Fabio Coentrao’s World Cup could have been put to a premature end after the Real Madrid defender has been ruled out for the next 10 days with a groin injury. Coentrao was injured in Portugal’s opening match against Germany, which ended in a 4-0 thumping for Paulo Bento’s team. More worryingly, their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the competition have been dealt a major blow with Coentrao’s injury.
Bento is also likely to be without striker Hugo Almeida, who suffered a hamstring injury. It was an afternoon to forget for the Portuguese, who came into the tournament with high hopes. Key players for the national team like Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe, and Coentrao came on the back of winning the Champions League with Real Madrid. Ronaldo’s fitness has been a worrying problem for the Portuguese leading up to this match. Betfair expects Ronaldo to be Portugal’s top goalscorer at odds of 11/10.
It seemed like one of those afternoons when everything seemed to go wrong for the Portuguese. Pepe was given a straight red card following his head-butt on Thomas Müller. Further, Ronaldo did not have much influence in the match.
Despite the defence conceding four goals, Coentrao was one of the better players. He made several contributions by doing overlapping runs. Ironically, the injury came through one of those runs, as he appeared to stretch just a little too much in order to grab an over hit pass. It had become straightaway clear that Coentrao’s injury was serious, as he went down clutching his groin. Portugal’s worst fears were confirmed after team doctor Henrique Jones said that Coentrao and Almeida were likely to be out for 10 days.
This would rule them out of the group matches against Ghana and the United States. Given Portugal’s heavy defeat against Germany and the USA winning against Ghana, Bento’s team have been put by Betfair as the third favourites to reach the knockout stages.
Despite the injury news, Bento says that he is confident of reaching the knockout stages of the World Cup 2014. Portugal did well in the Euro 2012, but they were ripped apart by a clinical German team. Müller scored a hat-trick while Mat Hummels was also on the scoresheet.
Coentrao came into the tournament after having just scored in the warm-up friendly against Republic of Ireland. If possible make it to the World Cup last 16 stage, there is a possibility of Coentrao coming back into the team.