FIFA World Cup 2022, Portugal vs. Ghana Match Report | Ronaldo makes history in 3-2 win
Cristiano Ronaldo, appearing in his fifth FIFA World Cup, spearheaded Portugal’s attack against Ghana alongside Joao Felix in their opening Group H match on Thursday.
Ronaldo left Manchester United this week in an acrimonious split after he said he felt betrayed by the club, but his coach and teammates have said the upheaval was having no impact on Portugal’s preparations for their campaign in Qatar.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos partnered Ronaldo with Atletico Madrid’s Felix in attack while Danilo Pereira joined Ruben Dias in the centre of defence. In midfield, Santos chose an attacking formation with only Ruben Neves as an anchor.
Ghana manager Otto Addo went for three central defenders in a bid to thwart Portugal and entrusted former Spain international Inaki Williams to lead his attack.
Cristiano Ronaldo had the ball in the net and spurned two early chances in a goalless first half as Portugal dominated Ghana but were unable to make a breakthrough in their World Cup Group H match at the Stadium 974 on Thursday.
The 37-year-old Portugal captain might have had two goals inside the opening 15 minutes but missed both opportunities. He found the net from close range in the 31st minute but only after the referee had blown his whistle for an infringement against him.
Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo shrugged off his bitter split with Manchester United to claim yet another record as he became the first player to score in five World Cups with a penalty to help steer his side to a nervy 3-2 win over Ghana on Thursday.
The first half of the Group H clash was forgettable apart from a couple of Ronaldo chances, but it burst into life after the interval as Portugal belatedly began their campaign.
Ronaldo, a free agent after his second stint at Old Trafford ended abruptly on Tuesday, thumped home a dubiously-awarded penalty in the 65th minute after an innocuous coming together with Mohammed Salisu saw the referee point to the spot.
Ghana did nothing in the first half apart from defend deeply but gave their noisy bank of fans in the 974 Stadium something to cheer when Andre Ayew equalised in the 73rd minute.
Joao Felix restored Portugal’s lead five minutes later, however, and Ronaldo then showed his class with a jinking run before sliding a pass to Rafael Leao to leave Ghana stunned.
Osman Bukari’s 89th-minute headed reply set up an anxious ending for Portugal but they survived nine minutes of stoppage time to win their opening game of a World Cup for the first time in their last four appearances.
Portugal: Diogo Costa, Joao Cancelo, Danilo Pereira, Ruben Dias, Raphael Guerreiro, Ruben Neves, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, Otavio, Joao Felix, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ghana: Lawrence Ati-Zigi, Abdul-Rahman Baba, Daniel Amartey, Alexander Djiku, Mohammed Salisu, Alidu Seidu, Thomas Partey, Salis Abdul Samed, Mohammed Kudus, Andre Ayew, Inaki Williams
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