Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal can only play one way on Thursday in Brasilia against Ghana – attack, attack, attack and score as many goals as possible, while praying the result in the USA vs Germany match go their way.
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The do-or-die Group G game is set for a 6 pm local time (3.30 am IST, 11 pm BST, 6 pm ET) start with live coverage on Sony Pix and and Sony Pix HD in India. The match can be watched via live streaming online in India HERE. Catch the match in the UK on ITV and BBC with the live streaming option HERE or HERE. Germany viewers can live stream the match HERE, while US viewers can watch the game on ESPN or ABC, or live stream the action HERE. Viewers in Australia can watch HERE online, while Africa viewers can do so HERE. The match can be live streamed by viewers in the Middle East and North Africa HERE, while South Africa viewers can catch the match HERE.
Portugal were staring at an early exit after just two games at the FIFA World Cup, trailing USA 2-1, before a Ronaldo cross and a Silvestre Varela header kept them in the picture, but only just. Their hopes still hang very much by a thread, and they need to pick up as big a win as possible to overcome their -4 goal difference, and hope one of Germany or USA win.
Both Germany and USA have four points from two matches, while Ghana and Portugal have managed to pick up just a point each. Neither Portugal nor Ghana will be able to do anything if Germany and USA draw their game in Recife, as the two sides will then go through to the last 16 with five points each.
"I believe in miracles," said Pepe, whose sending off played a major role in Portugal's 4-0 defeat to Germany. "I think it is possible for us. We know it is difficult but we have to fight. We have to play our game regardless of what happens in Germany v USA, we are going to play our game, get the win... and bring honour to the Portugal jersey."
Pepe, who will be available for selection after serving a one-match ban for his daft red card in the first game, does not believe Germany and USA will play for a draw, and with it knock Portugal and Ghana out of the competition.
"Our idea is to win the game and after we will see what happens," he added. "We are all professionals, we should not enter into this, we have to respect this magic that is football, it hasn't occurred to us that this could happen."
While the likes of Lionel Messi Neymar, Robin Van Persie, Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben, to just name a few, have lit up this FIFA World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo, the reigning World Player of the Year, had had a bit of a nightmare tournament.
Not only has Ronaldo failed to find the target so far at this World Cup, but he has also had to watch his team suffer a huge defeat to Germany, while only managing to pick up a draw against USA despite taking the lead.
Yes, it was Ronaldo's assist which kept Portugal in this tournament for at least one more match, but the Real Madrid superstar would not have envisaged staring at elimination, barring a miracle, come the final game of the group stages, even if the player himself admitted he never considered Portugal to be World Cup contenders.
"I never thought that we were going to win the World Cup," he told Portuguese media after the US draw. "For me, it would have been easy, I could have not come to the World Cup and finished the season as European champion. But I'm going to stand up and be counted.
"Portugal were never favourites, you just have to look at qualifying for this [World Cup]. It was difficult from the start. We have to be humble and know our capabilities. At the moment, there are better national teams than ours."
Ronaldo will certainly be targeting a virtuoso performance against Ghana, and if ever there was a time for the 29-year-old to score a hat-trick, this would be it.
Expected lineups: Portugal: Beto; Pereira, Pepe, Alves, Almeida; Moutinho, Veloso, Meireles; Nani, Postiga, Ronaldo.
Ghana: Dauda; Aful, Boye, Mensah, Asamoah; Muntari, Rabiu; Atsu, Boateng, Andre Ayew; Gyan.