know nothing about the options we have. Portugal has a good selection of players that are also very talented and in most cases playing in top leagues.

The reason for this complete sad display has to heavily fall on Bento. The team did not look prepared, he's playing the same tired group of players, and couldn't get the most out of several of our top stars.

The FPF should have never gave Bento an extension and never should have been called up as a manager in the first place. He had a very long spell at Sporting where he failed to win the main title and outside of that he has no other manager experience. It clearly comes out in his inability to build a proper team over 4 years. Not once has Portugal looked truly competitive. Yes they would have the odd great game followed up by total BS. Anyways we're stuck with this loser and can look forward to the likes of Hugo starting in the next Euro.

Here's hoping for something amazing on the last series of games but I'm not holding my breath.
Portugal
10 Monday, 23 June 2014 01:21
A dissapointed fan/USA
I don't care what anyone else says, that was embarrassing on Portugal's part. Bento has to go, and Ronaldo needs to step up. Yes, he got us there with the goals against Sweden, however where is he when we get there. Every great player for every other country has showed up this world cup, except Ronaldo. Suarez with Uruguay, Rooney scored twice for England, Messi twice with Argentina, Bryan Ruiz with Costa Rica, Gervinho, James Rodriguez, Neymar, Manzukic, everyone!. I'm sorry, I am proud to be Portuguese more than anything, but we need Ronaldo in these games. Its the USA, Stoke City is better than they are and Ronaldo was nowehere to be found, wtf!!!!
Second note, what is it going to take for the FPF to get rid of Bento. He was on the team 12 years ago who lost to the USA, how do you not get them motivated to beat them, we needed the win! Bradley wouldn't start Braga, Sporting, Benfica, or Porto and yet we made him look like friggin Franz Beckanbaur. Emabrassing!!!! He needs to go! Veloso and Meireles are horrible, William is years beyond them and he is only 22 years old! We played better with 10 men against Germany, I am sick to my stomach, we made the USA look so good tonight. I am so depressed.
Bento should be fired before Thursday
9 Monday, 23 June 2014 01:19
Tony/Turlock, CA
How can one man bring down a nation? Bento you are truly special. All you have to do is look across the touchline to Jurgen Klinnsman to see what even a half decent coach can do.

With a team way more talented than the USA you get a last second draw that pretty seals our fate. I want to fight you!
Fair Result
8 Monday, 23 June 2014 01:18
Tony, CA
Looking at it objectively this was a fair result. Portugal had some moments, but a injured and limited team played with grit and showed heart, just did not have enough to get the 3 points.

Where do you start, both goals precipitated from Portuguese weaknesses, the left side of the defense and not clearing off a set piece.

Losing Fabio C was critical, exposed the left side through the game, Bento tried to counter but the decision to not bring a natural left back and injuries to other players who could have filled hurt fully exposed Portugal.

It really showed to have very limited scoring options in the front and midfield with CR not 100%. Eder worked hard but his final touch is not there. Meireles worked hard but he is not athletic enough or in form to come up to score when presented with chances. Nani looked dangerous on a few plays but overall his poor passing and thought process hurt us many times. Joao P once again showed he can not cross into the box.

Once you peel it back you start to think where is the goal coming from, it came from Varela from a brilliant CR pass but this is not enough. William showed his class and calm approach, wish he had played earlier. All of this said this team deserved a tie with the US, it could have been worse.

I am sure there will becritics of Bento but the options folks are limited. Time to start looking at rebuilding the midfield, develop a few more options on the wing, and I am not sure where the striker will come from, maybe Eder as this point.

Quite frankly this team is too fragile and lacks enough depth that if one key player (Fabio C) is out the team is weaker, these are harsh realities. Qualification for the next round is not likely at this point. Once the WC is done, some critical decisions need to be made to start bringing in the young guys, CR7 could have another good 2-4 years left in him and if the right cast is put around him this team can contend again.
Bento
7 Monday, 23 June 2014 01:16
Rick Taborda Canada
Has to go. The fact William only came on in the second half sums this guy up in a nut shell. Confident coaching is a must in world football tournaments. Future coach needs to be able to put aside big names for those who are in form willing to play hard for their nation, and the fans that LOVE them so much. Question is, who is a contender as our future national coach???
Postiga was missed
6 Monday, 23 June 2014 01:13
George NJ/USA
Can we now please stop with the "Eder must start" movement????

Have you seen enough?? I have.
We tried to sit on a 1-0, and blew it.
5 Monday, 23 June 2014 01:02
Adam/Canada
Now the German coaches will arrange a tie, and we'll be done.
bunch of loosers
4 Monday, 23 June 2014 01:01
Antonio/ Viseu
I have never been so disgusted in my life. This bunch of losers should just forfeit the next game n not waste the electricity to turn the lights on @ the stadium. Nani n his bitch Bento should loose their Portuguese citizenship for disgrace'n my flag the way they have these 2 weeks. N for any1 who actually thinks we r gonna win by 4 r them loose by 4 u need to get off the crack


Btw , my apologies to Alexi Lalas. Turns out that Jerk-o$# was right bout how much we suck.Gawd I hope they fire Bento , cause if they don't there will b no France "16"
MLS..
3 Monday, 23 June 2014 00:52
Paulo6
Great job Portgal, paper Champion chumps.. World class players against MLS.. Another dreadful performance.. Eder plays like a waramp.. -m to pissed off to do the math, what does Portugal need to go through a Ghana win, and ect ect?..
Great game if you are a neutral fan...
2 Monday, 23 June 2014 00:49
Nelson / canada / Burlington
I felt truly gutted when the USA got the lead, obviously that equalizer gives us a faint glimmer of hope. But more than anything it highlights just how big a cluster f$&k that first game was. Full marks to the USMNT for a good game today, it really could have gone either way.

Unlikely heros in varela and costa today
Cr7 was good not great and that may be the difference.

Need to digest that a bit more but we were flatlining there and have sprung back to life.... For now...
Portugal
1 Monday, 23 June 2014 00:47
Michael/Orlando
Unfortunately, they do not control their own destiny. It's pretty clear in both games CR7 is not fit.

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