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Portugal coach Bento wants honesty from USA,Germany in World Cup clash

Published on: 25 June 2014
Paulo Bento

Portugal are hanging on to a World Cup last-16 berth by their fingernails but will head into the final Group G match with Ghana certain that the US and Germany will not play for the draw that would send both sides through, coach Paolo Bento said.

The Portuguese retained slim chances of progressing after scoring a late equaliser in a pulsating 2-2 draw against the Americans in the Amazonia Arena on Sunday.

Bento refused to criticise either a weary-looking Cristiano Ronaldo or any of the other players for a lacklustre second-half performance, in which the Americans turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead.

“Ronaldo was fit, he played the full 90 minutes and he didn’t seem to have any problem,” a poker-faced Bento told a news conference.

“This is a delicate moment for all our players. They are all a bit sad now and this is not the moment to criticise individuals.

“Criticise me as a coach if you will, we had a chance to get a result here today, we didn’t but we have to move on and try to beat Ghana.”

Bento was asked if he believed US coach Juergen Klinsmann’s vow to play all out for a win against his native Germany, even though a draw would send both sides through at the expense of Portugal and Ghana.

“In my entire career as a player and coach, I have never been suspicious about my colleagues playing for a draw,” he said.

“Our obligation is to beat Ghana and, although our chances are slim even if we do, we will maintain our professional standards until the very last minute.”

All four teams are still in the reckoning with a myriad of potential scenarios, but Portugal can only advance if they beat the Ghanaians and hope the US v Germany result goes their way.

Having taken an early lead through Nani, Portugal were on the back foot after the interval as a fitter US team turned the match on its head through Jermaine Jones and Clint Dempsey.

Substitute Silvestre Varela levelled at the death after a subdued Ronaldo delivered a cross into the penalty area, but Bento said neither the world player of the year nor any of his teammates had struggled in the humid conditions.

“We were fine physically, it was more the mental aspect that determined the course of the game,” he said.

“We were a goal up and then fell behind. In the end we got an equaliser that leaves us in with a mathematical chance to progress.

“We dominated the first 45 minutes and should have scored more goals, but the situation changed in the second half. We never lost control of the match, although we didn’t dominate the whole game and failed to contain their right wing.

“The second US goal came through our mistakes and in the end I guess a draw was a fair result, although it left us in a very difficult situation.”


This article has 12 comment(s), give your comment
  • Nana Adwoa T. Kese says:
    June 25, 2014 04:05 pm
    @Tanko. Sir, Kindly discuss the issue and stop the insults... aba Ghana man and insult water no dey pass.
  • EMMANUELL says:
    June 25, 2014 04:32 pm
  • Baby Jet Fuel says:
    June 25, 2014 04:50 pm
    Mumbi... STFU!!! Instead of being optimistic you are behaving like a donkey. There is no glory in defeat. We should be supporting our guys no matter what. Foolish! Mtchewwww
  • awass says:
    June 25, 2014 09:59 am
    d same expectations 4 us oooo.fifa b on d luk out ooo.
  • Mumbi says:
    June 25, 2014 10:51 am
    GERMANY 0-0 USA will be a great result. We don't want lazy teams who can not do the job on their own but depending for favour from other teams to go through. Normal humans should not expect that.
  • Tanko says:
    June 25, 2014 11:00 am
    Mumbi: wo maame!
  • benny says:
    June 25, 2014 11:29 am
    I love to see Ghana go through but if the unfortunate happens, it will be a good opportunity to get rid of AA and his crooks and usher in a true professional coach who will discharge his duties without favouratism.
  • Benito says:
    June 25, 2014 12:00 pm
    FIFA won't care less what happens in the USA vs. Germany game,it's most corrupt organization on planet earth.they are hypocrites and make mockery of "fair play" and "zero racism" see what happened to the Ivorians,how can a referee award such a dubious penalty at such a time knowing that "the black"guys could qualify with a draw in that game..
  • Prince says:
    June 25, 2014 12:45 pm
    Mumbi,you cant hate your fellow man and expect God to bless you..We pray that every African country taste the WC fever but if you dont take care Zambia will never go to the WC in 100yrs to come if you dont stop the hate you have for Ghana.
  • Emmanuel Appiah-kubi says:
    June 25, 2014 01:09 pm
    [email protected]@ you right about FIFA , but the Ivorians duck their own grave. They didn't play as united thus why they got kicked out of the WC. It was a clear pk . the same thing gonna happene to the super eagles today
  • Crusader7 says:
    June 25, 2014 01:32 pm
    This should tell you what Portugal intends to do to Ghana.
  • ginger says:
    June 25, 2014 11:49 pm
    @emmanuel appiah, thank God d same thing didnot happen to super eagles today...shame on u