With his goal in Portugal 3-2 victory against Ghana at the 2022 World Cup, free agent Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to score in five straight men’s World Cups. The 37-year-old was let go by Manchester United earlier this week after his shocking TalkTV interview with Piers Morgan, but he scored a penalty kick in his country’s Group H opener.
In the 73rd minute, Andre Ayew equalised Ronaldo’s goal to make the score equal. However, Portugal scored twice in the next two minutes through Joao Felix and Rafael Leao to win the victory, despite Osman Bukari scoring a late second goal for Ghana.
On Monday, Fernando Santos’ team will play their next match against Uruguay, while Ghana will play South Korea the same day in an effort to avenge their defeat. When Bernardo Silva released the 37-year-old in the 10th minute, Ronaldo had his first opportunity of the game, but Ghana goalkeeper Lawrence Ati-Zigi expertly crowded out the forward.
In the 13th minute, the free agent received another chance when he rose highest at the far post to meet a corner, but his shot narrowly missed the goalpost. Ghana struggled to leave their own half within the first 20 minutes of the Group H match as Portugal dominated possession with about 70% of the ball.
Portugal 3-2 Ghana: The Portuguese avoid a scary draw in the stoppage time
The two sides were still tied at 0-0 as the first half came to an end when Felix attempted his luck for Santos’ squad in the 28th minute, but he missed the goal. In spite of being penalised for a foul on Alexander Djiku, who was deemed to have been knocked off the ball, Ronaldo did score in the 31st minute.
Early in the second half, Ghana’s Alidu Seidu had a half-chance, but the game lacked quality in both final thirds as his shot kept drifting wide of the goal. Then, Mohammed Kudus had Ghana’s greatest opportunity of the game as he dribbled into the box before shooting at goal, just missing the far post.
Ronaldo was brought down inside the penalty area by Mohamed Salisu in the 62nd minute, and Portugal was given a penalty. The decision held up after a VAR review.
In the 65th minute of the game, Ronaldo took a step forward as was predicted, and the striker delivered his attempt past Ati-Zigi to score. In contrast, Andre Ayew’s close-range finish on a low Kudus pass gave Ghana a point in the 73rd minute.
In the 78th minute, Felix put Portugal back in front as he sprinted onto a deft feed from Bernardo and skillfully found the bottom corner. After receiving a feed from Bruno Fernandes, Santos’ team added a third goal in the 80th minute, which Leao finished into the far corner to seal the victory.
After a late scare when Diogo Costa fumbled the ball inside his own box without realising Inaki Williams was there, Portugal were able to finish the game and earn all three points. Ghana added a second goal in the 89th minute through Bukari, who headed home at the far post.
Williams, however, stumbled at the crucial moment, depriving Ghana of what would have been an incredible leveller.
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