World Cup pre-game: Portugal vs. Ghana
Both need a win and German help
Group G: Portugal vs. Ghana
- Noon pm ET, Thursday June 26
- CBC TV, streaming online at cbc.ca/fifaworldcup
What’s at stake
It’s complicated, kind of.
Both of these teams have to win and hope the Americans lose to Germany. But Portugal’s goal difference is -4, whereas the Germans are +4 and the Americans are +1. Portugal has a scoring mountain to climb.
Ghana has a goal difference of -1, meaning they have a slightly brighter hope than Portugal. Winning this game and seeing Germany win as well will get the Black Stars through.
Portugal: Cristiano Ronaldo. He may (or may not) have a sore knee, but he’s still incredibly valuable. That game-winning crossing ball against the Americans was a thing of beauty.
Ghana: Asamoah Gyan. His goal against the Germany puts him equal on World Cup goals — five in total — with legendary African footballer Roger Milla.
What to watch for
Ronaldo is a formidable playmaker and striker. Ghana needs to neutralize him, while not forgetting about his potent teammates Nani and Verela.
Ghana has a match-fixing cloud hovering over their football federation and a controversy over bonus payments. This shouldn't affect their players, but they have to be at their best to beat a resurgent Portugal.
They said it
''We're depending on third parties. 'We're depending on results of other teams.'' — Portugal’s manager Paulo Bento told reporters in looking to his third game.
''I always believe that the best way to defend is to attack.'' — Ghana’s manager Kwesi Appiah talking to media about his defensive game plan.
The big number
1 — Portugal has won only one of their last eight World Cup games: a 7-0 thumping of North Korea in 2010. They’ve drawn three and lost four in addition to this win.