Cristiano Roanldo's World Cup certainly didn't get off to the start he would of liked with his team looking nowhere near the form that had taken them to the World Cup in Brazil.
The destruction of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Swedish team, in which Ronaldo scored a hat trick to send his side through to the finals in amazing fashion, suggested they would arrive at the World Cup in similar form to that which saw them through to the semis on the European Championships in 2012, where they exited only on penalties to eventual champions Spain.
During that campaign the Portuguese met the Germans and were beaten 1-0 by a Mario Gomez goal that left their start in tatters and raised doubts they could quality from a group that also contained the Netherlands and Denmark. They went on to dispatch Denmark 3-2 with the winner from Varela and then the shock of the group stage when they beat World Cup beaten finalists Holland 2-1 with a double from Ronaldo.
This World Cup may end differently with there being even more issues to deal with now than just the huge defeat, but to decide who will play alongside Bruno Alves in their next game against the USA. Also they will need to deal without their key left back Fábio Coentrão who suffered an injury in the game against Germany and will sit out the rest of the group stage at least.
Also picking up an injury was the experienced Beşiktaş forward Hugo Almeida and he will most likely miss the USA game as well. This means the Portuguese will now have to look to the bench for a game changing player who can give them the experience and skills they require.
Paulo Bento needs to mastermind another comeback from the brink or Portugal will risk becoming one of the biggest failures of the FIFA World Cup 2014.
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