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Thursday, 26 June 2014 03:02

Last Chance Saloon

Portugal v. Ghana Match PreviewBentopensive.jpg

The Seleção go into their final group stage as heavy underdogs even though the official FIFA rankings might suggest otherwise. Nathan Motz is once again on hand to set the stage for Portugal's win-big-or-go-home match against Ghana.

I always support the Seleção with a positive attitude, sometimes to a fault apparently. But even I cannot ignore the distinct likelihood that tomorrow will see the end of Portugal's world cup run, and with it the end of the line for many of this generation of Portuguese talent. It may also be Paulo Bento's last match as manager despite rumors to the contrary.


A dire situation

Indeed, Portugal's world cup hopes dangle by a thread. The only real hope of progression is for Germany to beat the USA by several goals combined with a multiple goal victory over Ghana. Currently, Portugal's goal differential is -4 while the USA's is +1. This five goal deficit must be addressed. Furthermore, if the teams finish with equal goal differential, the tiebreaker is total goal's scored. The USA has scored two goals more than Portugal and thus lead in that category as well.

Suffice it to say, the Seleção need something of a miracle, and given their personnel situation, it is not likely to happen. Cristiano Ronaldo has labored through two matches with very little to show for his efforts save for the tremendous cross that he placed on Varela's forehead at the very end of the match against the United States. Service out of the midfield has been extremely poor through the first two matches, with Moutinho in particular looking very much unlike the player that teed up Ronaldo several times against the Swedes in the world cup playoffs. 

Furthermore, Portugal's defense has shown no evidence through its first two matches that it can handle the speed, vigor, and artistry of Ghana's attack. The Black Stars ran the Germans ragged in their second match and will no doubt fancy their own chances of progression given that their goal differential is only -1 at the moment. Pepe's return to the starting eleven will do little to dissuade Ghana, especially since it is Portugal's fullbacks that are most vulnerable. In truth, this tournament came a little too early for Andre Almeida, and perhaps a little too late for Joao Pereira.

The USA has shown that its defense can be exploited, and with Germany only on 4 pts after their draw against Ghana, it is possible that Joachim Low's men will fiercely press the issue with the Americans. Others have suggested that both the USA and Germany will play much more cautiously as a loss would put both teams in at least some danger of elimination. But if there is any team capable of thrashing the Americans, it is Germany, and that has to be some cause for optimism.

Additionally, Portugal will certainly not face a Ghana team that wants to park the bus. There will be space in this game to operate, and Portugal's midfielders will be called upon to do a much better job of controlling the tempo of this match. Out wide, Ghana has talent and speed on the wings. It will be crucial for Portugal's wingers to create problems everytime the Ghanain fullbacks stray too far from the backline.

PortuGOAL prediction

I always like Portugal's chances against an open, adventurous unit, and Ghana are nothing if not that. The first goal is once again crucial. Ghana will probably come raging out of the blocks so if the Seleção can maintain their composure and get their counterattacking game working, we may have a chance to win this match. Fans of the Seleção will likely be treated to an open game with plenty of attacking football, but Portugal have left themselves with just too much to do. I see this game playing out 3-2 to Portugal or perhaps a 2-2 draw, but it won't be enough to resurrect Portugal this time.

Força Seleção.

by Nathan Motz



Comments (44)
USA USA USA
44 Thursday, 26 June 2014 19:33
matt/nj/slb
I can't stop thinking about that incredibly smug jerk who wrote before the tournament started that the USMNT were going to be the "Whipping Boys" of the group.

No, I'm not a bandwagon jumper, before you yokels get all carried away. Just a fella looking for my propers...

Proud to see all the Benfica players (mostly former players, unfortunately...) playing well.

Bring on the preseason!!
If Ronaldo want's to be considered one of the greats he needs to put them team on his back and not call them average."
43 Thursday, 26 June 2014 19:24
Rui/USA
"If Ronaldo want's to be considered one of the greats he needs to put the team on his back and not call them average."

To many guys for one person to carry.
?????????????????
42 Thursday, 26 June 2014 18:59
mister montreal
Today's result confirms what we know.

Eder = conpletely useless and hopeless

Veloso = can't cross a ball for his life

Nani = invisible man

Bento = mule or jackass --- your pick

I am forgetting anyone?

Fans who believed we would advance today = on drugs
The Overhaul Needs To Begin
41 Thursday, 26 June 2014 18:55
Chris/USA
Nice to end on a win and at least CR7 got a goal, but it's time to get down to business.

If Bruma, Carlos Mane, Illori, and Ivan Cavaliero aren't in the squad in the qualifier against Albania in September, then Bento needs to be impeached. (if he hasn't already been fired)

Also, I think we all need to accept that Eder sucks. If he has some great clubs seasons then fine, but his first touch in this game cost as a few very good attacks. Either give Cavaliero and Nelson a fair shot at the spot, or move CR7 to striker since we have Bruma and Mane coming on the wings.

Eder, Postiga, and Hugo Almeida should never start for this team in a competitive match again unless there is a ridiculous amount of injuries forcing them to start. They suck.
weak performance against Ghana
40 Thursday, 26 June 2014 18:49
Harvey / Canada
Yes Ronaldo had some chances and so did Ghana ... in the end we didn't have the horses to do the job, partly because of Bento's selection and injuries. Varela and Nani on wings with Ronaldo would have give us half a chance Eder was useless , he couldn't pass or score or head or hold the ball...Many times Ronaldo was cursing waiting for the ball from him. Dani, Lima as the 3rd striker would been much better. They know how to play football , score and pass. NEW COACH WANTED !
Moutinho worst player on the field again!!!!
39 Thursday, 26 June 2014 18:31
antonio/orlando
finally we saw. carvalho full time n it showed!!
Team Selection
38 Thursday, 26 June 2014 18:25
Carlos/USA
Portugal finished with 4 wingers on the field and two midfielders playing wingbacks. Bento needs to go!
attitude
37 Thursday, 26 June 2014 18:20
dave/usa
Ronaldo looked completely depressed (I know he's injured but the captain can't look like that on the pitch), the teams mood was ugly from the get and they still managed to win...imagine if they actually played liked they would have advanced. Bento must have said something in the locker room that buzzkilled the team's hope. I expect Bento resigns, because this game was ugly (like the US game), we had a chance today, and we weren't relentless. I fear Portugal's talent finally ran out...no players with any flare or future. Bruno, Pepe, Pereira, Veloso, Eder, Almieda, Postiga, Verela are past their prime. And with Porto and Benfica buying south american talent on the cheap and not developing players in Portugal I don't see another world cup tournament in sight. So sad.
Adeus bento
36 Thursday, 26 June 2014 18:19
Tomtom
Eder u are the most useless player I have ever ever seen please god o god lets not let him wear awar jersey everrrrrrr again we should won by the 5 goals it didn't happin bad buzz but bento has to go along with few the players cus they are simply old n useless n all the talk off William he's good yes but he wants to improve on his we're abouts on the pitch before he passes ...Jp had horrible World Cup but he will bounce bk nani hmmmm vererinha impressed me rafa didn't get a look in...bento has to go n we need some one with a brain in charge cus portugal defence we're very shit bring bk Carlos I say
With more luck, we would've gone through...
35 Thursday, 26 June 2014 18:10
Adam/Canada
FINALLY Bento starts the midfield, I've been talking about nonstop on here: William, Moutinho, Amorim! Some days, it seems like every ball goes in the net, and other days, it hits the post, barely misses, or the keeper makes amazing (or lucky) saves. Today, if THOSE chances went in. We'd be through. Exactly as I said before, we should've started with THIS midfield and with THIS desire in our previous games. Even with a soft penalty and harsh red card, we wouldn't have lost 4-0 to Germany, and we would've beaten the U.S.A. I hope to NEVER see Postiga, Almeida, Meireles, Veloso, and Pereira in a Portugal shirt ever again.
Good bye...
34 Thursday, 26 June 2014 18:05
hareesh,kerala/india
The remaining things should be done by the FPF.I think they possess minimum common sense.yes..we want only that.MINIMUM COMMON SENSE.
Half, 1-0
33 Thursday, 26 June 2014 16:57
Anthony/United States
Let's take Eder off ASAP. He tries, but trying is not enough.

Veloso and Perreira are also walking liabilities.

Not too impressed with Amorim either. Missed a precious chance.
should play as a team
32 Thursday, 26 June 2014 15:53
cr7 dubai
problem here with portugal is this time there are very slow and i didnt see any sort of willingness to play just for formality sort of friendly games it seems really shit..i am not able to watch it player with big name tag but zero performance..wake up portugal...at lease i would like to watch real portugal not this fucked up ...team cheers good luck
Glossing over a big issue Nathan
31 Thursday, 26 June 2014 15:05
Chris (Canada)
Many PortuGOALer's were willing to overlook Bento's conservative approach during the Euro's because the team managed to get close to the final. However, many of us expected him to build the team and have an even better World Cup.

What has instead happened is nothing short of shambolic. Bento started the EXACT SAME 11 in game 1 that he used for all of Euro 2012. This is unacceptable. Miguel Veloso, Nani and Hugo Almeida were off form and should not automatically walk onto the team.

Furthermore, he developed no new players. Carvalho burst out of nowhere thanks to Sporting and his own work ethic. Even then, Bento is too thick to utilize this quality player. Eder is still somehow 3rd string to Postiga and Hugo.

I cannot stand the German team, but I respect the hell out of Joachim Low because he is more than just a "selector" of the team. He was directly involved in the development of guys like Mueller, Ozil, Khedira, Neuer, Hummels and others.

He gives his team the confidence and playing time necessary to make serious impacts. The Germans are always favourites despite playing teams with better flair and on the ball technique.

Paulo Bento is the opposite. He is regressive, conservative, uninventive and frankly too unintelligent for the job. If he had any dignity or shame, he would resign at the end of this game. But even that eludes him, so the odds are we are stuck with this dud for another 2 years.

Cheers
qualification
30 Thursday, 26 June 2014 14:44
jesualdo/qatar
let's be positive for once. remember the 5-1 against Cameroon and the 5-1 against Ireland... we just need this same score to go thru. there's no way in hell that Germany will settle for a draw with USA even though all about that 'klinsman ... this and that' nonsense. German fans wont except a draw with USA. they r an embarasment. americans hardly care about football and the germans really wouldnt want them progressing. yes Ghana is tough but they lost to USA and their defence is leaky, so common seleccao.
J.Gomes in Canada
29 Thursday, 26 June 2014 14:42
Virgilio/Madeira
Please dont compare that midget #10 performance to CR7. First of all, Argentina team is alot better than Portugal if you take out the top player from each team. They are stronger and deeper. Secondly, Portugal's competition is alot tougher than what Argentina have faced. I would have loved to see what CR7 would have done against the likes of Iran and Nigeria. And finally, CR7 is playing on 1 leg. As a Portuguese, please dont drink the midget #10 kool aid.
No Chance!
28 Thursday, 26 June 2014 14:33
Alberto/Jersey
Portugal's goal scoring record in recent World Cup competitions is abysmal (bar the North Korea game in 2010).

If we beat Ghana, it will be down to their recent fall-out over bonus payments and player suspensions. There is no chance on earth that Portugal can swing that six goal difference that is required (five goals wont do).

While Germany might beat the USA by a couple of goals, I can't see Portugal putting four (or more) past Ghana without any reply.

I just hope that Portugal can sign-off with a win before they pack their bags.
Please
27 Thursday, 26 June 2014 14:27
Helder / USA (nyc)
USA 0 - 2 Germany
Portugal 3 - 0 Ghana

Please make this a reality so that we get to the second round.
One last chance to make me proud...
26 Thursday, 26 June 2014 14:24
Paul - FL USA
So far the attitude of this team has been horrendous. They must play for their country, their people, and the great ones who've played before them. The selecao is not about them. Not everyone can win. That's life. Play with some heart and passion. Make me proud!

They have everything still to play for. They must keep there heads up high and leave everything on the field. Ghana's team seems to be in shambles after 2 players were sent home. There's still hope... Forca!
Last game
25 Thursday, 26 June 2014 14:21
John
My friends , for me I just don't want portugal to lose this last game . With a win they can fly home with there heads up, going to be a very open match , let's cheer them on wish them the best and we never know until the end , portugal must fight to the the minute. GO FOR THE BIG BANG !!!!!!
Last Chance Saloon= Perfect Title
24 Thursday, 26 June 2014 14:18
MDCViolenes- NY, USA
Great pre game breakdown again! I totally agree. Last chance saloon is the absolute perfect title. I think both teams will have a go at each other and leave it all on the pitch, neither have anything to lose really.

Another thing to consider for those who believe in miracles (such as myself), is that Ghana is in a bit of disarray with Kevin Prince Boateng out now too along with Muntari. After with their FA over their compensation, now these two are out as well for causing trouble in the Ghana camp. Muntari was already out on two yellows, but got himself into something extra and they both have been sacked by their FA. Boateng hasn't had a huge impact in Brasil, but Muntari is a decent player, so let's see what comes of their absence.

It's a tall order, but I think if we can get up 1 or two early, who knows what could happen after that. It's funny here that the US media is turning yellow at the sight of Germany, praying for a draw or that they don't get beat too badly. It's pathetic. But really, I don't see why Germany would risk the possibility of not getting top spot in the group. They're only on four points, so I think they will come and for the W. For Portugal- Ghana, I think Pepe will play with the vigor of two centre backs, but ah hell… Like I keep saying I don't care much about the defence if William does not play. I also am thinking that Ruben A needs to start or get into this game over Meireles or Almeida. If we don't control the ball and let Ghana run us ragged which is possible, we will have no chance. Coach needs to come off the mijão mentality and have the Selecção ready to give a greater effort than the last two matches. Mentality starts with him, and he should be motivating his men, I don't want to hear anything about us being an average team, as honest an assessment as that is by Cris. I'm just hoping above all else that we play like a team that loves its country. Just make themselves, their families, and their paisanos/ fans proud. As Armas! Força Das Quinas.

Looking forward to everyone else's thoughts and comments.

M.
Ghana Turmoil
23 Thursday, 26 June 2014 13:35
Anthony/United States
So Muntari was just kicked off the team along with Prince (who wasn't playing much anyways). This team turmoil definitely increases our chances of winning by a large margin.
Ghana booting Boateng, Muntari,
22 Thursday, 26 June 2014 13:31
Tom/USA
Ghana per the BBC booted Boateng and Muntari off the team. Ghana was also in the news about originally holding up payments to the players, maybe FIFA helped the Ghana FA out and there was that story about match-fixing too. All of this can't be good news for Ghana though sometimes teams play well when faced with adversity. On the other side of the coin, sometimes teams are left in total chaos by events, the latter is what Portugal would need to hope for but in the end, all Portugal can really do is go out and play their best game.
Time for CR7 to step up
21 Thursday, 26 June 2014 13:16
J. Gomes, Murillo/Canada
While I try to be optimistic, I have to say the do-or-die match with Ghana leaves me apprehensive. Like the USA game, Portugal must show its class and dispatch what is on paper inferior opposition. We know what happened vs. the Americans, but I am doggedly hoping they'll get their act together vs. the Black Stars.
And it starts with CR7. He's our talisman; he's our once-in-a-generation superstar. If he's going to cement his reputation as a big-time player, this is it. He did it vs. Sweden in the 2-game playoff last November, and he needs to do it again today. Otherwise, it's clear he's just a very good player who plays really well with a team loaded with very good players (ie, Real Madrid).
He needs to do what Maradona did in Mexico '86. He took an ordinary Argentina lineup and carried the team on his shoulders to the World Cup title.
That's my hope: that CR7 elevates his game to the Maradona level.
What nags at me is that so far CR7 has been subdued compared to other stars, especially that #10 for Argentina. Messi scored in the first game, got the winner in the second and in a nothing game vs. Nigeria scored twice in the first half. That's pretty impressive, I must admit.
Ronaldo? An exquisite right-wing cross for a Varela goal in the 93rd minute vs. USA is hardly going to gloss his resume.
What also nags at me is the lack of firepower from the Selecção das Quinas at recent World Cups.
Take a look at our goal-scoring record recently:
Germany 2006:
Quarter-final vs. England, 0-0 (advanced 3-1on penalty kicks)
Semifinal vs. France, lost 1-0
Third-place vs. Germany, lost 3-1

South Africa 2010:
Game 1 vs. Ivory Coast, 0-0
Game 2 vs. North Korea, 7-0 win
Game 3 vs. Brazil, 0-0
Round of 16 vs. Spain, lost 1-0

Brazil 2014:
Game 1 vs. Germany, lost 4-0
Game 2 vs USA, 2-2

So, in the last 9 World Cup matches, Portugal has failed to score in 6 of them.
Those performances came with a backbone of Figo and Deco in the lineup (2006) and Deco and a mature CR7 (2010).
All in all, the omens don't look promising for a rout of Ghana. Still, I'm going to keep faith. . .as misplaced as it might be.
Forca Portugal!
The universe
20 Thursday, 26 June 2014 13:09
Antonio / Oakvile
Well it's starting to pay back the team. Everything went wrong vs Germany, everything will go right against Ghana. Step 1 Ghana is imploding two of their best players just got sent home hours before kick off..... It's now up to Portugal to take advantage 3 or 4 goals is difficult but portugal can do it. We just can't control the result in the other game.

Forca
WIN
19 Thursday, 26 June 2014 12:44
NJ/USA/SLB
At this point I would take a win. Our performance at this World Cup has been pathetic. The qualifiers and run up to the tourney were lackluster with no real promise or solutions on the horizon.
Hopefully pride will come into play and we're able to put a decent match together. I don't expect many changes in tactics and formation with player changes coming due to injuries instead of current form.

I believe that Ghana sent home Prince and Muntari for disciplinary reasons. Hopefully that distabilizes the squad further instead of galvanizing it. If we can net an early first goal, it may demoralize them further and lead to a route.

For those complaining about the ESPN coverage being to pro US, what did you expect. It's US coverage of the World Cup. In Portugal, isn't the coverage pro Portugal? It feels worse due too being in the same group, but overall the coverage has been very good. Lexi is always out there with his comments, but he's right some of the time. By the way, most American fans hate him. Martinez has been great, and Ballack is actually very good. Very dry but on the money and straight forward with his comments. The Last Call segment has been a nice feature.

Unfortunately a lot of hoping along with ifs for this match. Let's put on a good showing and get the win.

Eu So Portugues
Eu So Campeao
My wishes...
18 Thursday, 26 June 2014 12:43
hareesh,kerala/india
All the best Portugal team...May God stay with you this day...I pray...
Miracles
17 Thursday, 26 June 2014 12:38
Mike/Canada
Germany will win and its on them to make the difference.

If Ronaldo want's to be considered one of the greats he needs to put them team on his back and not call them average.
I believe
16 Thursday, 26 June 2014 12:21
Kevin USA
Hoping the fact that Muntari and Boateng not in the game makes a huge difference today. We need a 3 or 4 zip win to realistically have a chance on our end. Hopefully germany gives the help needed. Been a very depressing world cup so far
Its going to be a little better then that
15 Thursday, 26 June 2014 12:08
Mike/Canada
I believe the Germans will win 2-0 maybe 3-1.

We'll see if we can make up the difference.
Average is a compliment
14 Thursday, 26 June 2014 11:34
Marco / UK
Overall, this is a very average team, with a below average manager (who rather ridiculously refuses to resign).

A win would be very lucky. Ghana certainly look far more cohesive than Portugal do.

This WC has been a calamity and has really shown a lack of quality on the pitch, and on the bench.

Once CR retires in a few years, unless some real world-class players start to come up through the ranks, Portugal will be in the footballing doldrums for many years to come.
Miracle
13 Thursday, 26 June 2014 11:19
Mdot
I've still got my flags out and will once again be watching the game and supporting the team. Lets hope for a miracle but I'm not holding my breath. Alright Portugal, prove everyone, including myself wrong.
Unfortunately - I can't see it happening
12 Thursday, 26 June 2014 11:06
John/ Australia
Nathan,

Yep you pretty much said it all unfortunately nothing short of a miracle that will see portugal get through . I hope we win and that Ronaldo gets a couple to finish with some sort of reward.

Now FPF needs to get a new coach force some obvious retirements and bring some new talent so we can seriously challenge again.
I Believe
11 Thursday, 26 June 2014 10:05
Vedant/India
The team and the players have let me down vehemently so far and I feel something akin to disgust when I think about how the team has been run over in the past two games. However, I will be at my loudest, most vocal self when the game starts.

Portugal will win by at least a two goal margin.
Of that much I am sure. Ronaldo WILL step up... he knows this well might be his last World Cup game. I am just worried about the outcome of the Germany-USA game. Let's just hope that the teams that progress through to the round of 16 will do so on merit and fairplay.
Last chance
10 Thursday, 26 June 2014 09:00
@joeldoporto
My previous post for feedback....

The squad has been selected, the points have been dropped and 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...
keep the faith
9 Thursday, 26 June 2014 08:34
jesualdo/qatar
let's do this. ronaldo will come out all guns blazing today with our backs against the wall. nani c'mon. William the lion. let's show them who we are..
Selecao Future..
8 Thursday, 26 June 2014 06:33
bd/canada/SLB
Bento must go after this disastrous World Cup.
Cristiano will have one more WC, if we make it next, and who will carry us after that? Who?
As long as Bento is in charge, I can expect to see players like Helder Postiga, Hugo Almeida, Joao Pereira, Bruno Alves, Nani, Meireles, Veloso, etc.. leading the roles toward France 2016. Which is not a good thing.
Our side is washed up. The oldest we have had in a LONG time. We need to give younger players a go, and even experiment without Ronaldo a bit in the future.. as we have world-class wingers in: Bruma, Mane, Rafa, and so on, looking extremely promising.

We need a complete overhaul in our striker area.
We need a huge overhaul in our defensive area... Pepe and Alves are aging,(and Pepe is looking shaky...)
We need a change in the wing. (Nani must go... sorry).
We need a change. Out with the old, in with the new.

Some teams rebuild and it takes time to get going.. so keep players like Ronaldo (of course), Moutinho, Coentrao, and so on, but get rid of the old like Meireles, Alves, Almeida, Postiga, etc... We NEED a change, or this squad will NOT make the next major tournament.

We have a large problem with the RB spot. Bento will not give Cedric a chance.

CB's is tough. We need Paulo Oliveira and Miguel Rodrigues to get some time together as partners.

We MUST give our exciting young wingers a chance.

Andre Gomes is a solid classy CM that can be used with Moutinho and William.

Gks... Anthony Lopes, only young bright keeper in my opinion... Patricio was my choice, no longer.

Just my 4 cents.
Good analysis
7 Thursday, 26 June 2014 06:25
Roberto/canada
I can't argue with anything in this article but I hope it's wrong. I'm hoping either Ronaldo will have a game like he did against Sweden or the whole team will step up in a game similar to the friendly against Ireland. I prefer the latter but both seem improbable. I wish bento and the seleçao the best of luck in doing what needs to be done in order to profess. They will have my full support as usual.
Looking for a positive send-off
6 Thursday, 26 June 2014 06:10
SupremoGino
As Ricardo Costa stated: "Esta não é a verdadeira Selecção Nacional"

Of course it isn't the one we adore and grew up with.. Portugal had a horrendous start and too bad they couldn't pull through it.

It's sad because we have a great fan base and this team has brought us so much joy, happiness, and a lot of great memories through-out the years.

If there's one thing I could ask for no matter who's on the field is just play with heart, embrace the moment and show love for the jersey.

Last match.. the team looked tired, lazy, and gave half-assed efforts. That's not Portugal, never was. It's a privilege to represent. Players like Figo and Nuno Gomes knew that and would die for the shirt.

I appreciate veterans like Postiga (being around 10+ years) and others who've had their moments, having generated smiles at previous tournaments.

Only the coach is to blame for taking these guys to Brazil when they are clearly past it but they're still ours so we can only support and wish for the best.

This shall be a "farewell" match for many.. make it a memorable one.
Harsh Realities But We Can Smile
5 Thursday, 26 June 2014 05:57
Tony, CA (the original Tony in CA, not Tony in Turlock, CA)
The harsh realities of the two games are in front of the NT as they face a physical and energetic team.

Bloomberg Business Radio predicts the US has a 73% to advance, which translates to where I see things, it equates to a 10% for Portugal to advance.

I feel very sorry for the great fans which support this team The performance is the federation's, players' and coaches problem to deal with and live with as professionals. We will go back to our happy and wonderful lives, wait for another 2 years for Euro 2016 and hope for a refreshed team.

I have stated this is the worse Portugal team in 20 years, I was very surprised by the 2012 Euro finish and it gave hope for 2014. It reality, when you analyze the team most of the players had peaked in 2012 and were in decline. The midfield has declined at least 25% without William in the line up. The backline is fragile, there are holes for a fast team to run through between the backline and midfield.

Ghana will come out attacking, we are not capable of matching their speed and physical play, we will need tight ball control which has been missing from this team and some Ghana mistakes to win this game, it will be difficult to get the goal difference we need given the defense is out of sorts but we still have a 10% chance and why we play the game.

In the end, I can count on a proud team playing hard with heart which I do not question. Their is commitment, it is the talent level and form of the players that matter at this point and the real issue. We do not have enough old players or usable young players in form to compete to win WC that is the issue. I do expect a good effort and the players will have to live with this World Cup on their resume.

Enjoy the game and we'll all come back with smiles no matter the outcome. Cheers!
keep the faith
4 Thursday, 26 June 2014 05:56
jesualdo/qatar
let's do this. ronaldo will come out all guns blazing today with our backs against the wall. nani c'mon. William the lion. let's show them who we are..
We already had our miracle
3 Thursday, 26 June 2014 04:54
Adam/Canada
We should've lost against U.S.A. That last second goal was our miracle.

Unless Bento has packed Antunes in his suitcase, starts William Carvalho, and the rest of our players play a PERFECT game. We have no chance. Even then, we would still rely on the Germany result.

I think Amorim, who has never played leftback before, is actually are only hope, as he's always been tactically solid.

I do think this will be our best performance, but either way, Portugal is in need of a new manager to revolutionize the team.
Portugal Ghana
2 Thursday, 26 June 2014 04:52
Joao/UK
It's not getting knocked out that is the issue, it is that we are the only country that has allowed the ego of one man to ruin our chances.

Picking people like Hugo Almeida and Postega and not talent like William Cavalho drives us all crazy because it is senseless. Perhaps we are wrong and it is not just stubbornness but other motivation is at play.

Whatever happens, we must move on. David Moyes please.
I believe in the tooth fairy
1 Thursday, 26 June 2014 04:34
Paulo/Canada
Germany will thunder America Portugal will thunder Ghana then they will go on to win the worldcup and I will end up marrying a model and winning the lottery

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