By TIM FONTENAULT
Portugal got ripped to shreds by Germany in their World Cup opener Monday afternoon, getting outplayed to the tune of a 4-0 loss. Things only got worse for Portugal on Tuesday, five days before the No. 4 team in the world takes on the United States in what is now a must-win match.
Starting left back Fabio Coentrão has been ruled out for the remainder of the World Cup after injuring his thigh in the 65th minute against Germany. The Portuguese Federation announced the injury as a “second-grade tear of the adductor longus muscle in the right thigh.”
That was not the only blow for Portugal. Forward Hugo Almeida and goalkeeper Rui Patricio are doubtful for the United States match. Almeida, who scored 13 goals for Beşiktaş in the Turkish Süper Lig, has a first-grade hamstring tear. Patricio, like Coentrão, injured his thigh, suffering a grade-one tear. Both players are expected to be healthy before the end of the tournament but are unlikely to play Sunday.
Portugal will also be without center back Pepe, who will be serving a one-match ban against the Americans. Pepe was sent off in the first half of Monday’s match for head-butting Germany’s hat-trick standout Thomas Muller.
How do these injuries affect Portugal’s chances at the World Cup? Does this make the United States’ chances of progressing more favorable?
Share your thoughts below.