Portugal hopes hanging by a thread

The Europeans need a big win over Ghana and a result in the other game to move to the last 16.

Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal controls the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Germany and Portugal at Arena Fonte Nova on 16 June, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil. Picture: Fifa.

BRASILIA, BRAZIL - Portugal must win big against Ghana in their final World Cup Group G match in Brasilia on Thursday and hope Germany and the United States do not draw in Recife to have any hope of progressing to the last 16.

Portugal captain and World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo, whose record goal haul helped Real Madrid win a 10th European Cup last season, has failed to spark in Brazil and they can only still go through because of Silvestre Varela's stoppage-time equalizer in Sunday's 2-2 draw with the US.

In the final round of group matches before the knockout stages, a win for Algeria against Russia in Curitiba would ensure that they progress from Group H along with Belgium.

If they draw, Russia are eliminated but South Korea could sneak second place if they beat the already-qualified Belgians heavily in Sao Paulo.

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