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BRASILIA, Brazil -- Cristiano Ronaldos first goal of the World Cup earned Portugal a
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BRASILIA, Brazil -- Cristiano Ronaldos first goal of the World Cup earned Portugal a 2-1 win over Ghana but couldnt prevent his team being eliminated from the tournament along with the Africans on Thursday. Portugal finished level on four points with second-place United States in Group G but with an inferior goal difference. Germany topped the group after beating the U.S. 1-0 in Recife. Ronaldo slammed home the winner at Estadio Nacional with his left foot in the 80th minute to break his drought in Brazil and give Portugal its first win. He barely celebrated, though, with the goal coming too late to help Portugal qualify at the expense of the Americans. "We created many opportunities but we could not finish them," Ronaldo said. "We knew we had to score three goals and were depending on the result of the Germany game and we couldnt do that. "We deserved more, but thats football. We are leaving with our heads held high." Ghana captain Asamaoh Gyans 57th-minute header cancelled out an own goal scored by teammate John Boye in the 31st. It was a bittersweet ending to the World Cup for Ronaldo, who has been nursing a left leg injury and seen the likes of Brazil star Neymar and Argentina captain Lionel Messi upstage him with four goals apiece. The world player of the year earned the man-of-the-match award after a display that could easily have yielded three or four goals. Ronaldo struck the bar in the first half and had two great chances in injury time, but glanced a close-range finish over the bar and then shot straight at Fatawu Dauda when one on one with the goalkeeper. It was too little, too late from Ronaldo, who was downbeat as he trudged off the pitch after the final whistle. The result brought to an end a typically eventful few weeks in Brazil for the Ghanaians, who were part of thrilling games against the United States and Germany before their campaign ended in turmoil on and off the pitch. Their players took to the field in the Brazilian capital amid a dispute with the countrys football federation over alleged unpaid World Cup bonuses. Adding to the chaos, two of the teams star players -- Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng -- were booted out of the squad hours before Thursdays kickoff for disciplinary reasons. "I dont think it had an impact on the game," said Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah, who confirmed that his players received their appearance-fee payments before kickoff as requested. "We had our chances but couldnt take them." It was perhaps no surprise that Ghana delivered its most subdued display of the tournament, ensuring the team finished bottom of the group and resulting in Ronaldo getting time and space to enjoy his most lively performance in Brazil. He could have had a hat trick by the time he finally found the net. An over-hit cross in the fifth minute flew over Dauda and slammed against the bar before the Real Madrid superstar squandered a gilt-edged chance, heading straight at the keeper from six yards (meters) out. After having two stinging shots saved, he was bailed out by Boye, who sliced Miguel Velosos cross into the top corner of his own net to give the Portuguese a halftime lead they just about deserved. Gyan could hardly miss with a header after Kwadwo Asamaohs delicious cross with the outside of his left foot, making it 1-1. With Germany having just taken the lead in Recife, Ghana was only a goal away from progressing at that stage. However, Ronaldo had the final say, making no mistake from eight yards (meters) out after Dauda had parried the ball high into the air. Dana Barros Jersey . Ashton scored a hat trick -- giving him 13 goals in 16 AHL games this season -- to power the Toronto Marlies to a 5-2 victory over the visiting Lake Erie Monsters in AHL action on Sunday. Moses Malone Jersey . A 23-year-old rookie, Stroman is 4-2 with a 3.44 earned run average in 12 games this season, the past seven of those being starts. He logged the first scoreless outing of his career on Friday versus Oakland in a no-decision. http://www.76ersstore.com/kids-jimmy-butler-76ers-jersey/. LOUIS -- To stay a step ahead of goaltenders, T. JJ Redick Jersey . One out away from finishing off an impressive shutout, they let a must-win game slip away. Maurice Cheeks Jersey . - Because they didnt go into Beast Mode, the Seattle Seahawks found themselves in Spin Mode. WASHINGTON -- Speaking to reporters moments after losing his opening match at the Citi Open, John Isner swore, gave clipped answers and complained that he and fellow American Steve Johnson played on a secondary court instead of in the main stadium. Isner, a two-time runner-up at the hard-court tuneup for the U.S. Open, hit 29 aces but failed to earn a single break point and was beaten by the 68th-ranked Johnson 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-6 (6) on Wednesday night. Seeded No. 5 in Washington and ranked No. 12 overall -- the highest American man by nearly 50 spots -- Isner bowed out quickly after winning a hard-court title in Atlanta last week. "I didnt like playing out there," Isner said of being placed on Grandstand 1, instead of the nearby larger arena, where he contested the finals in 2007 and last year. "I just didnt think I deserved to play on that court," he added. "Simple as that." Asked what about the main stadium helps him, Isner replied: "Its just a better court." "I like my chances better on centre court, but he beat me fair and square," said Isner, who had a first-round bye. Johnson only converted 1 of 2 break points, but that was enough to reach the third round. Isner erased one match point at 6-5 in the third-set tiebreaker, but at 6-all, he double-faulted, then smacked a ball out of the court. Given a second opportunity to close it, Johnson did. As for the court assignment, Johnson said the tournaments international TV partners chose to have higher-seeded men from other countries -- No. 1 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, No. 2 Milos Raonic of Canada and No. 4 Kei Nishikori of JJapan, who all beat American opponents Wednesday -- play in the 4, 6 and 8 p.ddddddddddddm. time slots on the Stadium Court. Isner was given the option of playing there in the days last match -- probably starting at about 10 p.m. -- or instead shifting to the smaller court, but with an earlier start time. "Its a pretty intimate court. People are right on you," Johnson said. "I thought it was kind of a bummer, because (Isner) deserves to be on the big stage. But Im not in control of that." In a statement relayed via a spokesperson, tournament director Jeff Newman said: "Many factors are at play in scheduling decisions, including domestic and international television, and many more. As a player who has played so well here in the past, we can appreciate its a tough loss (for Isner), but credit to Steve Johnson for the win." Raonic, a Wimbledon semifinalist from Thornhill, Ont., was tested by 60th-ranked Jack Sock but took the last six points of the first set, and the last five points of the second to win 7-6 (3), 7-6 (3). Vancouvers Vasek Pospisil is also moving on by eliminating American Rajeev Ram 6-0, 7-6. Nishikori edged Sam Querrey 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, while Berdych beat qualifier Robby Ginepri 6-1, 6-4. Two seeded men lost when Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic beat No. 8 Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (5), 6-4, and Donald Young of the United States eliminated No. 17 Julien Benneteau 6-4, 6-3. In womens action, Kristina Mladenovic beat American qualifier Taylor Townsend 6-3, 6-4, and Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan stopped playing against Kurumi Nara of Japan because of a right elbow injury. 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