World Cup: Portugal manager Paulo Bento says changes coming vs. USMNT in Manaus
The injuries that forced Portuguese internationals Hugo Almeida and Fabio Coentrao out of Monday's match against Germany could be enough to keep them out of next Sunday's match against the USA in Manaus.
Portugal manager Paulo Bento indicated as much in his postgame press conference after the 4-0 whitewashing suffered against Germany in their Group G opener.
"Both Coentrao and Almeida were muscular issues. We have to evaluate them," Bento said. "For now, it doesn't look good in either case. We'll try to find the best solution for the absences that we'll have against the United States."
It was one of two big referee decisions that Bento felt compromised his team. Serbian official Milorad Mazic also called a penalty for Germany that opened the scoring in the 12th minute.
"The red card was forced as was the play that led to the penalty," Bento commented. "They were two plays that wound up conditioning us during the first 45 minutes.
"Without a doubt, there was a tendency of [the referee] falling more on the side of Germany in the case of these two decisions."
But the final 4-0 scoreline wasn't all the referee's fault.
"I didn't say that it was only the referee that was the reason for our defeat," Bento clarified. "We paid dearly for mistakes made on the offensive and defensive side of the ball and our lack of efficiency. We didn’t take advantage of thee opportunities we created and compared with Germany's efficiency, there was a great difference."
But Portugal are not done yet. Bento pointed out that they're used to difficult situations in a World Cup group stage. In 2010, they started out with a draw against Ivory Coast and still advanced.
"It's a tough moment to start the World Cup with this result and in these conditions," Bento said. "But we'll continue to push forward. In adversity we'll see what we're really made of. We have the capability to fight for our objectives and I'm perfectly convinced that we will achieve it."