Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty shot in the thrilling second half marked history as Portugal kicked off the 2022 FIFA World Cup with an on-edge 3-2 win over Ghana in the Group H match at Stadium 974 on Thursday. With his 65th-minute penalty goal, Ronaldo became the first male player to score in five World Cups.
Ronaldo might have 2 goals inside the first 15 minutes but missed the chances. Finally, just after the hour mark, he put his team in front with a goal. Ronaldo was looking to show off his skills after missing two chances in the first half and he was brought down by Ghana’s defender Mohammed Salisu. Earning a penalty, Ronaldo hit the ball back of the net, performing his trademark leap and swivel in the air to lead his team 1-0.
In the 73rd minute, Ghana’s Andre Ayew equalized the score giving Ghana’s fans something to cheer up. But that didn’t last long. Just 5 minutes later, Portugal’s Joao Felix restored the lead with a goal. Within two minutes, Ronaldo showed his class again by sliding a pass to Rafael Leao which turned out to be a goal.
Ghana’s Osman Bukari pulled another one later but Portugal survived the nine minutes of stoppage time to win the first match in the tournament. It was for the first time in their last four appearances, Portugal won the opening match.
After a completely flat first half, a chaotic finish for the game as Portugal claimed all three points.
Osman Bulkari’s close-range header made it a tense finish for the game with Dioga Costa handed Inaki Williams a stoppage-time equalizer only for the forward to slip at the vital moment. It was Bruno Fernandes who set up the team’s second and third goals with perfectly weighted through-balls. Portugal’s victory marked their 5th successive game without defeat against African sides at the World Cup.
Fernando Santos’ men secured their points to go up first in Group H. Portugal will next face Uruguay on Monday while Ghana plays against South Korea.
Ronaldo – the only player to score in 5 World Cups
With his 65th -minute penalty shot over Ghana on Thursday; Ronaldo became the first man to score in five World Cups. Ronaldo has eight goals in total in World Cup, spread across five different tournaments.
Since his 1st World Cup goal, a penalty against Iran in 2006 in the Group stage, Ronaldo has scored in every World Cup since.
In the 2010 South Africa World Cup, he scored a goal against North Korea. The next one was against Ghana in the 2014 Brazil World Cup.
In the Russia 2018 World Cup, he had 4 goals in total, a hat-trick against Spain and another goal against Morocco.
The last one is here in 2022, his eighth World Cup goal in his 5th World Cup tournament.