All five of Ghana’s Ligue 1 based players featured in their 2-1 defeat to Portugal which ended the African side’s 2014 World Cup campaign.
With the result not enough for either team to gain more points than the USA, it means that both teams were sent home after poor showings throughout the tournament. It is the first time in three World Cups appearances that Ghana have failed to reach the knockout stages.
It was always going to be a difficult challenge after being grouped with Germany, Portugal and the USA. They showed glimmers of hope in all three games but were unable to convert moments of good play into points.
Rennes defender John Boye, who has featured in all three games for the Ghanaians, has been impressive throughout the tournament, especially against Germany. He got the first goal of the game, but not in the manner he would have wanted. Miguel Velosa whipped in a cross from the left wing, which took a wicked bounce just in front of Boye.
The ball spun over the defender’s foot, off his thigh ending up in the top corner of the goal, leaving the Rennes player on the ground in disbelief. Andre Ayew of Marseille once again put in a solid attacking performance. The winger who has been linked with a move to the Premier League, played his part in Asamoah Gyan’s equaliser.
Ayew worked his way from the wing into the centre of the field before laying the ball to Kwadwo Asamoah who curled a deep cross into the box onto the head of Gyan to level the game. It means that Gyan is now the top scoring African in the World Cup’s history with 6 goals over two tournaments. Ayew was replaced with nine minutes left with Wakaso Mubarak taking his place.
Majeed Waris is currently on loan at Valennciennes from Spartak Moscow and had been tipped by some to have a tournament to remember. Unfortunately for the 22-year-old, it hasn’t turned out that way. He had a fantastic opportunity to put Ghana ahead after finding himself with plenty of space in the box.
Close to a lead
Gyan’s cross found him unmarked but he was unable to direct the ball goalwards instead it ended up going wide of the post. The striker was subbed off soon after that, replaced by Jordan Ayew of Marseille.
Evian’s John Mensah also featured in the defence alongside Boye, but was unable to prevent Ronaldo from scoring the winning goal. Nani’s cross was flapped away by Dauda in the Ghana goal, pushing the ball away from Varela but directly into the path of Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Real Madrid striker smashed the ball into the net to score his first goal of the tournament and become the first Portuguese player to score at three World Cup tournaments.
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