PORTUGAL 2 GHANA 1
GHANA coach Kwesi Appiah refused to blame in-fighting after his team missed out on a place in the last 16 and ended their World Cup campaign with another defeat.
Appiah sent home star men Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari just hours before last night’s clash, from which both sides could have progressed with victory.
A comical own goal by Ghana’s John Boye and Cristiano Ronaldo’s first strike of the tournament outweighed Asamoah Gyan’s header, but were not enough to carry Portugal into the next round.
“The decision to send home the two players was taken for disciplinary reasons,” said Appiah. “You cannot think about one player, you have to think about the good of the team. I don’t think this had an effect on the game.”
Ronaldo was left to reflect on a game – and tournament – of missed opportunities for the Real Madrid star and a limited Portugal squad, who join England, Italy and Spain among the high-profile casualties.
“We created many opportunities but we could not finish them all,” he said. “We knew it was complicated.”