World Cup Update: Ghana fall to Netherlands, Cristiano Ronaldo misses friendly for Portugal
A busy day in international friendlies was marked by interesting results and major injuries for several World Cup-bound sides.
Here's all the latest.
GHANA FALL TO VAN PERSIE: A fifth-minute goal from Manchester United forward Robin van Persie was all the Netherlands needed to down the Black Stars at in Rotterdam. It was a weakened starting lineup for Ghana – who will face the USMNT in their Group G opener on June 16 – that didn't include Kevin-Prince Boateng, Andre Ayew, Asamoah Gyan, or Sulley Muntari, but even so they were dominated from start to finish, outshot 12-5 on the day.
NO RONALDO, YES PROBLEM: The nagging left thigh injury kept Cristiano Ronaldo from participating in Portugal's friendly against Greece on Saturday. The match finished 0-0, as a largely second-string Selecção outshot the pesky Greeks 13-3 but were unable to break through. No word yet either way as to how long Ronaldo will be out of action.
- Netherlands 1, Ghana 0
- Portugal 0, Greece 0
- Mexico 3, Ecuador 1
- Bosnia-Herzegovina 2, Ivory Coast 1
- Chile 3, Egypt 2
- Norway 1, Russia 1
- Croatia 2, Mali 1
- Uruguay 1, Northern Ireland 0
- Italy 0, Ireland 0
- Colombia 2, Senegal 2
- Algeria 3, Armenia 1
INJURIES EVERYWHERE: The injury bug continues to go around. Days after Alvaro Saborio was ruled out for Costa Rica, Mexico lost midfielder Luis Montes after he suffered a broken leg after a collision with Ecuador's Segundo Castillo, who was also taken to the hospital with torn ligametns in his right knee; he, too, is out of the World Cup. Ghana center back Jerry Akaminko was stretchered off in the 90th minute against the Netherlands. Italy will go to Brazil without Riccardo Montolivo, who broke his leg in a friendly against Ireland in London.
Castellacci (Italy doctor): "It's what we feared for Montolivo, a broken tibia." #ItaIrl
— Giancarlo Rinaldi (@ginkers) May 31, 2014
FORMER MLSERS IN ACTION: Down in Buenos Aires, former Philadelphia Union star Carlos Valdes – who is technically still on the Union's books but on loan to Colombian side Santa Fe – started for Colombia in their 2-2 draw with Senegal. He was subbed off after 66 minutes. In Switzerland, former Real Salt Lake forward Yura Movsisyan made a sub appearance for Armenia in their loss to Algeria.
MAN OF STEELE: New York Red Bulls midfielder Johnny Steele picked up his second cap for Northern Ireland in their 1-0 loss to Uruguay played at the Estadio Centenario in Montevideo.