Portugal come out on top against Ghana, Cristiano Ronaldo scores in a fifth World Cup

Home » Portugal come out on top against Ghana, Cristiano Ronaldo scores in a fifth World Cup
Portugal come out on top against Ghana, Cristiano Ronaldo scores in a fifth World Cup

The game 3-2

Portugal trembled until the end but launched their World Cup with a narrow victory against Ghana (3-2), after a twisted end to the match that turned in their favor. He took the lead in Group H after the draw between Uruguay and South Korea (0-0). And he was also able to reassure himself with the performance of his star Cristiano Ronaldo, author of the opener from the penalty spot (65th) and historic scorer. But overall, the Reds and Greens were initially dull and then fragile, and their performance was too far from the standards that a candidate for the world title should hold.

They conceded the equalizer after an error by Danilo which allowed André Ayew to conclude at close range (73rd). They scared themselves by conceding a second goal, signed Osman Bukari (89th), while Joao Felix and the incoming Rafael Leão had given two lengths in advance in quick succession (78th and 80th). And they did not go far from disaster, in the final seconds, when this same Bukari came to steal the leather from the feet of goalkeeper Diogo Costa who had not seen him behind his back. But the Red Star striker slipped and Portugal were able to maintain their advantage.

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Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first player to score in five different editions of the World Cup.

Before the madness of the last quarter of an hour, the Seleção had the ball but they did not do much with it. She fell on a Ghanaian team well in place in their locked 5-3-2. It also and above all lacked intensity in the races and surprise in the intentions. Result: it was not until the action of the penalty obtained by Ronaldo to witness the first real opportunity of the match.

It’s too little for the 2016 European champions who have big ambitions in Qatar. Fernando Santos’ rather conservative opening picks didn’t help. The Portuguese coach had launched four midfielders. And he had positioned Bruno Fernandes as a right winger and Bernardo Silva very low on the pitch.

Ghana did not ask for time to play in a cocoon. The African team had come to the 974 stadium in Doha to defend while waiting for the right moment to show off. But that moment came too late. Iñaki Williams was denied the ball and the Black Stars failed to attempt a shot in the first 54 minutes. And they weren’t on target before Ayew’s equaliser.

The player: Cristiano Ronaldo makes history

Almost all the spotlight was on Cristiano Ronaldo. Free since the termination of his contract with Manchester United on Tuesday, the 37-year-old striker started his fifth and final World Cup. The emotion was such, for the fivefold Ballon d’Or, that he could not repress a few tears before kick-off.

Once on the field, CR7 responded by showing up several times (10th, 14th, 31st), and it was he who opened the scoring shortly after the hour mark. On the action, the former Madrid beat Salisu and he collapsed in the box after a very light contact. He who loves records necessarily had one in mind. He turned the penalty into strength to become the first player in history to score in five different World Cups.

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