It was a tough night for the Portugal’s having been beaten out by Germany on a 4-0 score. But their loss over Germany is not their only concern as they would be facing off against USA on Sunday without a couple of key players.
Many of Portugal’s star player will not be playing for the team. Defender Fabio Coentrao won’t be able to play for the whole duration of the World Cup due to a muscle strain while striker Hugo Almeida also limped out off the Germany match halfway through the game. Besides this, World Player of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo has been suffering from a left knee injury and it is still not sure if he would be able to play on Sunday for the match against USA.
Furthermore, star center Pepe (Képler Laveran Lima Ferreira) was suspended for head-butting Muller during the Germany game. The 31 year old central defender received a direct red card during the 37 minute of the game against Germany. The straight red card was served by Serbian referee Milorad Mažić.
The team score was already at 2-0 in favor of the Germans when Pepe’s left hand touched the German forward’s face. Pepe took it badly when Muller reacted hurt after the contact. But it was Pepe’s reaction that got him a red card. He stormed towards the German and head-butted him while he was on the ground. He was then ejected from the game.
A red card means that a player will automatically be suspended for the next game and unfortunately for Portugal, it is going to the match against the USA. Pepe will be replaced with either Ricardo Costa or Neto.
On a separate statement provided by the FIFA Organization they said “Portugal defender Pepe has been cleared to face Ghana next Thursday after FIFA confirmed his red card against Germany carried a one-match suspension.”
Besides that, FIFA has fined Pepe with 2,332 euros for the sending off.