Portugal on brink of World Cup exit, admits Bento

Portugal manager Paulo Bento has admitted that his side are set to go out of the World Cup despite their late equaliser against the United States on Sunday evening, Sky Sports has reported.

After their 4-0 defeat by Germany, Portugal began their second group match the stronger of the two sides, and took the lead after only five minutes when Geoff Cameron sliced a clearance straight to the feet of Nani, who found the roof of the net.

In the second half, Portugal began to sit back amid considerable United States pressure, and Jurgen Klinsmann’s side levelled matters when Jermaine Jones fired a powerful shot past a static Beto. Clint Dempsey then completed the turnaround as he turned the ball home with his chest following a counter attack.

The United States looked to be heading through to the knockout stages, only for Cristiano Ronaldo’s cross to reach Silvestre Varela, who powered home a header in what was the last action of the match.

Despite their draw, Portugal must beat Ghana and hope for a five-goal swing to have any chance of going through, and Bento admits that is unlikely. He said: “It’s clearly not a good result for us. The 2-2 doesn’t put us out of the World Cup mathematically, but it does leave us in a very difficult situation.

“Not just because of what we’ll need to do against Ghana, but also because we’ll need a favourable result from the Germany-United States game. We were unlucky late in the first half, but it was a great effort to level the match. Now all we can do is to give everything in our very last game and try and make the most of the very little chance that we have left.”

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