Cristiano Ronaldo's goal saw Portugal beat Ghana 2-1 in Brasilia, but it proved academic as both sides crashed out of the FIFA World Cup.
Coming into the final Group G clash, both sides knew only victory would give them a chance of progressing to the second round, and even then they were dependent on the game between Germany and the United States, with a draw in Recife good enough to see those two teams through regardless of events in the capital.
Portugal, needing a five-goal swing to overtake the USA in second place, went in front after 30 minutes when Ghana defender John Boye's wild clearance from Miguel Veloso's cross diverted the ball over goalkeeper Fatawu Dauda and into the net.
Ghana responded in the second half, Asamoah Gyan's header making him the highest ever scorer for an African nation at World Cup finals, surpassing the mark of five set by Cameroon's Roger Milla.
With Germany beating the Americans 1-0 on Thursday, a 2-1 victory for Kwesi Appiah's men would have seem them through and Abdul Majeed Waris was guilty of a glaring miss shortly after Gyan's equaliser, nodding wide from close-range with no defenders around him.
They were left to rue that miss 10 minutes from time, Ronaldo firing home from 12 yards after a defensive mix-up between Jonathan Mensah and Dauda, the keeper flapping hopelessly at a high ball.
Portugal made four changes from the side that drew 2-2 with the United States, while Ghana showed two alterations, Waris and Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu coming in for Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari, suspended by the Ghanaian Football Association for alleged disciplinary breaches.
Ronaldo had the first effort of note in the fifth minute as his audacious lob from wide on the right caught out Dauda but struck the crossbar and rebounded to safety.
The Portugal captain threatened again seven minutes later, testing Dauda with a trademark dipping free-kick from 30 yards.
Ronaldo was at the forefront of all of Portugal's attacking play and ought to have put his side ahead in the 19th minute.
Joao Pereira delivered a pinpoint ball from the right and the Real Madrid man, unmarked six yards from goal, directed his header straight at Dauda, who parried away.
A minute later Ghana almost hit the front as Gyan was denied by the legs of Beto after the Portugal defence failed to deal with an aerial ball.
Portugal continued to make most of the running and got their noses in front on the half-hour mark, Boye slicing Veloso's cross from the left into the net via the bar and right-hand post.
Ronaldo brought another save out of Dauda two minutes later, while Gyan continued to pose a danger, heading wide after meeting Christian Atsu's cross.
After a quiet start to the second half Ghana equalised with 57 minutes gone, Gyan nodding home at the far post following a superb cross from Kwadwo Asamoah with the outside of his left foot.
Waris wasted a glorious chance to put Ghana in front four minutes later, somehow heading wide from six yards after being picked out by Gyan.
Ronaldo - relatively quiet throughout the tournament - ultimately had the final say as he lashed in a left-footed strike after Dauda feebly palmed Mensah's wayward header into his path, but it mattered little as both sides' hopes were dashed.
|Coach: Paulo Bento|
for João Pereira 61'
for Éder 69'
for Beto 89'
|Lens granted Ligue 1 place|
|UEFA Champions League Preview: Red-hot Salzburg face Qarabag|
|Parma bring in Cassani from Fiorentina|
|De Vrij set for Lazio|
|BREAKING NEWS: Everton complete Besic signing|
|Kongolo pens Feyenoord extension|
|Redknapp confirms Granero exit|
|Advocaat confirmed as Serbia coach|
|CSL Preview: Henan aim to escape drop zone, Liaoning host Guangzhou RandF|
|Arribas makes Sevilla switch|
|Chambers joins Arsenal|
|Ospina buoyed by Arsenal recruitment|
|Liverpool´s loss is our gain, says Redknapp on Remy|
|Ferdinand: I would still be at United with Giggs in charge|
|Pepe targets Super Cup glory|
|Martinez prioritising striker signing|
|Perez not looking to leave Benfica|
|Klopp itching to work with full Dortmund squad|
|Mourinho: It feels like Drogba never left|
|FIFA asks for FIGC review into alleged racist remark|
|Hull to review Maguire deal|
|Wenger prepared to gamble on Chambers|
|Atletico agree Griezmann deal|
|Irvine planning further striker addition|
|Campbell: Black professionals scared to talk about racism|
|Mata backs Herrera to star in Premier League|
|Injured Rafael returning to Manchester|
|Schmidt demands more from Leverkusen|
|Copa Libertadores Preview: Defensor Sporting banking on home record|
|Remy´s Liverpool move off, confirms Rodgers|
|Inzaghi demands nastiness from Milan|
|MLS Review: Timbers triumph in Montreal, Dallas thwart Vancouver|
|Jovetic ready to lead City line - Pellegrini|
|Lewandowski impresses Ribery, Alaba|
|Colombian Primera A Review: Three clubs remain perfect, Atletico Nacional get off the mark|
|Rodgers: ´We can score goals´ without Suarez|
|Chilean Primera Division Review: Canales brace powers Universidad Chile|
|Atletico Madrid need penalties to edge past Earthquakes|
|Liga MX Review: Monterrey, America stay perfect|
|Paraguayan Primera Division Review: Capiata set pace|
|Brazilian Serie A Review: Cruzeiro win again, Kaka scores|
|Sterling goal sees Liverpool past Olympiacos|
|Peruvian Primera Division Review: Los Caimanes notch maiden win, Inti Gas claim top spot|
|CAF Champions League Review: Zamalek held, Vita Club leave it late|
|Jovetic at the double as Manchester City thrash Milan|
|Monk thrilled by Sigurdsson contribution|
|Lovren signs for Liverpool|
|Mourinho pleased with Olimpija test|
|Vertonghen eager to remain at Spurs|
|Sigurdsson marks Swansea return with a brace|
|Lewandowski, Rode help Bayern retain Telekom Cup|
|Immobile scores and suffers injury in Dortmund win|
|Costa scores on Chelsea debut|
|CAF Confederation Cup Review: Leopards de Dolisie 1 Real Bamako 2|
|Thai Premier League Review: Buriram pull clear, Police edge away from danger|
|Falcao nears Monaco return|
|CSL Review: Harbin Yiteng produce another upset, Evergrande stretch lead|
|Britton and Emnes to miss season-opener|
|Taylor-Fletcher strike sinks Everton|
|J.League Review: Chasing pack close on Urawa Reds, Tokushima Vortis secure rare win|
|Ancelotti expects fresh Bale to be even better|
|Simeone keen on Griezmann|
|Mazzarri refuses to set Inter targets|
|Lazio director targeted by fans|
|Dyche rules out Deeney move|
|Rummenigge: Bayern will never sack Guardiola|
|BREAKING NEWS: Arsenal to bring in Ospina|
|Pochettino quiet on Schneiderlin link|
|Vidic settling into Inter life|
|Van Gaal hints at Zaha United future|
|Di Maria will report for training - Ancelotti|
|Wilshere vows to answer critics|
|Rodgers expecting titles|
|Deila demands Celtic cutting edge|
|Rodgers: We won´t rush Lallana|
|Wenger: We have to be better against top-level teams|
|FIGC presidential candidate uses racist slur|
|MLS Review: Columbus claim second straight win, Toronto falter|
|Villa battle past Dynamo in Houston|
|United more efficient, says Garcia|
|Pedestrian Tottenham edge past Chicago Fire|
|Van Gaal bemoans display|
|CS Sfaxien 1 ES Tunis 0: Troussier era opens with a win|
|Icardi stars from the spot as Inter overcome Real Madrid|
|Arsenal upstaged by Red Bulls|
|Pre-Season Friendly Review: Rooney stars for United, Bayern reach Telekom final|
|In-form Rooney inspires Manchester United win|
|CAF Confederation Cup Review: Cotonsport on verge of progress|
|Ribery helps Bayern to penalty victory on return|
|Balzaretti suffers another injury blow|
|Puel confirms Ospina departure|
|Beckham backs Rodriguez to be Real hit|
|Bojan fails to inspire Stoke|
|Long on target as Hull held by Barnsley|
|Cardiff issue Medel warning|
|Ferreyra sorry for late Shakhtar return|
|Payet rules out Swansea move|
|Gilchrist nets winner as Burnley edge Accrington|
|Cazorla optimistic for new season|
|Celtic suffer St Pauli defeat|
|QPR lose on Ferdinand debut|
|Mashaba handed Bafana Bafana role|
|Van Aanholt eager to prove himself|
|Areola completes Bastia loan switch|
|Ospina imminent, but Szczesny gets Wenger´s backing|
|Reus happy with progress|
|Alleged spot-fixers released|
|Giuly: Mathieu can be the next Abidal|
|Allardyce hoping to keep hold of Morrison|
|Monk hails quality of Swansea additions|
|Van Gaal orders United players to speak English|
|Allardyce: We must improve|
|Campbell thrilled by Palace switch|
|Bojan drawn by Stoke style|
|Palace were wasteful, says Pulis|
|Van Gaal suits me - Cleverley|
|Newcastle stay perfect in NZ|
|Van Gaal prepared to wait for Strootman|
|West Brom overcome Sacramento|
|Colorado Rapids 3 Chivas USA 0: Hosts rise to third in the West|
|Gameiro brace adds to West Ham woes|
|Villas-Boas: Rodriguez best suited to no.10 role|
|Cazorla: I´m happy at Arsenal|
|Reina respects Liverpool contract|
|Lampard could move to Melbourne on loan|
|Galliani: Balotelli ´99.9 per cent´ staying|
|Own goal helps Palace win in Philadelphia|
|Mourinho: Shaw deal would have ´killed´ Chelsea|
|Al Ahli Benghazi 0 ES Setif 2: Visitors on verge of semi-final spot|
|Julio Cesar returns to QPR|
|Rooney wants to lead United|