Cristiano Ronaldo’s second-half winner consigned Ghana to a bottom-place finish after their 2-1 loss to Portugal in Brasilia.
Asamoah Gyang became the highest-scoring African in the World Cup history as his sixth goal (in finals) drew the Black Stars level 12 minutes after the restart, after defender John Boye had gifted Portugal the lead by turning a cross into his own net.
But with ten minutes to full-time, Ronaldo capitalised on an awful goalkeeping from Fatawu Dauda, who pawed at a cross and laid the ball on a plate for the Reeal Madrid star 10 yards out.
Portugal would have progressed on goal difference had they scored three more goals they needed, after the United States lost by a lone goal to Germany.
But the reality is that Ghana, who earlier in the day sent two key members of their squad back home for misconduct, and the Ronaldo-inspired Portugal are out in the Group stage.
Germany claims the group on seven points from three games while USA, tied on four points with Portugal, progresses on goal difference.
Portugal were hunted by the ghost of their 4-0 hammering in the hands of the Germans in their opening game of the tournament.
The updated list of the last 16.
Brazil v Chile
Colombia v Uruguay
France v Nigeria
Netherlands v Mexico
Costa Rica v Greece
Argentina v Switzerland
Germany and the USA are through and meet Belgium and any of the three sides contending for Group H’s runners-up spot Algeria, Russia or South Korea.