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Another lucky day

Rashneel Kumar
Tuesday, June 24, 2014

SO close!

If only USA have held on to their 2-1 lead, the 2014 FIFA World Cup would have witnessed another shock exit of a highly rated side.

Portugal is lucky to remain in the World Cup after securing its first point in the 2-2 draw against the Americans yesterday.

FC Porto winger Silvestre Varela headed the equaliser in the added time to keep Portugal's 'faint' hope alive.

Portugal was superior in everything on the field — from the rankings to the players — they were a much favoured side.

For instance, Portuguese team's total value according to German football website Transfermarkt is $F802 million while USA stands on $155.8m.

Portugal's highest paid player Cristiano Ronaldo is valued at $269m while USA's most valuable Clint Dempsey is worth around $19m.

Massive difference.

When USA and Portugal locked horns in the crucial encounter at Manaus, all these facts and figures meant nothing.

As a team USA was more effective and Portugal with star players was let down by individual play.

Ronaldo may possess the best football skills but when it comes to team play especially with his national side, he fails to live up to the expectations. He has been brilliant for his club Real Madrid in Spanish La Liga.

In numbers, Portugal had 52 per cent possession and took 20 shots at goal from which only nine were on target.

They committed 14 fouls but were lucky to escape the cards.

USA was more effective with their attempts, landing 10 of their 15 shots on goal. They committed 11 fouls and were booked once.

The stalemate has made Group D very exciting.

Germany after a win and a draw is on four points alongside USA. They will face each other in the final rounds of the pool play and a draw will put them through to the top 16.

In other matches played yesterday, Algeria hammered South Korea 4-2 to become the first African team to score four goals in a match in the World Cup while Belgium defeated Russia 1-0 to advance into the top 16 from Group H.

Off the field, here are some giant killers of this World Cup and their worth from time.com.

Algeria's total value stands at $F155m. Winger Sofiane Feghouli, who plays for Valencia, is the team's most valuable player worth $32.5m.

Inter Milan's Saphir Taider is Algeria's second most valuable player on $27m.

Nigeria, which is on the verge of making the top 16 from Group F, is worth about $235.6m.

Defensive midfielder John Mikel, who plays for Chelsea, is the team's most valuable player worth just over $54m followed by centre forward Emmanuel Emenike on $37.9m.

2014 World Cup darling Costa Rica is worth $80.3m and right wing Bryan Ruiz who plays for PSV Eindhoven is their priciest at $21.6m.

Chile, which booted defending champions Spain out of the tournament, is worth $373.8m, about a fifth of what the Spanish are worth.

Arturo Vidal, who plays for Juventus FC, is Chile's most valuable player and is worth $117.5m.

Honduras is the least valuable of the 32 teams competing in the World Cup and is worth about $56.6m while lowest ranked team in the tournament, Australia, is second last on $57.3m.

Tomorrow - The top 10 valuable teams in the World Cup.





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