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Thursday, 26 June 2014 19:28

Portugal exit World Cup despite 2-1 win

Positive result insufficient to qualify

Ronaldo.jpgAs Ghana seemed to fall into disarray during the past few days, the hopes of a Portuguese miracle started growing. Germany ended up doing their part, but the slender margin of Portugal's 2-1 win means the Selecção are now headed home.


Portugal and Ghana took to the pitch with one ear on the group's other match, as both sides' fortunes hung on the Germany vs USA match result. The injuries eventually forced Paulo Bento to make some reasonable choices, playing William Carvalho in what should have always been his position, Miguel Veloso as a makeshift left-back and Ruben Amorim in the spot that used to belong to Raúl Meireles. Given there were no other strikers available, Éder had no difficulty claiming his place as a starter.

Marked improvements

After numerous matches where the left side was exposed, coach Paulo Bento finally tried to make use of a solution to stem the bleeding. Rather than sticking with a pure 4x3x3, the side were organised in hybrid fashion, with Ronaldo allowed to roam almost at will, but usually starting on the left. Ruben Amorim, playing left of centre when Portugal had the ball, slotted into a left-wing position when Portugal were on the defensive phase, effectively turning it into a 4x4x2 without the ball. Still, Ghana tried to make the most of their opponents' famous weak side and targeted Miguel Veloso's side repeatedly during the initial 30 minutes.

The Black Stars, in turn, appeared much less willing to press from the front - as they successfully had done against Germany - and chose to sit back (probably waiting for Portugal to open up at the back). The combination of Portugal's increased levels of proactivity and the Ghanains' passiveness in midfield gave Portugal the initiative and the control of the match. In fact, Portugal could have grabbed a more promising scoreline during the first half-hour. 
 
Ronaldo, as usually is the case, was the main man here throughout that period and created or was at the end of numerous opportunities, hitting the woodwork on 5 minutes, shooting on goal from one of his trademark free kicks on 11 minutes, forcing an incredible save from Ghanaian goalkeeper Fatau Dauda on 18 minutes and trying to make his mark once again on 31 minutes. 

Portugal, more compact than in any of the other two matches, were reacting fast when they gave the ball away, which allowed it to be won back quickly. The only time the threatening Asamoah Gyan troubled Beto was on the 19th minute, when the Portuguese goalkeeper was caught halfway out but still managed to save Gyan's shot. 

The Selecção eventually scored but not from Ronaldo - or any of his team-mates for that matter. João Moutinho won the ball back near Ghana's penalty box - one of many times this occurred - and fed it to Veloso down the left. The adapted left-back whipped a cross into the box, but only centre-back John Boye's deflection was able to put it past Dauda. The outcome looked promising.
 

The beginning of the end

The second half was not kind to Portugal. With some players seemingly tiring out (an issue that must surely be addressed in the tournament's aftermath), including captain Cristiano Ronaldo, the side looked more and more spread out on the pitch, which gave Ghana the space and time on the ball they had never enjoyed during the opening period.  Suddenly, there was space between the Portuguese lines.

One of those times, the ball managed to reach Juventus left-back Kwadwo Asamoah, who sent a cross towards the Portuguese box. Miguel Veloso was once again caught out of position, displaying his well-known difficulties with positioning and reading the match (a situation that would happen time and again, particularly in crosses). A few minutes earlier, Germany had scored against the United States and were delivering the result Portugal - or Ghana - needed.

The majority of the second half of the contest eventually boiled down to broken play from both teams, with several substitutions breaking an already slow rhythm. João Pereira and Éder made way for Varela and Vieirinha as Paulo Bento tried to shake things up (for a coach so unwilling to make unforced changes, the amount of rejigging Bento did here should be noted). With little presence in midfield, there were several opportunities on both ends as neither side were able to take control of the match.

Ronaldo finally found a way to score a goal at the World Cup on the 80th minute when Dauda inexscusably flapped a deflected cross into the front of the 6-yard box, with the Real Madrid star burying the ball inside the net. In fact, the same Ronaldo came close to scoring twice at the match's dying moments, but to no avail.

Faced with imminent elimination, Portugal head for Portugal on a (sort of) high note, given the bleaks prospects arising from the United States match. Qualifying from this group still looks like minimum requirements, but a winless campaign would certainly have been much harder to stomach. For more details on what to make of this World Cup, stay tuned for Tom Kundert's recap.

Portugal
Beto (Eduardo 89'), João Pereira (Varela, 61'), Pepe, Bruno Alves, Miguel Veloso; William Carvalho, Ruben Amorim, João Moutinho; Nani, Cristiano Ronaldo, Éder (Vieirinha, 69')

Ghana:
Dauda, Afful, Boye, Mensah, Asamoah; Atsu, Rabiu (Acquah, 76'), Badu, A. Ayew (Wakaso, 81'); Waris (J. Ayew, 71'), Byan


 
Comments (103)
To : Nelson
103 Tuesday, 22 July 2014 23:26
Mental
"The selecao was ranked 8th when Bento took over in the Fall of 2010."

Well Nelson, the Seleção is now ranked 11th, so it went down after Bento, therefore I rest my case. By the way I do not put much emphasis on the Fifa rankings neither but it is a gage none-the-less. A better gage is that Portugal should have made it out of the group stage as per general expectations including those who make a living at it.

No way a 7th or 8th position team should fail to make past a ~32 position at WC.
Portugal failed and the onus is on the one who makes all the decisions. If Bento was prevented from making those decisions then he should have quit, that's what a true leader does. That's why Helen Costa quit and I agree with her.

That's what I did when I ran businesses. My contract was typically > give me full control + low salary + time to change things = then I want 10% of net earnings if I succeed or if I fail them I will volunteer to resign.

Trust me, Bento is not a leader and our Seleção will not succeed without external influence.
A correction...
102 Thursday, 03 July 2014 16:38
Nelson / Canada / Burlington
The selecao was ranked 8th when Bento took over in the Fall of 2010.
Mental
101 Thursday, 03 July 2014 16:12
Nelson / Canada / Burlington
Mental says....
"My blood boils when someone comes here to praise Bento.
If we were a 30th ranked team, then yes he would deserve credit for the same results. PORTUGAL WAS RANKED 4TH, so his results are uma vergonha. And yes HIS results!"

Did you ever consider that the team was ranked 7th when he took over and has improved since? I think he definitely must share the blame but your argument I quoted there lacks some logic, no?
Funny Stuff
100 Tuesday, 01 July 2014 13:49
Nelson Oliveira
Jaime wrote: "When they played the game against Ireland, when CR7 was out, the Portuguese team played fluently."

That's your example??!! Did you even watch that game? CR7 played most of that "fluent" game. And after he left the result was not in doubt and Ireland was demoralized.

In your mind, if we did not have Ronaldo, Eder would morph into Eusebio and Nani into Coluna AHAHAHAH

Stop talking
MDC
99 Monday, 30 June 2014 02:34
lusiads/canada
Of course picking the 23 is not the whole story but a lot of the criticism fired at Bento is about the players he selected. Most people who say this are vague and say why didn't he bring more youth why did he use injured or tired players, why did he bring such bad strikers, etc, etc... But for the most part people don't mention any names they would have used to replace them or if they do they mention 1 or 2. All I asked was for people to name their 23 with starters. I think many of us would discover that we would actually have started most of the players Bento chose or that their are many question marks about the players people would have put on the team.

Also I agree with you that formations are important as well I criticized Bento in an earlier post for not being more flexible with his formation both in the tournament and the build up to it. I was actually encouraged (and posted about it) when he used a 4-4-2 against Greece in the pre-world cup friendly as it suggested some flexibility.

Also, for the most while some have labeled me some big supporter of Bento, I actually am not. It would not really bother me if thery got a new coach as long as I thought they were competent. I just think that a lot of the criticism against Bento is knee jerk reaction stuff, unfair at times (justified at others) or without a lot of thought. This is why I ask people to suggest their 23 man rosters as it opens the critics of Bento to the same criticism and exposes the lack of sure fire and ready talent in Portugal. For instance people critizie BEnto for the strikers he chose. While I agree they all were pretty poor, few people suggest the alternatives. When they do I hear names like Bebe. That is so sad. Bebe scored 11 goals in all competitions for pacos de ferreiera one of the worst teams in the first division. He scored goals against sub par talent of most teams in Portugal. I highly doubt he would have been a better choice. Nelson Oliveria had a chance and sucked and has done nothing of note for his club team. Ivan caverleiro does not play enough and is too young.
Fire Bento
98 Monday, 30 June 2014 02:20
Insane/USA
I cannot agree more with my comrade MENTAL on this one
Fire the Coach. He chose the players, he chose his staff including fitness. What a joke. See you in four years.
Seleção Crasher
97 Sunday, 29 June 2014 16:26
Mental
My blood boils when someone comes here to praise Bento.
If we were a 30th ranked team, then yes he would deserve credit for the same results. PORTUGAL WAS RANKED 4TH, so his results are uma vergonha. And yes HIS results!

Bento was the Seleção driver, and that driver crashed big time. He was the decision maker who chose to take injured, unfit and old players and then claim they were ready for the competition. He kept young players on the bench when they were needed the most.

Instead of firing him for crashing our Seleção, he got promoted with a two year extension (The Peter Principle at its max). An extension that was pre-decided before he had to prove his worth. Where else nowadays does one see this type of incompetence?

The man lacks vision and his "success" was due to a rare player in the team, and this player was now injured.

For me, the worst thing is his refusal to step down for failing to accomplish WORLDWIDE expected results. This is not indicative of a true leader - because true leaders accept full responsibility for their screw-ups, that is how they learn and then excel themselves.

I love and will continue to support my Seleção but no way will I support managerial incompetence. Having said that I will adjust and lower my expectations accordingly, definitely not for the 4th or even 20th ranking position.

Maybe we will qualify for the Euro16, but then again with the current driver, I will not hold my breath.
However, I would congratulate Bento if he qualified a bottom ranked team for the Euro16. It is all about expectations you see -after all a #30 does not belong as a #4. or vice-versa.

Request: please do an analysis report on how the lack of a cap on foreign players in the Liga impacts on the future of the Seleção.
Defending What Can't Be Defended
96 Sunday, 29 June 2014 15:50
MDCViolenes- NY, USA
Bento has had his moments with the Selecção, but he is not a great manager. For a coach who plays the same XI over and over in the same formation-- I give more credit to the players for executing and getting the wins needed to qualify or move on in tournaments. There is no genius or chess involved with Bento's management of the team. Look at the way Louis Van Gaal at this World Cup, or Del Bosque in 2012 handled Spain at the Euro's. They know/knew what their strengths and weaknesses were tactically in each game, and they changed they're tactics and lineups accordingly. Sure you can argue that Bento just believes in his XI, but why bring 23 if you if you only intend to seriously consider 11? Knowing this as a bench player wouldn't make me happy about playing for Bento. He has no tactical nous outside of the 4-3-3 that he has been playing for four years save the 4-4-2 that makes cameos in friendlies only.

Not only that, but the mentality and intensity of the players is not where it needs to be, and after this World Cup, perhaps technically as well. Bento has to understand that and either change the tactics or work on the players game to help them along. Case in point: Nani holding up the ball every time he gets it on the wing looking to beat a man rather than pass it. When Sir Alex was coaching United, he'd be on the touchline lambasting him for the skill/ trick stuff and not keeping the ball moving along. Why Bento lets him hold the ball up so much is beyond me. But coaches are at fault too for a team playing too slow, too defensively, or looking like they are not motivated. Bento is culpable.

Some comments here ask 'who would you rather' in regards to a 23 man selection, but that's partially missing the point. I don't see a coach's job being as cut and dry as just selecting 23 players. I would hope that he's in touch how his youth are doing domestically, as well as some of his senior players abroad. As manager of a the senior national team, he should have a voice in how Portuguese talent is being fostered and developed. He should know all this, build the team accordingly, and if the 4-3-3 doesn't look ideal with the talent at his disposal-- change the formation. It doesn't matter if the 4-3-3 is 'Portuguese' or not. Total Football in the Netherlands and Tiki Taka in Spain were about more than simply numbers in a formation. Create new tactics and a formation that let you play fast and attacking, but still organized defensively-- a new Portuguese style of football.

I'm not saying that I can do a better job than Bento, I am by no means a manager myself. None of us are on that level so it's an easy riposte to challenge someone's coaching credentials, but that really doesn't matter does it? It's just that when I look at his body of work with the talent/ potential talent at his disposal, I feel like Portugal could do so much better. Perhaps if we didn't struggle so much with qualifying and constantly being put in groups of deaths, we'd have more confidence which could have turned into a title in 2012 or 2014 (bar injuries/ suspensions). I know it's the Portuguese way to play well when we're up against it, but having the confidence of a team that knows it can roll over just about anyone would help. Or that if someone goes down the next man up could step up for him. Perhaps a new manager is needed to shake up the mentality of the Federation and the level of intensity of the players.
@ Hareesh, Monah and other posters from across the globe
95 Sunday, 29 June 2014 15:42
Chris (Canada)
I just wanted to thank all fellow fans/posters from other parts of the world for their continued support. I think it's really commendable of you guys to continue supporting our common Seleccao through the good and the bad from your own special corners of the world.

I am proud and happy that there are so many Portugal and PortuGOAL fans all around the world. It's too bad we couldn't be celebrating a trophy this year, but there will be other opportunities.

Also, while I have long been a critic of Paulo Bento, I am grateful for his work in the last Euros. But in fairness even to him, he should move on. Team performance aside, all pictures of Bento nowadays show a sullen, worried and unhappy man. The pressure and stress have clearly gotten to him, and I think it's time for new blood in the coach's chair and on the field.

Cheers.
mister montreal
94 Sunday, 29 June 2014 14:30
lusiads/canada
Since you have the monopoly on intelligence please list your 23 man roster and the starters that you would have selected going into the World cup.

I find it interesting that your critique of the people defending Bento for unfair criticism does not actually counter any of the arguments that were raised to defend him.
Get a Reality Check
93 Sunday, 29 June 2014 13:06
TONY/CANADA
First and foremost Paulo Bento has to be replaced he really lacks in vision for the present and the future. If he actually believed that the players he selected had the best opportunity to represent Portugal in the world cup than I know he is completely out of touch. We have some wonderful young talent that has completely been overlooked and frankly abused from daneil carrico, andre santos, diogo armando, rui caetano, cedric soares, andre santos and vitorino antunes just to mention a few. All the quaresma loves get a realtiy check when the guy was call up he was a complete bust and his whole career has been the same way. We need to change our culture and start believing more in our younger talent and get a coach in there that also has the same vision. We must play attacking football and not sit on leads. Also we should stick with homegrown portugese players.
ciro
92 Sunday, 29 June 2014 12:15
lusiads/canada
I think he meant that because of the suspensions and injuries the conditions were created that made the next two games more complicated. Sure we were likely to lose to the germans but not by such a large margin. Because we had to make up such a large goal differential and because of injuries we could not just play for a win against but had to play for a big win. Also with Coentrao out and then Almeida inured in the first half against the USA we were put in a tough position to hold our lead as the USA was able to take advantage of our depleted and weak wing backs.
Bento will continue to be the coach
91 Sunday, 29 June 2014 10:14
lusiads/Canada
Bento will and should continue to be the coach. He revamped and re-energized the National team 3 1/2 years ago, brought out the best in Ronaldo, brought us to the bringk of the 2012 final and qualified for the 2014 World Cup. IF you judge Bento over the four years he's been pretty successful. Maybe not compared to Scolari's run but successful none the less.

He will no doubt revamp the team again. At the end of 2010 he re-introduced young blood like Moutinho and got rid of a lot of dead weight through retirement or otherwise like Paulo Ferreira, mendes, liedson, simao Miguel Duda, Carvalho, etc...

The reason he didn't do a major over hall for 2014 is because to many of the young players were not ready yet or had not shown enough to be integrated into the squad. Even Antunes only had his first full-time decent season this past year. Bento made I think the right decision to role the dice with veterans as the youth just was not good enough. By 2016 these currently young (23 and under) group will have entered and will be entering their prime years. These players coupled with a group of still quality and young enough veterens (Ronaldo, Moutinho, Coentrao, etc...) should mean we will have the right mix of experienced youth and veterans not unlike the 2004 and 2006 teams.

As in all tournaments we will need a lot to come together and some luck to take us to a final and hopefully a championship.
Good bye...see you again..
90 Sunday, 29 June 2014 08:51
hareesh,kerala/india
First of all please throw away that bad world cup jersey and dont continue playing wearing that dress...I remember that Euro 2000 jersey...that blend of red,green and yellow.Please make something like that...Ok my dear Portuguese friends...Good bye for some days...Wish you and Portugal team all the best...Thanks Portugoal.net...
Paulo Bento Is lying
89 Sunday, 29 June 2014 02:58
Ciro/ Brasil
Bento said we were conditioned by the first macth against germany, that was a pure lie. The ref was fair in given the penalty and also showing a red card to Pepe which he deserved.

We were not conditioned at tall cause we knew from the begining that we are likely to loose that game with Germany. The statistics of our encounter with germans in the past tourney could not lie. P. Bento could have prevented portugal of taking more goalsb and he did not.

We had a hope that even loosing to germans we can manage to win the two last game.
We lost the world cup against USA. We were poor. we scored a goal and went back wanting to win the game by 1 - 0., something unreasonable.

We were very poor, USA deserved morethan us. We were fortunate to score in the last minute.
dumb comments
88 Sunday, 29 June 2014 02:09
jose/can
Please stop with Jose mourniho should be the next coach of Portugal. Jose makes $20 millian a year coaching Chelsea he is not leaving that job to coach Portugal to make 2 or 3mil. Do your home work before you say dumb things. Also Jose has said that he would only be interested in coaching Portugal when he is 65 years old. He love the day to day of coaching, he does not want to wait 2 years for a major tournament. Shut up with Jose M! Thank you
Portugal XI Therapy
87 Sunday, 29 June 2014 01:38
Adam/Canada
It's therapeutic to make your own Portugal XI. If these players are not injured:

1)
Ronaldo ??? Varela
William Moutinho Danny
Coentrao Pepe Alves Silvio
Rui Patricio
2)
Quaresma Ronaldo Varela
William Moutinho Amorim
Coentrao Pepe Alves Silvio
Rui Patricio


-Striker???: Competition between Eder, Nelson Oliveira & Bebe. Whoever plays best with Ronaldo.
Bento will continue to be the coach
86 Sunday, 29 June 2014 01:14
lusiads/Canada
Bento will and should continue to be the coach. He revamped and re-energized the National team 3 1/2 years ago, brought out the best in Ronaldo, brought us to the bringk of the 2012 final and qualified for the 2014 World Cup. IF you judge Bento over the four years he's been pretty successful. Maybe not compared to Scolari's run but successful none the less.

He will no doubt revamp the team again. At the end of 2010 he re-introduced young blood like Moutinho and got rid of a lot of dead weight through retirement or otherwise like Paulo Ferreira, mendes, liedson, simao Miguel Duda, Carvalho, etc...

The reason he didn't do a major over hall for 2014 is because to many of the young players were not ready yet or had not shown enough to be integrated into the squad. Even Antunes only had his first full-time decent season this past year. Bento made I think the right decision to role the dice with veterans as the youth just was not good enough. By 2016 these currently young (23 and under) group will have entered and will be entering their prime years. These players coupled with a group of still quality and young enough veterens (Ronaldo, Moutinho, Coentrao, etc...) should mean we will have the right mix of experienced youth and veterans not unlike the 2004 and 2006 teams.

As in all tournaments we will need a lot to come together and some luck to take us to a final and hopefully a championship.
SET the record straight
85 Saturday, 28 June 2014 23:18
Mister montreal Canada
As i read the comments from people going to bat for bento, i realized something.
A moment of epiphany! In this world we have REAL leaders
And then those who try. Those who defend bento Know in which catégory they belong. Incompetents defend incompetents. If bento had only one hand on the steering wheel, well, he should have never accepted. it comes With the job.
Look at mourinho, it's his way or the highway. He went back to chelsea because he has carte blanche. Klinsmann left out donavon. That proves something which bento Does not have. If it's not bento's fault then we are being coached by a puppet. I'll take a break from writing. Some of these comments are out right insulting to our intelligence. Slowly but surely, interest in the NT is dwindling. I for one, am beginning to follow and focus my interest at the individual club level where results come
before all of this bullshit and circus. For those who like this ...stay tuned, their sending in the clowns ;)
BENTO OUT
84 Saturday, 28 June 2014 20:24
Acorean king/ Canada
I think Portugal had a better team that was sent, Pepe should of stayed home he was injured and did not play his final games for real Madrid,Nani should of stayed behind he never played very much for manutd.. The options were there for Portugal but theywent with the buddy system to brazil and did not deserve to go any further than they did.I have said many times on this web page that in Portugal we have to develop or players not argentina , Colombian ,uruaguay and so on all we are doing is making they national teams better.we do not have any talent in many of the positions on the pitch.Its time for Portugal to get their heads out of their asses and produce some talent other than Ronaldo or this team will no qualify for nothing please print this because we as Portuguese deserve better than what we finish seeing more dominating than that mess
jose mourinho should be the new coach
83 Saturday, 28 June 2014 15:05
sriram/ind
jose mourinho should be the new coach .He is one of the best coaches of the world he'll do whats best for the team he'll drop players if necessary and also bring youth to the team he knows a talent when he sees them he knows what the team needs and what should be done to make a good team one of the best teams in the world.
the world cup isnt what cr7 or what portugal deserved but ...thats our bad luck the FPF should fire bento and hire jose ASAP..
or else euro 2016 will be another heartbreak for all of us
@ Dan B /EEUU and co.
82 Saturday, 28 June 2014 14:50
mister montreal
Yeah, yeah...were not certified PFP, FPF, KFC coaches... but we ain't idiots either. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see Bento's incompetency. The reason most of us are critical is that WE have great expectations from our NT team. Now, perhaps it is the FPF's fault for setting up these unrealistic expectations ----- ranked 4th. Go figure???? I get it. racking up points to maintain a high Fifa ranking and get seeded in tournaments. However, it's worked against us --- 2nd time group of death! Too bad. What were the PFP's expecations from Bento and the NT for this world cup? Finishing 3rd in the group? If that's the case I feel we were mis-led and cheated. If not, that means Bento did not meet the expectations and should therefore be fired. When you go to work Dan, your superiors have expectations. You don't meet them "para casa!" Bento was hired not to develop players --- this is done at the club/academy level. His job was to select, adapt, plan and combine the best elements at his disposal.

In the end, the ship sank and captain Bento should be held accountable.

P.S. I think it takes humility and courage to admit expectations were not met (ex. Prandelli). Too bad Bento has not realized this. To me it shows weakness of character which in turn explains our failure.
When the game giving?
81 Saturday, 28 June 2014 14:04
Joao Francisco / Toronto
Quando giving the game? The CBC says no portugal game man. My bandeiras are up and the sagres is cold. What is happening. The portugal beat the ghana, porgue no game?
Bright future
80 Saturday, 28 June 2014 08:08
hareesh,kerala/india
BETO
ILLORI NETO
SOARES COENTRAO
CARVALHO
MOUTINHO
BRUMA RONALDO CAVALIERO
OLIVEIRA

What you think about this team?Here Ronaldo is a supporting striker and his position is just below the main striker.
Theres alot more futbol to watch!!
79 Saturday, 28 June 2014 03:30
Veeetor !! Toronto Canada
Just when you think its over with watching Portugal , the under 19's are gearing up to play their under 19 Euro tournament in Hungry later this month

And the undefeated under 21-team had already qualified with 2 more qualifying matches remaining for next years Euro tourney

I dont think there would have been so many calls for Bento's resignaton if he used Louie Van Gal's approach with incorporating 7 under 21 players into the Dutch team and using all of them.Talk about Fresh blood!!! (One of them is actually Portuguese) it sure taught Spain a lesson, and hopefully Portugal noticed

With Bento,I think there is something to be said for repaying loyal players who got you where you are today by including them in the most prestigious tournament, but that doesnt mean you can sacrafice the quality of the team nor hinder the growth of the young guns have been waiting to play. there has to be an even balance, And with the Best player in the world on the team to be a leader and to inspire them precious time is ticking away.

Forca Portugal !!!!
A Cluster of Thoughts
78 Saturday, 28 June 2014 00:53
George/Canada
Hi everyone! Just wanted to share my thoughts at the moment after reading everyone's comments. I'm sure I'll be indirectly responding to a few people's comments but there are too many names to mention so I'll just post in a general sense:

#1). How anyone can defend Paulo Bento is downright baffling to me, but, I knew some people would go down this road after the last minute tying goal against the USA and a win against Ghana. I still remember when I seen the 23-man roster Bento selected; my initial thoughts were: CR7's ongoing issues are a concern, and, there are A LOT of underperformers/injury-plagued players in this squad, BUT, we should still be able to get through the group so long as Fabio Coentrao or Joao Moutinho don't get hurt. THAT would be a DEVASTATING nail in the coffin considering there are no like-for-like experienced, creative replacements on this team. Sure enough... Our LB spot blows up and sticks a fork in our WC campaign.

The British commentators I were watching were praising William Carvalho during his games against the US and Ghana, and, somehow, even found a way to praise Bento himself: "Carvalho is big and strong and composed with the ball. You can see why Bento likes him and has him in the lineup!" Bento LIKES him?! REALLY?! Yeah, he likes him so much that it took an injury to Andre Almeida for him to even get a sniff of the field. If he doesn't go down, who knows if we even see him AT ALL in Brazil? Bento deserves no credit for that switch. It was decision that should've been made before the Germany match. And I've read a couple of comments telling us to not blame Bento for sticking Veloso in LB, because it's not his fault Almeida got hurt. Again, what you are essentially saying is that it's not Bento's fault for sticking William in the lineup as well. A player that most of the world can plainly see is our best defensive midfielder. That is inexcusable and is reason alone for Bento to be fired as far as I'm concerned.

One point that's been making the rounds with regards to defending Bento as well is the idea that, "This is the same kind of dissatisfaction that came after Carlos Queiroz's 2010 WC campaign with the BIG difference being that this time, the players SUPPORT their coach!" Well... DUH! OF COURSE they support Bento! At least HALF OF THEM have no business being NEAR THE FIELD! If HE GOES, THEY GO! If that's the reason to keep Bento around for another two years, then, we might as well prepare ourselves for another gruelling qualifying campaign right now. Which leads me to my next area of thought:

#2). Our Euro 2016 qualifying group, is, in my opinion, in no way shape or form, "manageable". Denmark has grown to become a rival of ours in recent years and knows us as well as anyone. Serbia, is also a strong team that knows us well given the number of Serbian talents that either have been, or, are being groomed in our Primera Liga. Armenia is a team that performed very well in spurts during their Brazil qualifying campaign and picked up a draw against Italy (2-2), a win against Bulgaria (2-1), a win against the Czech Republic (2-1), and a completely DOMINATING win against DENMARK in COPENHAGEN (4-0)! The Armenians will also be buoyed by the fact that, given the expansion of the field from 16-24 teams for Euro 2016, they genuinely have a very real shot at making it to the qualification playoffs at the very least. It will be, by far, their best chance to qualify for a major tournament and they will NOT be an EASY team to play against. And lastly, there is Albania, a team that can be incredibly difficult to break down on their day. We all know how much success we have playing against those teams...

A major wildcard in this group that will, as a see it, make things even more difficult are France. Yes, those matches against France will be friendlies, but, France are very much a contender on the rise who will be looking to head into a tournament they're hosting on the best run possible. If Portugal loses those matches against France in a convincing fashion, their confidence could be destroyed heading into the games that really matter... Not good.

My biggest fear is that Bento leads this aging, inconsistent team into another playoff (Portugal will only have to finish 3rd in the group), we come out of it after facing a team like Slovenia in the process, and he gets rewarded with another extension...

#3). Boy oh boy, people really love to hate Cristiano Ronaldo don't they..? Sadly, this includes the Portuguese themselves. Is Ronaldo what we would all consider a prototypical leader to be? No. But really, what more do people want from him? He is one of the best players ever, playing on a team of mediocre players at best with a mediocre coach at best. He's given his heart and soul to his country since 2004 and is the main reason we've seen as much success as we have for the past decade. After all, who do you think got us to Brazil in the first place? Bento?! The man was running around out there on one leg, and, as I understand it, injured his other leg yesterday, so, for a portion of the match, was running around on NO legs. That's the kind of stuff we hear about here in Canada with hockey players, and Ronaldo gets absolutely no credit for it. It's infuriating. If that isn't leadership and sacrifice, I don't know what is.

Speaking of not getting any credit for battling through injuries, what happened to that doomsday scenario where Ronaldo was putting his career in jeopardy? The game vs. the US happens and all that "news" just disappears? Surely if the situation was that dire before that match, it'd be just as bad or worse afterwards...? Gotta love ESPN - the TMZ of sports...

Instead of admiring his desire to fight through injuries, the entire world laughs and criticizes him for getting on the field. Then, when he's on the pitch and consistently let down by his teammates, he's criticized for remonstrating. You know, something that pretty much most athletes do.

Now, I could be completely off base with this last thought, but I wanted to throw the question out there and see what people thought: Why is it that Ronaldo is hated so much more than Luis Suarez? Or, at the very least, the hatred is equal? From where I sit, both are tremendously gifted talents with an intense desire to win and an ego that rubs people the wrong way sometimes. BUT, one is a SERIAL BITER; a man who is unapologetic and has no shame what so ever; a man who, essentially ROBBED Ghana of a place in the semi-finals of the last WC (yes Ghana was awarded a penalty and missed it, but we all know if Suarez doesn't slap that ball it's in the net); and a man who allegedly RACIAL ABUSES players on the field. The other man isn't.

Yet, when the media speaks about one player, the narrative is that he is such a good player and he needs to get help, and when they speak about the other, the narrative is all about haircuts, and ego, and diving, and whining, etc. When the media covered Suarez's recovery from injury, the reports were factual and neutral; when they covered Ronaldo's, the reports were unabashedly false and practically filled with glee every time he cut training short.

Oh, and I'm not just talking about foreign media, I'm talking about each country's media and football federations as well. As we speak, the media and people of Uruguay are actually defending Suarez! Saying that the bite was an English-Italian-FIFA conspiracy; many Uruguayans even waited for Suarez at the airport, treating him like a hero. What's the reaction gonna be like for Ronaldo when he touches down in Portugal? Judging by some of the derisive comments on here, the reaction won't be quite the same. Instead he'll be criticized and hated by many, like always. Why? Is it as simple as Ronaldo is attractive and Suarez isn't? This is something I'm struggling to get my head around.

I've written enough. I'll talk to you guys some other time. Looking forward to continue to read everyone's thoughts.

George
Time to look up
77 Saturday, 28 June 2014 00:15
Canada
Many typically portuguese comments, too much drama, too much negativity and way too much fado here..

Yes, Porttugal are out. So are several other top European sides.

No Bento is not the problem. He didnt fatigue the players, he didnt do the running (or lack thereof...)he didnt headbut anyone, he didnt defraud anyone with his commitment. He is the same coach who led us within a hair of the Euro final. He is eons more preferrable than the egomaniac from 4 yrs ago. I will support him to lead us to Euro qualification in 2 yrs.

Portugal are not done. They will be back. There is talent brimming to the top. And experience, lessons learned and desire not to repeat this any time soon. Some have to go, others will arrive. Its not over by a long shot for Portuguese football.

I say Forca Portugal and mean it, tomorrow is another day!
Bento MUST resign
76 Friday, 27 June 2014 23:06
Adam/Canada
Meireles, Veloso, Postiga, and Almeida should not have been on the team, let alone STARTING against Germany and USA. Against Ghana, he FINALLY started our best midfield trio: William, Moutinho, & Amorim (but this should have been Portugal's midfield for over a year). He did not bring Antunes as a solid backup for Coentrao. He brings Nani, who barely featured for Manchester United, instead of Quaresma, who played regularly for Porto and has team chemistry with Varela, and he also brings injured and out-of-form Vieirinha. As for strikers, Bento should have had Eder, Bebe, and Nelson Oliveira competing for the position, and developing an understanding with Ronaldo (similar to the understanding he has with Benzema, and Rooney in the past). Portugal's Pre-World Cup preparations were also baffling: playing a friendly only a WEEK before our first World Cup game in the U.S.A. and being the last team to arrive in Brazil? Having training sessions open to the public? Bento MUST resign.
one more thing
75 Friday, 27 June 2014 20:43
justin/rochester
Ok one more thing I was rushed at work and totally lost my train of thought. I wanted to mention that we usually all agree with player selections. We all saw that veloso was a liability, we all know carvalho should have been the starter, we saw meireles just run around and do nothing, we know almeida was a suspect fill in for coentrao. Here is where I am going here. If you think about it like this...if all of us know this and recognize it and literally every portuguese person I have spoken to outside of this website. If all of us know this dont you think Bento knows too? I think their is more to it, I think it is all down to agents, the men above bento, the loytaly he has to his players etc. When everyone calls bento names and an idiot lets face it...he cant be that stupid. I think he just doesnt have control over a lot of this. So anyways thats just my point...obviously we need another coach but I think ultimately it comes down to people above bento or controlling bento etc. Portugal is a small country obsessed with football and the politics take control over anything. Even if another coach is hired dont be surprised if their is control over him too. Just because scolari did well or whoever else did well in the past 10 years doesnt mean much. We also had better players the last 10 years too dont forget that. Players win games ultimately at the end...I dont care who the coach is. A team with deco, figo, maniche, carvalho, ronaldo, rui costa, bosingwa etc is better than that team we just saw the past week...I dont care who is coaching that team. I think Bento had control but dont be surprised if their were powers above him telling him to stick with veloso(his dad played for the national team incase you didnt know) and stick with meirles because he has played for us for so long and given his all to portugal. Just dont automatically think its bento and dont think another coach would have automatically done better with this team and the surrounding influence.
Future XIs
74 Friday, 27 June 2014 20:40
Miggy/ England
All these comments about the future of the national team are so silly. Most of those players need to prove themselves at their respective teams before they begin getting calls. Yes, there should be building players from the ground up but let's the honest here - the problem lies on how things played out in Germany. Only major complaint was a lack of Quaresma (which I find that him going might've not made much difference, unless he learnt to play at right or left back).
I don't blame the players themselves, I'm sure Bento knew about all their strengths and weaknesses. Bento needs to understand that this isn't like Scolari's Portugal where he had the Porto backbone that he could always call upon. Moutinho, Veloso and Meireles could not measure up to Costinha, Maniche and Deco. Meireles is similar to Maniche and both have popped up over the years with crutial goals but there was a reason that Maniche stopped receiving caps when he turned 30 - because to be the sort of midfielder that Portugal need is a pretty intense position.
Now if we go through all of the players that played you notice that their flaws were always there through qualifying so maybe we were dreaming way too much in thinking that we were going to go through this group.
In my opinion, the following players should be dropped for the next squad.
Bruno Alves, Ricardo Costa, Postiga, Pereira, Amorin, Eder and perhaps even Nani should not be in the next squad or at the very least in the starting XI. Varela has got a legitimate case for claiming a spot there. More than any other winger. Personally I'd like to see the players older players announce their retirement so that way Bento is forced to change his hand.
this wont be ronaldos last world cup
73 Friday, 27 June 2014 20:30
justin/rochester
Ok well a lot has already been discussed and we can talk about tactics and decisions all we want on here. You know what I kind of think happen...hear me out. Ok so all of us watch this team at every tournament and we all watch the players at club level. We all have our own ideas and if you think about it...we usually agree on 90% of the team selections. With the exception of quaresma...he seems to be the guy people either hate or love. Speaking of quaresma, some of you guys remind me of bento when it comes to being stubborn. How you guys can possible think that nani and merieles or whoever else should have been on that team over quaresma doesnt make sense to me. You guys just insist on taking those same guys and having them play...kind of ironic when you think about it huh? I still cant for the life of me figure out why anyone thinks quaresma wouldnt have been valuable to this team but whatever. I am getting off topic so I apologize.

Ok so ronaldo, this wont be his last world cup like many media channels are saying and a few of you guys here as well. This is why, everyone knows he stays in shape and is meticulous with his training and eating and that wont change. At 33 years old even if he loses a little bit of speed just look at zlatan he is great because of his control of the ball and shooting and passing and aerial ability. The key here is to use Ronaldo as a center forward...short of like a klose roll.

The key to this new era of players relies on how well they get along with cristiano and vice versa. If cristiano doesnt like them he wont want to play with them its as simple as that. What I want is for ronaldo to sort of work with the new coach assuming we have one and see if he can help build up a side. I know that sounds a little strange but ronaldo is bigger than the team and thats a fact. If he wants to play at the next world cup he will play even if he plays in a wheel chair. I think him being the captain he should really take a leadership role not only on the field but on who he wants to surround himself with. I could go on a little bit more because I have some concerns with other players but I am at work and I am sort of running out of time. I hope you guys can sort of see where I am coming from and not totally think I am crazy. Think about it like this...look at Eder and how slow he looked sometimes chasing the ball down and also how he lacked that close touch on the ball. Ronaldo at 33 with slightly less speed than he has today is still 200% better than any forward we will get in the next few years...unless someone steps up which is doubtful. Even if someone does step up...i dont know if I want ronaldo as a winger anymore because his speed might not be there. Bring in some youth that has speed and surround ronaldo with speedy options and let ronaldo be the target man. He can use both feet to shoot and he is great in the air and hes 6 ft 2. I highly highly doubt that portugal will find a better number 9 than ronaldo in 4 years. Concentrate on the wing players and offensive midfielders...see what josue, marco lopes etc can do with moutinho who will have to be our pirlo. I wont get into defense I dont have time but I am sure you guys know what your talking about.

Anyways
Overachievers
72 Friday, 27 June 2014 19:28
jaime/NJ
The only overachiever I saw was William Carvalho. Same old crap...everyone looking to pass to CR7 rather than taking the shot themselves. When they played the game against Ireland, when CR7 was out, the Portuguese team played fluently.

Just like when they were at the Hilton in Short Hills, NJ - CR7 came out to sign autographs all of the other players were ushered on the bus. You think that kind of behavior builds a team.

Overachievers my ass...
That's Funny Comment "We are overachievers"
71 Friday, 27 June 2014 19:24
jaime/NJ
After reading that comment I couldn't stop laughing...Its more like we are underachievers. The USA are overachievers because most of their players play in the worse football league in the world - the MLS.

Not giving credit where credit is not due...
In response to the post about not wanting mourinho as a coach
70 Friday, 27 June 2014 18:00
jaime/NJ
"I personally would NOT want Mourinho.... . The players run the team when they have Portuguese coaches Need somebody completely different "

Are we talking about the same Mourinho here? The players running the team - I doubt that very highly with Jose Mourinho. It's either his way or the high way...I don't want an asshole like Klinsmann...if we need to hire a asshole...it might as well be one very big Portuguese one. :-)

No player tells Mourinho how to run the team...I doubt the FA would be able to tell him how to run the team...

Or better Yet..another good coach would be AVB...That's who I would hire. He is a natural scout and would not have any issues with the amount of free time associated with being the coach of the national team. He definitely would pick the best players in the best form to represent the colors. He brought in some very good talent while working with Jose Mourinho while at both Porto and Chelsea. Plus has all that money sitting in the bank from his stints at both Chelsea and Tottenham.

The FA should do their best to hire AVB...because I doubt he is enjoying life in Russia...Do it know!
Bento Replacements
69 Friday, 27 June 2014 17:51
Adam/Canada
We don't need foreign managers. We have plenty of GREAT managers that speak our language, know our style, and know our players. What we need are proven winners:
1) Mourinho
2) Jorge Jesus
3) Leonardo Jardim
Not likely, but that's who I'd want.
P. Bento Must Go If Portugal want something serious.
68 Friday, 27 June 2014 17:10
Ciro/ Brasil
"WE SHOULD HAVE PACKED THE BAGS EARLIER BEFORE GOING TO BRASIL" José Augusto.
Put yourself in Bento's shoes
67 Friday, 27 June 2014 15:36
lusiads1
Since we have all criticized Bento and his selected roster for this World cup I was wondering if anyone is confident enough to list the 23 man roster they would have selected going into this tournament so that it too could be open to criticism or approval.

I'm sure many will want to make picks based on what happened with suspensions and injuries but hopefully we can list what our teams would have been going into the world cup.

Also I know it's not just the roster but the selected starters. So those interested in posting might asterisk the starters.
Thoughts on Mundial and the future
66 Friday, 27 June 2014 14:44
Andre/UK
Well as hugely expected the mini-miracle never came, the damage done in the first 2 games was simply too much. Funnily enough we had more than enough chances to have gotten the big win required against Ghana, however I always knew that if the Germans took the lead against USA, they would then take their foot off the gas as even a draw guaranteed them first place. It was too much to ask for both results to go our way, things were not in our own hands and we can only have ourselves to blame (or rather we have Bento to blame, above all).

To not be able to beat the USA, when taking the lead inside 5 minutes, is inexcusable. We didn't deserve to progress as a result. USA are not a push-over anymore by any means, but we still should have been able to beat them in such an important match any day of the week. Most of their players play in the MLS, which in essence probably has a level comparable to the second tier of the main European leagues. That is the result that ended our campaign, plain and simple.

I don't wish to repeat what others have already stated, and what I already mentioned in my previous posts...suffice it to say that Bento is to blame for this debacle. Yes the referee was very poor in the first game against Germany and it cost us, yes we had terrible luck with injuries...but Bento made countless errors both before the tournament with his dodgy squad selection (over the hill players, injured and out of form players), and especially during the tournament itself. Playing a half fit Ronaldo for the full 90 mins against the Germans, when the match was over at half time, and injuring him more in the process. Not selecting the right players such as William (took Bento 2 full matches to realise starting William was a good idea), and insisting with other poor or out of form players such as Eder, Veloso and Joao Pereira. The worse though was ordering the team to start defending early against USA, that was just abysmal. Playing with fear against the USA? This is the coach the FPF thinks is the right man to lead the Selecao? What a laugh!

We need to sack Bento and replace him with a proper coach who can lead this team. Someone who is tactically sound and flexible, and above all a coach who is bold and brave and not afraid to take chances and step outside of his comfort zone. The only current Portuguese coaches who I would want to see in charge are Mourinho, JJ and Villas Boas, but I seriously doubt any of those 3 will leave their respective clubs to take over.

Thus a foreign coach may be in order. It would be nothing new, actually the most successful period in the Selecao's history came with a foreign coach (Felipao). There are some good coaches out there who could be convinced, e.g Bielsa, Heynckes, Trapattoni and Carlos Alberto Pereira. I wouldn't mind Sven Goran Eriksson either. He is currently out of work, and is an experienced, organised coach with a sound knowledge of tactics. He is very connected to Portuguese futebol (being an SLB legend), speaks fluent Portuguese and owns a house near Sintra (I actually drove past it a few months ago, with my uncle pointing it out, lol). He also has a lot of recent international tournament experience, which would be very useful.

I think it's very likely though that the FPF will keep Bento in charge, given it's corruption and incompetency. What is clear after this Mundial though is that, whoever is in charge, huge changes need to be made to our Selecao in terms of the players. Players such as Bruno Alves, Joao Pereira, Meireles, Hugo Almeida and Eder, are either too old and over the hill now, or simply not good enough for the Selecao. As others have mentioned, there are a ton of new young promising players, who must be given a chance. Stand out ones for me include, Ilori, William, Andre Gomes, Bruma, Cavaleiro and Bebe. These youngsters mixed in with the remaining quality experienced players (CR7, Moutinho, Pepe, Coentrao etc) mean the future could really be bright for the Selecao, and I commented before the Mundial started, that the next Euros are a more realistically winnable tournament for us than this Mundial was. Now if only we can find a quality coach to take over, lol!
Retrospect
65 Friday, 27 June 2014 14:36
NJ/USA/SLB
I'm not, in the managerial meetings, I'm not in the video room, I'm not in the locker room and I'm not on the training ground. Nobody should have more insight into the squad's mental and physical makeup than the manager. For all we know, Bento made the best decisions possible.
If that's the case, it only accents Bento's incompetence.
- No Plan B tactically (maybe no real Plan A)
- Poor team selection didn't allow for necessary changes/options
- No options on the bench for game to game or in game changes.

Germany;
Some people keep pointing to Pepe's red card as the defining moment. I disagree. We were in control and looked good for the first 10 minutes of the Germany match. After that we, never looked good. Portugal was down 2-0 and reeling, before the red card. We were never coming back, before the red card and it already looked as if we were going to let more in. If anything we hunkered down more. Red card happened at the 37 minute, but no substitution until halftime. Even though we were already struggling offensively. The other two substitutions occurred due to injuries.

USA
We played a horribly poor match. Fortunate to net an early goal, by the way due to a defensive mistake. After scoring, there was never any real threat put on the US goal even though we could have used more goals. Ver very fortunate to have scored on teh last kick of the match.

Ghana
For me Ghana might just have been the unluckiest team in the tournament. They should have defeated the US, played well and drew verse Germany, and went toe to toe verse Portugal. The own goal was poor, and created plenty of chances. Granted this was Portugal's best match, yet the 2-1 result was the best they were able to muster.

I originally thought that Bento was brought in because he was the FPF's lackey and came cheap. looking at managers salaries he is not cheap, so lackey must be it. Not good enough.
Bento hasn't shown the capacity to be able to build a team. We'll see what happens for the Euro's, but you figure changes have to happen. This is an old squad that which reminded me of Lippi's Italian squad in South Africa. One last run at something.

On a side note, Rony Lopes will be joining Lille on loan from City. He's only 18, but hopefully he'll get to play and shine. Might actually see Champions League play, should Lille get past qualifiers.
The likes of Lopes and Bruno Fernandes better be on the squad.
Stop crying
64 Friday, 27 June 2014 14:35
Nelson Oliveira
You people. You high expectations having people. You set the standards so high, you are the source of your own disappointment! Bento could have done better, and yes he should be fired, but because we need a fresh approach, not because we didn't advance out of the Group of Death.

All these kids you guys are naming for your fictitious starting XIs, it's so funny, 9 out of 10 of them will fail to develop and be forgotten in 2 years. If you're going to mention them, make the case for why you think they are ready for the NT when they aren't even on the bench got their club sides. Stop listening to the Alexi Lalas's of the world. We are overachievers. Our players played with their hearts on their sleeves, including CR7 who likely did more damage to his knee. Even Pepe lost his cool but he did it because he was trying hard. I am proud. We would have made it out of the group without Coentrao, one of our 3 most important players, if Jermaine Jones doesn't score the goal of his life. We tied 1, lost 1, and won 1 against arguably the best teams in Europe, Africa, and North America!

Forca!!! Viva Portugal caralho!!!!
Euro 2016 Dream team of Portugal
63 Friday, 27 June 2014 14:27
JaLiL MaLiK/Pakistan
My Team for Euro 2016

Goalkeepers:

Anthony Lopes
Beto
eduardo
mika

Centra defenders:

Pepe
Tigao illori
paulo oliviera
daniel carrico
tiago ferriera
edgar le
luis neto

Left Backs:

Fabio coentrao
silvio
antunes
luis martins
raphael gurraero

Right Backs:

Cedric soares
andre almieda
Diogo Figueiras
Joao Cancelo
Miguel Lopes

Defensive Midfielders:

William Carvalho
Andre gomes
Agastinho CA


Central (Attacking) Midfielders:

Joao Moutinho
Joao mario
Adrien Silva
Josue
Bruno Fernandes
Bernanrdo Silva
Sergio Oliviera
Rafa Silva
Ruben Amorim
Joao Carlos Texiera
Luis gustavo

Wingers:

Cristiano Ronaldo
Nani
Bruma
Carlos Mane
Quaresma
Marcos Lopes
Ivan Cavaliero
Ricardo Esgaio
Ricardo Horta
Toze carvalho


Strikers:

Goncalo Paciência
Bebe
Danny

(No other option) :(

Mangager should be jorge jesus or jose mourinho

Bento please go home we hate you this was very good chance to make an impact on worldcup but you selected shit players instead of stars (Quaresma,Danny,Antunes,Bebe) You hurt us we will never forgive you ever
Who would you want to replace Bento ?
62 Friday, 27 June 2014 13:36
Harvey / Brampton/ Canada
I personally would NOT want Mourinho.... . The players run the team when they have Portuguese coaches Need somebody completely different , like a Klinnsman who has isn't afraid to drop old players like Landon Donovan to play young players and expects discipline from everyone and demands the best facilities and hi-tech equipment for his players. ENJOY THE SUMMER !
I hope Algeria can defeat Germany.
61 Friday, 27 June 2014 12:27
Tom/USA
For all of the criticisms of Portugal and all of the deserved criticism of a Mr. Suarez; lost in the shuffle is that a lot of people think Mr. Muller took a dive for Germany and that made that game, Portugal vs. Germany that way. They have a good team, Muller was fairly quiet in the 2nd game vs. Ghana, I think Fifa may have given him a talking to. This kind of gamesmanship historically is a part of German Football. I hope that team can be sent home soon as well
2018 World Cup Squad
60 Friday, 27 June 2014 11:43
Michael/South Africa
Like many of u guys I was disappointed that we didn't get out of the group and also don't agree with some of Bento's decisions, but to go as far as saying that I'm embarrassed to have Portuguese blood is an absolute joke, nothing will ever stop me from being proudly Portuguese!

Too all the prophets of doom, predicting that we will not even qualify for major tournaments in the future, I'll give you my attempt at a projected world cup squad for 2018 and tell me what you think (With their ages in 2018 in brackets)? I have decided to keep 9 players from this squad and then build youngsters around them. Tried to keep at least one experienced player per position. Picked 3 goalkeepers and 2 players per position, considering that we will most likely be playing a 4-3-3 formation.

GK - A.Lopes (27)
GK - R.Patricio (30)
GK - J.Sa (25)
RB - A.Almeida (27)
RB - C.Soares (26)
CB - T.Illori (25)
CB - T.Ferreira (24)
CB - L.Neto (30)
CB - Edgar Ie (24)
LB - F.Coentrao (30)
LB - D.Martins (25)
DCM - J.Mario (25)
DCM - W.Carvalho (26)
CM - J.Moutinho (31)
CM - Rafa (25)
CM - Josue (27)
CM - A.Gomes (24)
FW - Nani (31)
FW - Bruma (23)
FW - I.Cavaleiro (24)
FW - N.Oliveira (26)
FW - M.Lopes (22)
FW - C.Ronaldo (33)

Average age 26.5

Meet the squad that will make some of you "Portuguese" proud again.
Compatriotas
59 Friday, 27 June 2014 11:16
Luis Ramos Netherlands
Fellow compatriotas,
The dream is over. Till next time. Next dream.
In tears I write:
To all of you, enjoy your holidays.
From 21th July- to 14th August I am off to Portugal.
Me and my family, a group of 7 and Gino our golden retriever.
Will be spending most of the time on Costa da Caparica.
My kids will probably want a new Portugal shirt, while I will be looking for one stating: Bento Exit
Coehlo and Bento Need To Resign
58 Friday, 27 June 2014 11:13
Jaime/NJ
This World Cup failure is basically on the shoulders of the FA and the coach. Both are responsible for not calling up the right players. The selection process is based on how well the player played leading up to the cup, not what they did in the last cup. Hence, Danny and RQ7 should have both been selected, and a few others as well. Half of the players selected by Bento were either injured or didn't start. An tunes should have definitely been called up, at least Bento would have had a better option replacing Coentrao. The FA is responsible for this because they did not vet Bento's selections.

The preparation leading up to the World Cup was horrible. They practices in NJ because of the heat and humidity, but their sessions were all scheduled in the evening or morning to avoid these conditions. My understanding is that the players spent more time in the Short Hills mall, rather than practicing. Again, Bento's fault. Brasil being a Portuguese speaking country, the team should have been the first team there practicing to get acclimated to the conditions..

Tactically, Bento did a lousy job. During the Germany game, he should have replaced Pepe with someone like Neto or Costa right away, instead of having Meirles playing CB. When Coentrao got hurt, he should brought Amorin right away instead of shifting slow ass Veloso to the position, which the USA exploited. They made the average looking USA look like a futbol super power. In that Game he brought Varela in to late. Germany played all 3 games with a real striker, why couldn't we. could have used Rafa as a false nine, since he is a bit of a poacher around the goal.

The biggest mistake of all is not playing William starting in all 3 games. In the Germany game since we were out gunned in the midfield, William would have been a good choice to disrupt the German midfield. The only reason why Bento started William at all is encaustic of injury.

These are just a few examples of the FA and Bento's incompetence. If I made those type of mistakes with my job, I would have been fired on the spot. Both Bento and Coelho need to go. If they had any respect for their country and the Portuguese people they would resign immediately. But we all know they won't. It's not pride for them -it's a paying job.

In Portugal the people are calling for Bento to go - so he needs to go. Because I suspect that he will try to field the same lineup for 2016.

If he does go, we need Mourhino to coach. If not, he should definitely be involved in the hiring interviews. I don't think we should look for a coach outside of the Spanish or Portuguese languages. a Northern European will not be able to understand the cultural differences needed to successfully run the team. Another culprit is La Liga - stop bringing in all these South American players and develop our home grown players instead. The FA should impose a policy on how many foreign players can be on the pitch at one time. England does it and we should do the same.

My point in all this is that every Portuguese fan should fight and not forget in regards to getting Bento fired. He did nothing to help us dream. In his time in charge, we barely qualified to make the Euro and the WC, against weaker teams in the group. He should be fired just for that alone.

Portuguese FA - Fire Bento and then yourselves!!!!
WC
57 Friday, 27 June 2014 10:22
Adamski / UK
I have to say the guys having a go at Ronaldo are nuts, he was plainly injured and unfit and was still our best player.
He gets frustrated because he is a perfectionist.
I really blame the coaching staff for not having our team fit and ready for the heat, our full team looked tired mid way thru each game and how can Nani be tired????
We need to dump the older players and bring in fresh faces. Oh and Hugo Almeida should not have been on the plane.
Ok.
56 Friday, 27 June 2014 09:26
Ahmad/Lebanon
The number of people blaming Ronaldo for crashing out is too damn high. How much more fickle can you get? Yes he wasted two very good chances to score but at the end of the day did ANYONE else try as much as him? If you answer by anything other than "No" then please stop watching football. People are expecting too much from a guy who has no decent LB to support him, no decent Winger to take pressure off of him (let's face it, Nani was terrible beyond measure), and no striker to finish off attacks in case he wasn't able to. Some of you claimed that Ronaldo looked demotivated yesterday despite scoring and hitting chances but seriously who wouldn't be pissed mad seeing Eder playing upfront and who wouldn't be raging if he every time he goes for a sprint waiting for a long ball to land in front of him only to see it land in the hands of the goalkeeper? I would definitely blame Ronaldo the most had the rest of the team performed well enough to give him the chances he needed.
Remember when most of you, including me, kept nagging about how Bento kept playing Almeida and Postiga instead of Eder and how he wasn't given enough chance? I heavily regret ever saying that and I most certainly regret calling Eder "The Portuguese Danny Welbeck", even Welbeck's abysmal finishing is a million times better than Eder's and add to that Welbeck presses the defenses much better. Why am I comparing these two? Because as a United fan I watched Welbeck fail to do any noticeable impact for the team this season yet with all that being said and done I still rate his efforts way higher than Eder, and both pretty much had the same roles. Honestly, I thought Eder was way younger than 26, I thought he was 21 or something so perhaps the pressure got the most of him but 26 years old and you can't even handle a ball or win an aerial duel? How much worse can you get? The problem lies in Eder being perhaps our only "fresh" striker we have at the moment. How hard must it be for the top 3 football academies in Portugal to give birth for one, just ONE Portuguese striker that the nation can depend on? They should be blamed for that as well. What about Southampton's Fonte? I watched him a lot this season and I was shocked at first when he wasn't included in the squad, the guy is really good and at least would have brought new fresh blood to the squad. I can't believe Bento didn't resign, I would have respected him so much if he did and now I kind of feel disinterested about Euro 2016 because he's still there.
I don't care much about this being Ronaldo last chance to shine with the National Team because it's not, he'll still be 31 in 2016 and he is fit enough to stay at this level until 34 if not more so to be honest I'm not the least worried about him, I'm just worried about the other 11 players who'll be accompanying him to that event.

One final word: My heart was broken yesterday when I saw Beto, and later on Ronaldo, crying at the end of the match. Those people love the national team and the amount of hate they (or mostly Ronaldo) receive regarding their loyalty is disgusting to be honest. I would be a fool if I ever doubt the loyalty of my team's all time top scorer. Obrigado Ronaldo, Obrigado Beto, obrigado everyone else, screw you Bento.
Revolution!
55 Friday, 27 June 2014 09:17
Paulo/Australia
The squad needs an overhaul. This was the oldest squad in the tournament and it showed.

All the fans out there's lets get this guy, out #Bentoout!

you too Tom,!
Portugal Ghana
54 Friday, 27 June 2014 06:16
Joao/UK
The problem with Bento is his inability to understand and react to the CLEAR reality that Veloso, Meirelas, Pereira, Postega and Almeida are to old and weak to retain a position in the side.

As we saw, alternative players were immediately more effective.

This goes to his mentality and opens him up to being accused of being too friendly with agents.

Time to go - his stubbornness cost us. We could beat Belgium and would have 3 games left with the world's greatest player in a tournament which is quite open given mixed performances by all.
What I believe went wrong
53 Friday, 27 June 2014 06:08
Mario / Canada
It was evident that the players were not match fit. The players were not acclimatized to the hot humid Brazilian climate. While teams like the United States and Germany headed straight for Brazil so their players could get used to the heat and humidity, Portugal toured the States.

Having open practices that turn into autograph sessions is not conducive to good performances come game time.

Predictability, every manager in the world knows that Portugal is going to play a 4 3 3 and they know that 9 times out of 10 the midfield will be occupied by Meireles, Moutinho and Veloso and that the main target man, the man most likely to score, is Ronaldo. When you're that familiar with a team's tactics, it's easier to prepare, to develop a strategy.

Lack of depth at the defensive back positions. The left and right defensive back positions are in my opinion the most demanding positions in modern football where the player is asked to defend and attack. Wouldn't it have been wiser to have included Antunes, and Cedric instead of forwards Hugo Almeida and Postiga? Was it really necessary to take 3 goal keepers to the World Cup? When Portugal was forced to play Veloso at the left back position against the States it effectively ended their world cup.

Team selection, not playing William Carvalho, against Germany and not starting him in the game against the states was surprising to say the least. William Carvalho is a sound player, his passing is one touch and accurate, he is a physical player who wins many balls, surely he has to start especially against a physical team like Germany.
Not playing Varela against Germany and not starting him in the other games was a mistake. I prefer Varela, who is a more direct player, to Nani, but I wouldn't have excluded Nani. I would have played the attacking trio of Varela, Ronaldo and Nani. Eder is not ready for world class football.

Sub par performance of key players and lack of discipline did Portugal in. Rui Patricio was a disaster, my question is if Bento had already chosen Patricio as his number one goalkeeper, why didn't he play him in all the friendlies leading up to the world cup instead of only playing him against a weak Irish team?
Moutinho was ineffective, many stray passes and lost balls, very disappointing.
Ronaldo underperformed for obvious reasons. The end of his football season in Europe was stop and go because of a nagging injury. It was evident in the Champions league final that his legs were missing as it was in this world cup. A player of his size needs more games to get fit than a smaller player. It's unfortunate that Portugal didn't advance because I sensed his fitness was improving.
Pepe, is a great player but like Suarez he is a time bomb waiting to go off. It's difficult playing Germany with 11 men, with 10 men it's asking too much.
Bring the Trap'!
52 Friday, 27 June 2014 05:40
Filipe France
Fire Bento and bring on the Trap', aka Giovanni Trappatonni, an Italian with Portuguese passion for God's sake!!! It's time to show the whole world some Portuguese pride!!
So what
51 Friday, 27 June 2014 05:39
Dave LA
We lost one, tied one, and won one despite having the team disintegrate every progressing half. Despite having some obstinate extra chromosome carrying jack ass as the manager and despite bringing non regular active players. In short we did a lot with very little and in true Portugese fashion we shot ourselves in the foot.
Hopefully this will serve as a lesson to the FPF and they will minimize all the chronism in the near future.
Silver linings
50 Friday, 27 June 2014 05:31
Matthew
It's tough seeing Portugal's World Cup campaign end so soon -- indeed, after feeling like it never properly got started after that first match with Germany.

Nonetheless, I am proud that the team played hard today and got a win. I'm glad that some of the younger players got a chance to show their qualities and, while improvement is needed, I think some youth is exactly what this squad was missing.

I hope EVERY Portuguese player continues to make himself available for his country to call upon if needed, but I also hope that the manager is wise enough to know when it's time to say "obrigado" to a faithful team member whose time has come to be replaced by a new face.

Postiga - we'll never forget that Euro 2004 goal against England in the quarterfinals; you had a way of nicking goals when least expected;

Bruno Alves - thanks for the solid defense; I also seem to recall quite a few critical games that were saved thanks to a well-placed header by Bruno;

Meireles - your haircut, tattoos, and beard got stranger each year, and sadly you lost pace lately, but you were a workhorse there in midfield;

Pepe - you know your antics contributed to Portugal's disastrous World Cup this year; I hope you get one more shot to go out on a better note, you always put it out there for Portugal, even if you can be a crazy SOB

Eduardo - Not sure why you lost the starting keeper spot after your excellent World Cup 2010 performance; Ricardo was a tough act to follow but you played well.

Obrigado to all the players, and to my fellow posters on Portugoal, and to Nate and the boys that run this website.

Now I'm off to visit that country we all love for summer holiday. It may not have the World Cup trophy yet, but it's still got the sun, the sea, the food, the wine, and the Portuguese people.

Força Portugal!
One light in a sea of darkness
49 Friday, 27 June 2014 04:55
Cristiano/Australia
The only positive i think we can take from this tournament is the rise of William. Not only has he proven himself on the world stage, he also showed even when a team is playing pathetically, he can still deliver. Well done young man. He will continue to grow and with experience will become the best in the world in his position. Hopefully will move to United to increase that growth.

I agree with previous posts. Bento needs to leave and we need to reshape for Euro 2016.
Bye Bento
48 Friday, 27 June 2014 04:11
Friday
Bento's time has come. His squad selection was the worst I've ever seen.

To leave out Antunes was an error, especially since Fabio had an injury riddled season at Real.

Vieirinha, was so unfit. How can a professional footballer come off the bench and play for 20 minutes and look more tired than an injured Ronaldo. Quaresma should have been selected.

Not instantly bringing on a CB for Pepe in the Germany game.

Today, Beto clearly wanted to hang tight for the sake of another attacking sub. Where's Rafa? Bento took this opportunity and made Beto a bit of a scape goat.

He also took an unfit Postiga, but this is maybe acceptable since he is our best ST.
_____________

Nani was horrible we must hope Bruma recovers well and takes his spot.

Eder, is not the answer and should not be recalled until he scores 20 goals in the league.

Pereira's time is over.

It's time to find a new CB pairing, Alves served us well but could still be ok to have his experience on the bench in qualifying.

I miss the Porto version of Mouthinho.
___________

The NT needs some change and clearly Bento is not going to be the one to make it. I would like it for Benfica's JJ to give it a go, or maybe get Jose to be our part time manager, because we all know he just wants to coach us for one world cup when he retires from club football, so while he's still young and strong maybe Chelsea and FPF could find an accord.
Bento must go, some players need to retire internationally, and it's time for youth injection
47 Friday, 27 June 2014 04:09
Ricardo/USA
Patricio, Pereira, Costa, Veloso, Meireles, Nani, Postiga, Almeida, and Eder. Bring in Cavaleiro, Bruma, Mane, Cedric, Rafa, Andre Gomes, Joao Mario, Lopes, and maybe Pacienca if he develops enough. We can contend for Euro 2016 with a change of manager (does anyone have Mourinho or Heynckes' phone number?) and youth injection (which is probably going to happen after this disaster)
Look to the future now
46 Friday, 27 June 2014 03:34
Mario/USA
It is time to move on, we can't change what happened. Look to the past and learn from our mistakes. However, I do believe it is time for Bento and his stubbornness to go. All the blame should not be his as he is not on the pitch, but his selections and strategy are highly questionable.

The expectations were too high for this team, we clearly showed that we overachieved just in qualifying. What did we expect, really?! We had a hard time just qualifying with these same players and then we expect them to get out of the so called group of death! Did we not see this coming?

We have arguably the greatest player in the world, that's about it. I never question his desire and dedication but I have to question his leadership in these tournaments. Is he at the service of his country or is has his ego gotten so big that the country is now at his service. I know its heresy to call him out since he single handedly carried us into the world cup, but as captain, you have to take the good with the bad. I'm not questioning his abilities or performance, the guy is extraordinary but I wonder if all this is for the collective good or is his ego too big to be an effective leader on the pitch.

The players are what they are, most are just over the hill and not fit to be there. Bento could have done a much better job with his selections and decisions. We always hear the same crap that he has a very limited pool of players from which to choose from. I get it, we are not Brazil, with 200 million people and a player being born every second but we do have good quality players from which to choose from. Unfortunately, we just don't believe in our youngsters and give them a stage or platform in which to develop.

Anyways, I'm glad this is over because hopefully this will be the last we see of some of these players. Thank you for your service, but your time is now up. Lets get some these youngsters on the squad and start a new generation of players and see what they got to offer. I'm not saying their is a new Ronaldo in the making but their has to be better options than Alves, Almeida, Postiga, Miereles.....

Why did we think we could go further in this tournament then we did in the last world cup and euro when our squad was essentially the same with more mileage on their legs. In four years, there have been no young players coming up the ranks?!! Then I guess the academies are just not doing their job. I understand that it is a business for these clubs but start giving actual Portuguese youngsters a platform to shine. Our liga is almost nothing more than a minor league for developing players from South America. They use it as their platform to shine n get that huge contract so these clubs can make money selling them at a later date. This keeps up and we have transform our league in to an absolute joke. How can we even call these teams Portuguese when the foreigners outnumber the actual Portuguese!

Anyways, the future does look bright. We have the players, lets have faith in their abilities and future.

Forca Portugal!
No class. Bento
45 Friday, 27 June 2014 03:28
Mike/canada
Doesn't even have the decency to be embarrassed. Look at the Italian coach. No doubt in his mind that taking responsibility meant resigning was the only option. Bento clings to the job like a desperate raccoon clings to a hanging tree branch by his nails. He should let the team start over with a clean slate for Euro 2016, but he won't. Que vergonha! And the Federation continues to defend him too. Que Mafia!
Moving on...
44 Friday, 27 June 2014 03:26
Alex/NYC
We hoped for a miracle and it just didn't happen.....

I just wished that Bento would just look in the the mirror, spare all the NT team fans and just resign....Look at Italy and Japans coaches...gracefully they stepped down cause they're man enough to admit that they didn't do a good job and the people deserve better.....

That being said, as group we are still proud, still hopefully for success and lets move forward.....with or without Bento...but let's be realistic, it will be with Bento......
Bento / Striker position
43 Friday, 27 June 2014 03:25
Harvey / Brampton/ Canada
Like everyone I cursed Bento player selections and the starting line-ups. BUT we shouldn't forget we were at Risk of not making the world cup with Queiroz , and Bento did an OK job. The craziest statistic I saw for this team was , other than Ronaldo , no players including the first group of 30 to be looked at for selection (including Quaresma etc) No one scored more than 7 goals in their club teams in "all" competitions . nani , postiga , H. almedia hardly played on their club teams for different reasons , Varela, Veirahina, Quaresema are mostly wingers who cross balls . Eder is a divison 2 player. If we never use RONALDO as a striker .....then ..WE NEED TO DEVELOP A TRUE YOUNG STRIKER who can play and has some speed. I would even try to recruit players from other countries to play in our junior National teams..like Spain has done lately .
prima donnas
42 Friday, 27 June 2014 03:12
Berto usa
No effort our teams are prima Donna our players are lazy. Fans look for the tactical reasons, has nothing to do o with that. Italy has won cups in the past because Italian players play with so much heart as do argentina. Effort can trump talent a ND often does. We call ourselves the brasilians of europe, yeah right. Even the brasilians put out mor effort both offensively and defensively. When all else fails we blame the ref. Ever heard that before? Not to mention our whiny attitude on every call. Listen sometimes we get a call so.etimes the calls go against us. Thereis no conspiracy ad many Portuguese say. We should copy Italian team, I know most of us don't want to hear that but their style is effrctive. They send the ball forward and try to beat the offside trap, dime but effective. Most of all Italian players just bust their rear ends way more than our players, this hurts to say but it's true. Lastly how many ti.es do we see the the ball near tb ed opponents goal b r in pulled back to the midfield because the perfect opportunity isn't there sometimes all the way back to our goalie. Germany always is attack oriented and that's why they are also successful. No risk no glory. All I've written is true. The naysayers will say I'm wrong but until things change with our effort an c attitude well never win a cup.
Whole team needs to change starting with coach
41 Friday, 27 June 2014 02:48
Daniel. USA
Number of players that Paulo bento (jackass) kept out that should of been called up instead of half of the squad he brought to brazil I'll just name a few in my opinion quaresma , Bebe , Jose Fonte , Ricardo Carvalho , Antunes I could keep going. I could of picked a better squad then that stubborn jack ass. Bruno Alves old and slow, veloso needs to go he sucks and is slow , helder postiga and Hugo Almeida are just 2 wasted bodies, Joao pereira gets beat left and right. I'll say it over and over til a coach like Jose mourinho takes over and they get a good striker that scores like pauleta did portugal will never go anywhere
oh boy/ToneLoc
40 Friday, 27 June 2014 02:33
dissapointed fan/USA
Toneloc, first 2 statements from you couldn't be more accurate and more true. Bento, obviously needs to go and Ronaldo needs to be stripped of his arm band. Should have happened a while ago. I would love to play besides a guy who shows up half the time, even though at any given moment can change a game, who barely runs, says we never had a chance at winning, and makes sure he gets a new haircut before every match. Yeah I want to give my heart and soul to that captain. Are you f****en kidding me! Hurt or not hurt, this crap needs to stop. Either play with everything you got or sit down and let someone else play with pride and passion for our badge.
Today was the 1st time in 14 years I did not finish watching a Portugal game (even includes friendlies). I am only 25, so I only remember 2000 and forwards. Like many of you I am disgusted on how they performed. I was expecting Quarters the most, and if we lost to USA and Germany, but played with heart and soul, I would be okay with that, but we didn't. Bento doesn't know how to motivate, and I hope our federation is lying to everyone by saying "we have confidence in Paulo Bento" and get rid of this idiot. We keep Bento, we go through another playoff for Euro 16, and Veloso will still play 90 min every game. I swear they are gay together, I can't think of any reason why he still plays him. Sorry for all the negativity, I am just so dissapointed in the team I love. We are finally becoming a threat and known as a great country for futbol in the world and on the world stage, we look like that.
Underrated Performance, Look Forward to 2016!
39 Friday, 27 June 2014 02:29
Chuck/USA
We played Germany with an unfit team. Ronaldo was clearly nowhere near ready, Almeida was hurt, Coentrao was hurt. Patricio was hurt. Pepe's red card really changed the game, and yes I do blame him.

We played a good game against USA as well. Postiga then got injured. We played with a defense not used to playing together. However, we managed to score first and never gave up.

Then we won against Ghana. This is a huge achievement. We were close to a meltdown, everything was going wrong, and everyone was getting hurt. But we kept our heads up and pulled off a win, something to be proud of.


So, here's my opinion of the players:

Patricio: Overrated. Had he not fumbled that last goal, it wouldn't have changed the result and if we advanced, but it would've been closer.

Beto: Good goalkeeper, definitely a great replacement for Patricio. He's very passionate for the team too.

Eduardo: Played a couple minutes, I still admire him very much for his WC2010 but he didn't really play, so no comment.

Pereira: Meh. Had a bad WC, but then again we all did. He played well against USA and Ghana.

Pepe: I love and hate him. Had he not gotten a red card, the GD could have been different. However, he played incredibly against Ghana.

Costa: He had a great game against USA, he was my MOTM. He was very confident and never gave up, and that goal-line clearance was crucial. I'm glad to have him replace our other two CBs.

Neto: Didn't play.

Alves: I honestly would've liked to see a Costa-Pepe match up in the third game, he could've been quicker on the second USA goal and during the other games. Not a great cup for him.

Coentrao: Get better soon. Please.

A. Almeida: He does not play well at LB, but given the extreme conditions of the WC he didn't screw the team over.

Meireles: He's a good player and had a good world cup. I just think the M-V-M trio just doesn't work anymore.

Moutinho: Below-average games. Never really let us down, but never produced magic.

Amorim: He is an underrated player. He's amazing ability to hold the midfield, contribute to both attack and defense, really lets our attack move around more.

Veloso: He had a horrible WC, sorry to say. He didn't play well as CDM, and he was not capable of replacing Coentrao whatsoever. He did better against Ghana.

Carvalho: He really shined. He was so calm both games he played and is truly a shining star for our team. Possible future captain?

Vierinha: He plays well and sparked up the team when he came on against Ghana. He's quite the team player.

Varela: He kept us alive and is still our crucial super-sub. He also led to Ronaldo's goal.

Nani: He played better than expected, but I HATED when he would standstill, try to fake out a player, fail, and not pass.

Rafa: Didn't play.

Ronaldo: He played well considering the injury. His cross was great and he performed well despite the circumstances.

Eder: I always thought he was overrated. He just isn't made for the WC.

Postiga/Almeida: Sorry guys. You didn't do badly. Get better soon.




So, now to the future:

He have a lot of young talent and our current stars will still be in decent form (hopefully) in two years. 2016 is probably our best time to win some international silverware! Let's train those youth players Benfica, Sporting, Porto, and Braga!



Currently, here's my preferred XI. It would be a 4-4-2.

==========Eduardo===========
A. Almeida===Pepe===Costa===Coentrao
=====Moutinho========Carvalho===
Veirinha=====================Varela
=====Nelson Oliveira======Ronaldo===


Key subs: Amorim (to change o a 4-3-3 if we need to)
Nani
Quaresma
Postiga
Cavaleiro
?
38 Friday, 27 June 2014 02:24
Frank/USA
I was not able to watch the game and don't plan on it.

It makes me want to laugh when I look at the scoreline 2-1. Portugal needs a win and needs to erase a -4 goal differential yet you see a scoreline like that. Portugal was ranked 3rd in the world how can they not throw 4-5 goals up on Ghana given their porous defense. A 5-4 win would have been much more respectable than 2-1 I mean come on you had a -4 goal differential you have to go all out!

From what I have seen there was only 1 line up change that was not created from injury or suspension. Amorim for Meireles, Eder for Postiga for Almeida, Pepe was suspended, Beto for Patricio. William was the only tactical change which does make me happy.

How does Miguel Veloso play? Wow it absolutely blows my mind like he is absolute trash in every aspect of soccer and has no business doing anything soccer related ever again he should go be a hairdresser.

Why not in a do or die game try something ultra offensive to try and score multiple goals not 2 or 3.

Eduardo

Costa Alves Pepe

Nani William Mountinho Vierinha

Varela Eder Ronaldo

I'm not a big fan of applying logic to every single thing in life but in this tactical instance by Bento it does not add up.
Okay so in his traditional 4-3-3 thus far at the 2014 World Cup it resulted in Portugal having one point, no wins, and a -4 goal differential. Going into the final game in which a win is needed and making up a -4 GD to advance. How is it logical to field the same tactics and nearly the same line up in the final game and expect to advance? hahahaha

A 4-3-3 consisting of pereira, alves, pepe/costa, almeida, mountinho, meireles, veloso, nani, eder, and ronaldo resulted in one loss one draw and a -4 GD.

That formation consisting of those players has not been conducive to winning at this World Cup.

Going into the final must win and win big game changes must be made to the tactics and personnel to advance given a big win is needed.

Therefore unless changes are made to the tactics and personnel advancing from the group stage of this world cup cannot be expected.

Looks like that played out like clockwork.
Seriously?
37 Friday, 27 June 2014 02:19
Dan B/EEUU
Hey I have no great love for Bento but some of the whiners here are so unrealistic & shallow
Everyone thinks they know better. Everyone thinks they've got the answer & it always starts with firing the coach. Hey, vent as much as you like.............but hindsight always makes things seem so very simple. I trust that the armchair coaches here are freshening up their resumes & putting their name for consideration as the next head coach of Portugal.
Too little too late, but the future is bright.
36 Friday, 27 June 2014 02:14
Adam/Canada
It takes THESE circumstances for Bento to finally use our best lineup and tactics. If Portugal continue with William, Moutinho, Amorim, we may surprise people in Euro 2016. Alves & Pepe will be over-the-hill by then, but hopefully, Coentrao & Silvio maintain their form/health. In the next two years, I hope to see the young talents of William, Eder, Bebe, Nelson Oliveira, Marcos Lopes, Bruma, Cedric, Paulo Oliveira, Carlos Mane, Ivan Cavaleiro, Andre Gomes, Rafa Silva, Tiago Ilori, and Anthony Lopes prove themselves worthy of the Selecao: "The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming".
Pork chops, where did I you go?
35 Friday, 27 June 2014 01:58
Joao Francisco / Toronto
I was on college street today with my bandeiras after the game and nobody was there? I went outside right after the game stopped giving on the television and there was no party. What happened? Must have been a special on the bacalhao at the mercado.
Ballacks
34 Friday, 27 June 2014 01:52
Alves / uk
Time is up, shirts are in the pasture with the vacas, time to move on to the next chapter of life, what a joke.
Eder
33 Friday, 27 June 2014 01:30
Jerrold/Canada
he was never any big deal, i don't know why everyone wanted him to start. Really miss having Coentrao in there.
Paulo Bento to stay until Euro 2016
32 Friday, 27 June 2014 01:17
Pedro Vasconcelos - London, UK
People forget people at the top of the hierarchy get rewarded with mediocre results. It's the little people at the bottom that get shafted. Anyway, I think he should go ASAP. There are so many excellent Portuguese managers but the problems is, none of the top Portuguese managers want such a boring job, boring in terms of only coaching your team once every three months if you're lucky, many of the current good Portuguese managers like to be coaching day in day out, it's what they love to do, even if they are youngissimos like andre villas boas, paulo fonseca to super duper middle aged action jacksons like JJesus and JMourinho, etc etc, that's why so many old dudes coach at international level, they are happy to only work now and again, and they have a lifetime of LIFE's experience. Mourinho said he wants to coach Portugal when he's in his 60's, that says a lot. Anyway, Paulo Bento did a rubbish job and I hope we find a better alternative. Scandalous that he is staying until Euro 2016. His youth says it all, hate to be ageist, but he doesn't even fit the profile, too young. Not much of a record at club level either hu?
Portugal, I'll miss you but...
31 Friday, 27 June 2014 00:57
MDCViolenes- NY, USA
Well primos, this is it. Overall I'm thankful we won, ugly as it was especially that howler by Ghana's keeper for Ron's goal. I felt we were unlucky to not have some early chances go in. Our midfield with William + Amorim and overall tempo in the initial stages of the game was good enough but the intensity seemed to drop off more and more until Gyan's header to tie. It really must have been demoralising to miss chance after chance while trying to climb out of the grave dug in the first game and we just didn't have enough to pull it off.

The objective and honest assessments of the team from me are that first and foremost that Paulo Bento should not coach the national team anymore. Regardless of his excuses about the injuries and Pepe, he did not do his job in creating a team that could compete both mentally and physically. I don't know how many times I have to say that when Portugal plays with intensity and focus they are worth every point of that FIFA 4th ranking. When they don't? They are always talented but look so, so much worse. A good coach has his players on their toes, and ready to leave it all out there for their team. He also hasn't ejected enough youth into the side. Cowardly to choose the same team over and over when you know the team can be better. The roller coaster emotions of Euro 12 and just getting into the World Cup, esp. the Sweden game, were enough for people to gloss over Bento's poor handling of qualification, but like I said it was about the players doing what they do. Sweden left holes all over the place for us to exploit and I can't give all the credit to Bento. We need a manager who inspires and motivates the players. Cristiano isn't young anymore and it was sad having to listen to his honest comments earlier this week and still watch him struggle to make something, anything happen for the Selecção today. He needs more help and Bento let him down this World Cup. I'll be forever grateful to coach for turning around Euro 12 qualifying, the actual tourney, as well as WC14 qualifying (though it was not good). But managers can lose the ears of players over time, and it looks like his message is becoming stale with the team.

Other assessments were alluded to before- the players. You all know who needs to retire, or consider the Simão route and hang up the shirt for younger players even if they don't mean it or really want to. The burros/ carthorses know who they are and need to stop holding the team back but Bento has to stop calling them up too. I have a hard time blaming them for wanting one more World Cup, but Postiga and Meireles should have enough money to buy tickets to Brasil if they want to help the team with support. They didn't need to take a spot from someone if they were not fit to play effectively. I hear so many good things about the talent on Portugal's national sides under senior level, and when they come of age, nothing. FPF has to do something about this, otherwise we'll be sinking even faster.

Does anyone care to enlighten on why more Portuguese players don't play on the senior teams of Porto and Benfica? Yes, they say South American talent is relatively cheap, but is it also about the money of the Champions/ Europa Leagues for these teams? Perhaps they see young Portuguese talent as a risk to those financial benefits, but then again the big dogs in all leagues are full of talent from countries not their own... But still. And to be honest, Portuguese players, if they can help it-- need to choose clubs better when they can. Moutinho was wanted by United and other big clubs after Euro 12. Went to freaking Monaco. Nani should have forced himself out of United to Juventus or another club that actually wants him. Stays a Red Devil and gets no playing time. Remember awhile ago when Chelsea wanted Bruno Alves? Yeah, that same guy went to Russia. Same with Hugo Almeida-- I heard even Mourinho was looking at him when he started coaching Madrid and where did he go from Werder Bremen? Don't even get me started on Turkey. These guys needed to think of their career trajectories, and not just money. You can make more if you grow as a player, look at Ron. He had a hard time leaving Madeira, then the mainland for Manchester, but he did what was best for his career/ legacy and gets well compensated for it too.

I'm looking forward to seeing what the Selecção will become, but the right steps need to be taken. It won't be easy, knowing us it will be uncomfortable. But Portugal is still a great footballing nation that can rise from this.

By the way, I appreciate all of us who leave comments-- some short but hilarious and/or angry, and others long and informative. Sorry, I'm always of the latter but I do it in love. I'm thankful that this is a place for fans to celebrate and commiserate, but above all else PortuGOAL is awesome because the comments don't turn into attacks on each other and we all keep it respectful. So thanks for being such good mates. When we win we're something different, but we're like the AA of football when we have moments like this World Cup, ha. Definitely needed.

Thanks to any who read, and any thoughts on my post are appreciated. Força Das Quinas.… M.
When the coach and captain have no faith
30 Friday, 27 June 2014 00:57
Tony Costa Atlanta USA
How can a team have a chance to advance when not even the coach believes in them.
Both Cristiano and bento said the team was not good enough to advance yet any of the players on the portuguese squad would have been a star figure on the USA team.

If you don't have confidence and drive you can never succeed no matter what kind of players you have

Ronaldo thinks he is the best player on earth. He will never be that player until he starts acting the part.
Classless
29 Friday, 27 June 2014 00:51
Portugal
Paul bento being the great player he was should have lead this team to a better result. First of all egos must be put aside when playing for your country. Where was the defensive leader carvalho? Bad decision to not have his experience. Nandi should never be on the pitch with Ronaldo as he does not show teamwork and both on the pitch and verbally. Just wrong in my opinion. We have great players who were tired and injured and the games were not designed for the players to conserve energy. The first class team needs strong leadership with cool heads. Time for another coach who wants to win with the right players who have the right attitude.
The Corrupt FPF deserves all the blame.
28 Friday, 27 June 2014 00:50
Joao De Bacalhau/Canada
Blame Fernando Gomes. It's not Bento's fault that he was hired whilst not even possessing a fraction of the credentials required to be awarded the job. There were so much reasonable options available containing well seasoned experienced managers, and the FPF chooses somebody with extremely limited experience in Bento? This was nothing but a buddy-buddy hiring by the FPF, Fernando Gomes needs to be fired, and replaced with somebody that actually has the best interests of the national team at heart.

Another thing that needs to end is corruption. The blatant use of politics when it comes to the selection process of our national team. How do you justify Andre Almeida over Antunes? Just how? Nevermind how, you CAN'T. Quite frankly, i don't think it's something that our manager has any control over. He is just forced to comply. I believe that is a huge reason as to why the FPF won't fire him along with the fact that they do not want to lose money by performing such an action.

Everybody employed by the FPF should be ashamed of themselves and if the president has any sense of morality, he would step down immediately for letting down his country by scheming behind our backs in order to satisfy businessmen like Luis Filipe Viera who want to line up their pockets by putting players like Andre Almeida & Ruben Amorim on display at the World Cup as an audition for other clubs and hiring an inexperienced buddy of his in Paulo Bento.

We have to pay the hefty price of another four years now because of greedy selfish scum-like businessmen.
@Tom, Nathan and the Portugoal team
27 Friday, 27 June 2014 00:43
Steve/Australia
Hi Tom, Nathan and the Portugoal team,

Firstly thank you for your wonderful coverage of the Portugal team during this World Cup. Your hard work, dedication and insights have been much appreciated. I would love to see a new Poll;

"Should Paulo Bento be fired after the dissappointing World Cup display by the Seleccao?"
Options would be;
1. Yes
2. No.

P.S.

Put 1 down in the 'Yes' column from me

Thanks Steve
Close, but no cigar
26 Friday, 27 June 2014 00:40
J. Gomes/Murillo, Canada
In the end, Portugal had it in their sights to get the result they needed. The U.S. was losing and a 4-goal victory was in the cards; but only if CR7 took his multiple chances. The fact he only scored once (and that, a gift from the keeper) was scant return for the effort he put in. He could easily have posted a hat trick.
But, sadly, even if they had qualified for the Round of 16, structural problems were all too obvious. Here's the two biggest issues I see with this squad:
1. Needless turnovers.
How many times did they give away possession when under no pressure? It was a careless Moutinho pass to the right-wing that led to Ghana's goal, for example.
If a team keeps losing the ball so carelessly, maybe even a half-dozen times in a match, that's the margin between victory and defeat. Shocking how easily they gave it away.

2. Poor crosses into the penalty area.
This isn't just Nani, but also Veloso. How often did we see in-swingers that were overhit and getting nowhere near a man in red? And what about corner kicks that either went too long or were cut out by the first opposition player?
Those were the two alarming issues I identified.

Here's my take on some of the players:
- Bruno Alves: needs to be honourable and retire from international football. Has really little pace and should concentrate on club football. Thanks and best of luck to you, sir!
- William Carvalho: tall and sturdy, able to win the ball in the trenches. But once he has it, he stops and looks to immediately give it to someone else. Was he under orders to be conservative or is he afraid to move with it and try to get into the offensive zone?
Say what you will about Meireles, but at least he tried to be dangerous on the attack and could strike from distance.
- Moutinho: great touches on the ball, but he isn't a penetrating passer like Andrea Pirlo and can't support the attack and pop in the odd goal like Deco.
Sad to say, but he's overrated and will be lucky to be a regular at Monaco next season, even if it's under a Portuguese manager.
- Nani: other than that goal vs. USA, a complete bust. Perhaps he's got injury concerns, but he was abysmal. No pace, no crossing ability. A career on the downward trajectory.
Time for Paulo Bento to think about Euro 2016 and not what coulda been in Brazil 2014. That's in the history books now.
Portugal
25 Friday, 27 June 2014 00:30
Jonathan/Canada
First off i am distgusted and embarrassed to have portugese blood in me right now. I am Canadian born and i would have put in more of an effort for portugal than these guys did. First off Bento has to go, if they don't fire him than that shows they dont care about there national program and there just like Canada. Second no more of Meiriles, Pereira, postiga, Almedia and Pepe allowed. No more these guys are old and are past their prime. Second it is Portugals fault they have no depth. The clubs teams in Portugal do not develop any young players that are Portugese they only develop young south American kids. IE Colombia, Falcao, James, Jackson, Quintero. Enough is Enough start developing kids. It just sucks that in Ronaldos last world cup they didnt even get out of the group stage and he had a total of 3 world cup goals in 3 world cup tournaments. it shows you where his heart is.
Formation for the Euro playoffs because that is where we will be. Because we aint coming 1, 2 with Bento in charge
Eduardo
Alves, Neto, Carrico
Amorim, Carvalho
Ronaldo Mountinho Coentrao
Bruma Varela
Quaresma
24 Friday, 27 June 2014 00:09
Berat Macedonia
This is when you dont take Quaresma you f***ing stupid as*hole Bento :@ you are soooo stupid sooo discgraceful, he needed to be called and not Nani or Varela :/ so now enjoy it, hope they will fire you as soon as possible
Euro14
23 Thursday, 26 June 2014 23:39
Mental
Don't hold your breath for the Euro14 neither.
FPF extended Bento's contract for two years, even before the first game actually started.
Bento has FPF's full support and already declared he has no intentions of resigning.
Talk about the Peter Principle!
Canada
22 Thursday, 26 June 2014 23:30
Aaron
@ToneLoc/CA Are you kidding? Ronaldo was by far our best player today, and it was only his cross in the last match that made this game even relevant. Blame Beto?? Did you see him clearly injured at the end of the game, and if he had it his way, he would have stayed on, and he clearly showed he was willing to fight through it.

That being said errors were made by Bento. I though Ricardo Costa was better than Alves against the USA, and though we wouldnt even be hear without Alves, he was not good at all. Shouldnt have played today. Maybe it would have saved that tying goal.

Im also not sure why Bento didnt go with a false 9 today. Ronaldo is clearly not completely healthy so hes basically been our no 9. Eder as he was in 70 minutes against the USA was useless, and it probably would have been better to start vieirinha.

I think we all realized now that this isnt Ronaldo's team, but its the trio of Real Madrid guys -- Coentrao, Pepe and Ronaldo who rule. Missing the latter 2 proved killer.

Ruben Amorim is a keeper for me. Looked good at RB when he played against Ireland, and looked good again today, mixing with Veloso. I would seriously consider him to start our Euro qualifying with him alongside William and Moutinho. I know William looked a bit tentative out there today, but the fact is the game for him to play was against Germany, where its about marking, tackling and physicality.

While Nani was not great today at all, he has showed that he has talent to make a difference. For me he keeps a squad place, but if Quaresma or vieirinha have good starts to next season I would sooner give them starting places (yes I know Quaresma's issues, I saw him at Chelsea, but he has the skills, and he has always done well in the Premiera Liga)

Also can someone tell me why Nelson Oliveira didnt make the team? He had 7 goals in 18 games for a mid-table French team.

All in all, Bento needs to go. We need a new look to this team if we want Pepe and CR7 to stay on. Because if they retire, well, we are screwed
CR7
21 Thursday, 26 June 2014 23:03
Joe/ Montreal [Canada]
CR7 is the only one who deserves any accolades having played the full three games on one leg and being responsible for the win & draw.... aside from Coentrao, the rest could all be replaced....

as for the idiot who says CR7 should turn in his armband, who would you give it to wiseguy?....
Look Forward
20 Thursday, 26 June 2014 22:54
Dave/USA
We all know the reasons why we are going home early in this tournament. Better to focus on the future and the small bright spots we can look forward to instead of the negative and what just went down

William is going to be a great player for us and that position is so important. Very nice to see him play well today.

Everyone giving Ronaldo a hard time needs to put things in perspective. 1st off he was coming off a chronic injury he has been dealing with since Real Madrid played Dortmund in the champions league. Yet, he never turned his back on his responsibility and people saying he is not a good Captain are insane. To play every minute when you are not fit and in pain shows his commitment to the team and he tried his best to pass and create. Today he didn't finish well and would be the first to admit that but his effort was massive. He never tried to be selfish and win games on his own. For the most part his decision making in the 3 games was perfect his fitness just let him down when it came to finishing better. Lets consider his supporting cast and the fact that Portugal would be watching this tournament from home were it not for his heroics in the qualifying group and the play off. Ronaldo is a great Captain.

Im looking forward to a new coach who isn't afraid to mix in new talent and give rising stars a chance. Also one who knows when its time to sit players down or send them home when they are ineffective (Nani! Patricio, Almeida, Postiga...etc.). Portugal has some good young talent out there. Lets not forget we had a sub 21 team make the final of the World Cup against Brazil a couple years back and just miss out. We have Bruma, Gomes, William etc. A new coach who isn't so fixated on the same squad all the time will breath new life into this stale/old team.

We have a very manageable group for the Euro 16 qualifiers. If we come out hungry and take qualifying seriously instead of starting out slow like we always do we can be right back among the best where we belong.

I am happy the team at least went out with a win and 4 points which is better than Spain, Italy, England, Russia etc. can say. At least we showed a little pride today.

Forca Portugal!
Bento
19 Thursday, 26 June 2014 22:49
Nelson/ oakville
I can't believe we need to deal with this idiot for another tournament (if we even qualify). Useless, his selections were bad to start with. Choosing Almeida as a back up to Coentrao over antunes I believe killed us. All the goals that were scored by the US and Ghana exploited Veloso who was probably the better back up to Almeida. If we have a healthy Coentrao or a a very good backup in Antunes we advance in my opinion.

Eder has potential but he played what 4 games all year why take him over someone like Bebe ho had a breakout year and scored some spectacular goals.

I agreed with taking Nani, but verinhia over Quaresma again bad mistake. Vierinhia again only had played like 4 games.

H. Almeida, Postiga, pereira all need to retire.

Tactics and substitutions again awful.

We need to bring in new blood and find a way to play as a team which means CR7 isn't the only option. When 4 guys surround him we should be able to pass the ball around and find the open man (or 3).

The good news is we have a lot of very good young talent coming through the ranks the bad news Bento is to much of a jackass to use them
early exit
18 Thursday, 26 June 2014 22:48
jesualdo/qatar
we need a change. this was not the squad I wanted to see in Brazil. I always thought that RQ7 was our best player in form after CR7. he would have made the difference. its no excuse for Bento. eder is not up to the mark... bebe's form was better domestically, so?meireles, pepe and alves were not fit enough and fonte, eliseu and danny would have given us more options. Pereira, Veloso and Moutinho were dissapointing. We should've involved veirinha a lot more.

positives. William our future and Nani- our best player.
Bento
17 Thursday, 26 June 2014 22:36
jordan/Canada
Paulo Bento has made twrrible decisions during his tenure and again proved it this tournament (for example, William Carvalho looked to be our best midfielder and he was only forced into playing after injuries to coentrao and almeida). He's too conservative and it's an absolute disgrace that he went into the world cup with the same starting xi as the last one. Two years later, things must change with the times and he refuses to realize that. Veloso, Meireles, Almeida, Pereira, Bruno Alves, Varela should probably all lose their national team spots to younger players coming through the ranks, but under Bento I'm sure we'd see them all on the pitch in every qualifying game up to and including Euro 16). Bento said he would not resign if we were eliminated today and the FPF president backed him in insisting he is the coach until 2016. I give up.
as armas!!!!!
16 Thursday, 26 June 2014 22:32
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
Paulo Bento
15 Thursday, 26 June 2014 22:06
Correia/Canada
Great... after this terrible World Cup, Fernando Gomes stated that Paulo Bento will lead the team into Euro 2016. Seriously? It's not his fault that Pepe got sent off but most of the injuries are because of Bento and his team. Selecting old players and players who are not in form and barely play for their club to go into the heat and humidity of Brazil. Portugal were very unlucky to have all the injuries and the Pepe suspension. But Bento should have a plan B in case this happens and clearly, he did not and this was all evident before the World Cup started when he made his 23 man selection. All this shows me is that both Paulo Bento and the FPF are a joke. Paulo Bento has one tactic and one tactic only. You want to keep the opposition guessing as to how you will play, but with Paulo Bento, we already know the tactics, the starting lineup, everything! And then the FPF decides they want to reward him for with the chance to lead Portugal into the Euros after this magnificent World Cup?!

Looking to the future, Portugal have incredible talents coming up. Carvalho, Bruma, Paulo Oliveira, Tiago Ilori, Bebe, Cavaleiro, Rafa, Mane, Rony Lopes, R Miranda, B Fernandes, P Oliveira, Joao Mario, Ricardo Pereira, Esgaio, Cavaleiro, Cancelo, Rafa, Ivo, Andre Silva, Vezo, ToZe, G Paciencia, J Teixeira, R Guerreiro, Anthony Lopes, M Rodrigues, D Figueiras, R Horta, Luis Martins, Danilo, F Chaby, Sergio Oliveira, Jose Sa, etc. I'm not saying all of these players will become world class, but the potential is there to become another golden generation ( I hope) or close to it. I think the B teams are slowly helping create more Portuguese talents and hopefully this will help the national team in the future.

Personally, I would like a manager who can introduce young players into the national team(unlike Bento) to replace Bento. Maybe, Jorge Jesus, AVB, Rui Jorge from the U21s. Or maybe a foreign manager like Michael Laudrup who does not have a club. If Bento stays, he will need a new assistant because Pontes is going to Maritimo. So I think Rui should become his assistant so he can help Paulo Bento introduce the younger players instead of going with Meireles, Postiga, Almeida, etc.

I am very disappointed with this World Cup by Portugal, but the future looks bright and there are reasons to be optimistic (except for the continuation of Bento as manager)
Next article should be about Bento's firing
14 Thursday, 26 June 2014 21:37
ToneLoc/CA
Bento turn in your coaching credential

Ronaldo turn in your captain Armband

Beto, Bruno Alves, Ricardo Costa, Joao Pereira, Miguel Veloso, Nani, Varela, Eder, Hugo Almeida, Helder Postiga turn in your jerseys

All of you are a disgrace
un-apreciative no good losers
13 Thursday, 26 June 2014 21:18
Antonio/ Viseu
I've never been so disgusted in my national team as I have been during this world cup. N their minds they think its their god given right to b n the position they were 3 weekz ago. Fire douchebag Bento , fire the guy who hired him , fire the trainer for doin such a great job n keeping every in shape n then put out a firing squad on Nani , Pepe n moutinho !!!!
Ughhhh....

I'd love it when qualifying starts for the euro , win r loose we had a whole new squad (minus Vogue cover boy n Coentrao) if we loose atleast it'd b with pessoas da minha Terra que tem amor por Pais n camisola
Bento needs to go
12 Thursday, 26 June 2014 21:04
SupremoGino
I think this was our best showing of the tournament and William and Amorim are to be credited for that.

Of course.. Bento was forced by injuries to start William. Amorim looked fresh and fit, unlike Meireles.. which freed Moutinho allowing him to lead attacks.

Thanks to their hard work.. even Veloso's side wasn't half exposed compared to the acres of space vacated in the USA match..Miguel too, was able to get forward delivering crosses from the left, which led to the own goal.

We controlled the match for the most part.. neutralized Ghana in the midfield. They hardly looked a team that gave Germany fits.

I recall Ronaldo having 3-4 point blank shots with only the keeper to beat.. 19' min header, 82' min shot, 90+1, & 90+2.

Score two of those + early chance that bounced off the bar and were in the next round.

So it's a tough one to swallow for us. Then again, passing was piss poor throughout the 2nd half, except Nani no one put in an accurate cross.

We still won but our tourney was lost vs. the US. Veloso and Meireles were garbage and the rest of the team had to overexert themselves in sweltering conditions. Bruno Alves had all day to pick his ass off the ground and prevent Dempsey's go ahead goal.. Varela again would've been the hero.

Anyway.. is Bento fired yet? If not, where can I sign the petition?
Fire Bent0
11 Thursday, 26 June 2014 20:55
frank , canada
Will we get a new coach now!
2016 Euros!!!
10 Thursday, 26 June 2014 20:54
Robert/Marina Del Rey
Happy to see Portugal win a game. Not a total crash and burn.

USA deserved to advance more than Portugal, better overall showing. And better draw.

Portugal lost this tournament before they git to Brazil. Fitness. Player selection. Team preparation. Mental errs. Disappointing.
2016 cr7 last big cup lets do it
9 Thursday, 26 June 2014 20:39
Tomtom
William was good but sloppy passing Ruben good vererinha very good ,nani hmm Jesus so slow ,Jp ok had bad World Cup cr7 could had hatrick we didn't have that we bit of luck edwardo should b awar keeper lets make way for the new guns n get out with old boys , veloso left bk ha joke ...
fire coach
8 Thursday, 26 June 2014 20:36
frank canada
we lost becasue we do not have a worls class coach. once we went down to ten men so early in the game the line up should have been changed to stop what turned out to be a disaster of goals .

he should be fired just for starting that old mule almeida
Farewell Bento
7 Thursday, 26 June 2014 20:13
Anthony/United States
Bento should be dismissed as soon as the team lands in Lisbon.

I honestly think that I could have had as big as an impact as Eder had. He provided absolutely nothing, yet stayed on for nearly 70 minutes. The first game, he showed some promise; the second game, it was clear that what he showed in the first game was a flash in the pan; yet, he somehow starts in a "must win by 4 goals" game. Spain no longer has a first class striker. Do they force Torres or Llorente in their starting lineup? No. They play to their strengths, and then bring in those guys towards the end of the game to use their energy to exploit their tired opponents. Portugal looked so much better once Vierinha and Varela came on to the pitch. It could have been because they were fresh, but I still think we would have had a better chance had at least one of them started, in place of Eder.

What can I say about Veloso and Joao Pereira? My god. Outside of Eder, these two were by far the worst players on the pitch. That combination was directly responsible for the goal that all but sealed our fate in WC '14. Both were abused repeatedly throughout the course of the game, and made questionable plays with and without the ball (see: Pereira's idiotic challenge at the edge of the box that led to a wide open shot on goal for Ghana).

What can I say about Ronaldo? It was a shame witnessing the clear gap in talent between him and the rest of the team anytime he touched the ball. Even on one knee, he severely outplayed the rest of our attack. It's sad that he was not fit for perhaps his last major tournament. It would have been great had he scored a few of those chances he had in the game, notably the header in the first half and the breakaway in the second half, but neither would have really made a difference in the outcome.

As much as I love(d) Nani, he was horrible this game, and had two questionable performances in his first two matches. I will give him props for those in that he created a lot of chances for the team. Today he was just bad. Could not complete simple passes. Continued stopping the ball. Not to mention, the guy almost gave up the SAME EXACT goal to Gyan that he gave to Jones in the last game. I couldn't believe my eyes watching that play out.

Once again, I really liked what I saw from Carvalho. The guy has so much composure at his position, and rarely, if ever, lost the ball. It's a good feeling to at least have one position covered for the next World Cup.

Moutinho had a decent game. Still not up to his standards, in my opinion. Made way too many bad passes, and didn't create many opportunities for the attack.
Guuted
6 Thursday, 26 June 2014 20:06
Ahmad/Lebanon
Too furious to write a lengthy response so I'll keep that until tomorrow... I'll just leave for today with one thing to say: "How much decency and self pride does Bento lack to not resign from his spot as Portugal manager?"

Thank you. Forca Portugal.
Wasn't holding my breath or roasary beads for this one..
5 Thursday, 26 June 2014 20:02
Larry USA
The end was already in the cards, there was NO chance Portugal would advance. the beating we took from Germany day one sealed our fate. Ronaldo even admitted that "they were not going to win the WC". When you have your captain admit something like that, its like sealing the coffin and burying it. It's time for the national team to complete and huge overhaul. No more players who are past their prime, no more headcases, ahem Pepe, no more subpar coaching. Investment into the youth and finding a coach who has the experience, guts, knowledge about international play, and overall style of play, are surely needed. Ronaldo will be 33 come World Cup 2018, that's creeping up their with age and grey hairs. Enough is enough, time for a change within everything. I'm not trying to sound all negative, but c'mon people, reality hurts sometimes and now is the time to realize that Portugal need a massive change. If not, we will continue to see the same results, tourney after tourney. If you look at it, all parts of the team need a change, the defense is old, the midfield is subpar, no striker, and the goalkeepers are cracking. Bento needs to go and the federation need a good slap in the head to wake the hell up and start looking into investing into the youth, like in 2009 under 20 World Cup team. Best of future luck to Portugal, I have faith....
Exiting in good company
4 Thursday, 26 June 2014 19:55
Reis/USA
Spain, Italy, England, Portugal

The soccer farms in Latin America are starting to pay dividends, the USA will be next since success brings on success

Loosing Pepe (even Coentrao) against Germany and the USA, proved to be too much

Still proud of my small but very brave Portugal
Hard luck!
3 Thursday, 26 June 2014 19:50
Monah/Dubai
Hard luck Portugal! Hard luck Portuguese! Bad luck combined with some wrong tactics from Bento plus injuries plus a bad start were all there to send us back home early!

Now it's time to fix everything, Ronaldo must take a rest at least for 2 months to completely recover; Patricio, Pereira, Alves, Pepe, Meireles, Ricardo Costa, Eder, Postiga and Almeida must all retire, at least internationally!

Let us now build a team from scratch, youngsters are starving to shine: Bruma, Cavaleiro, Mane, Rafa, Ricardo Horta, Helder Costa, Marco Lopes, Andre Gomes, Cedric Soares, To Ze, Ricardo Esgaio, Joao Mario,... I believe this is their turn now!

The only thing that hurts is that the world cup comes every 4 years, so now we have to wait and start analyzing the qualifications, those matches that Portugal had never taken seriously! No matter what, I'll always root to this seleccao! We're getting great experience, and this is how we're gonna achieve our first international tournament! In france 2016? Maybe!? Who Knows! Let's see!
Tough hill to climb
2 Thursday, 26 June 2014 19:45
Rob - USA
Portugal failed to advance on the first match. Letting up a 4 goal difference to Germany in game 1 in a tight group was inexcusable and very costly. The US only gave up 1 vs. Germany. So while the Germany v. US result gave the slimmest of hopes to Portugal, there was still a lot of ground to make up goal difference-wise and Ghana is too good a team, even maybe in slight disarray, to give up a lot of goals.
Just as expected....
1 Thursday, 26 June 2014 19:35
Nelson / Canada / Burlington
I always expected that the goal differential from that first game would be our undoing.

It will be very interesting to see who'll be starting for our first Euro qualifier....

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