DOHA, Nov 25 ― Cristiano Ronaldo drew a line beneath a tumultuous match establish-up as he wrote his identify in the history publications to grow to be the to start with gentleman to rating in 5 Entire world Cups in a 3-2 victory for Portugal around Ghana right now.
Ronaldo drilled home a penalty in the 65th minute of the Group H encounter to established his aspect on their way and whilst Andre Ayew equalised for Ghana, Portugal turned on the afterburners with two brief-fire plans to efficiently seal the deal at Stadium 974.
Joao Felix created a sensitive finish to give them the guide and Rafael Leao extra a 3rd to hand Portugal their 1st acquire in the opening match of the Environment Cup due to the fact 2006, even if Osman Bukari pulled a different a single back for Ghana late on.
The acquire was not the most convincing for Portugal, and will arrive as some reduction for Fernando Santos’s side, who major the team with 3 points and up coming facial area Uruguay on Monday, when Ghana perform South Korea.
For all Portugal’s enterprising attacking play and the goalscoring performances of Felix and Leao, it was Ronaldo who at the time once again confirmed his unparalleled potential to attract the limelight.
“I consider Cristiano is a phenomenon, a legend… in 50 years’ time, we will however be talking about him,” Santos mentioned.
The bitter stop to Ronaldo’s second spell at Manchester United had dominated the create-up to the match in much the very same way the ahead would seem to dominate the way Portugal enjoy.
Towards Ghana, Ronaldo seemed to exert a planetary gravitational pull on the ball, with group mates trying to find him out at each individual option.
For huge swathes of the match, almost everything revolved all over Ronaldo, who lurked threateningly on the edge of the Ghana box, with virtually all his side’s attacking moves ending up at his feet.
He had two early possibilities, a just one-on-1 when a heavy contact permit him down, and a header wherever he normally hovered in the air ahead of glancing his work broad.
He then smacked the ball in the back of the internet following 31 minutes only to realise the referee experienced already blown his whistle for a foul.
For Ghana, the youngest squad at the Planet Cup, their early ambitions seldom stretched past the halfway line as the most affordable-rated facet in the tournament set about maintaining nearly everybody powering the ball at all occasions in the first half.
Most of the motion was condensed into a rather small interval right after the 60th minute with Portugal taking the lead when awarded a smooth penalty following Ronaldo went down pursuing small shoulder-to-shoulder call with Mohammed Salisu.
Ronaldo closed his eyes as he waited to begin his operate up, stuttered and smashed the ball into the internet to the keeper’s ideal.
The whole Portugal team raced down the touchline to pile on leading of the 37-12 months-previous, who surpassed Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose as the only player to uncover the web in 5 individual men’s Globe Cups.
It is the 10th consecutive big match in which Ronaldo has observed the web though Ghana mentor Otto Addo was not in the temper to be charitable.
“It was the mistaken conclusion… It was really a foul towards us,” he reported of the penalty award.
“If any individual scores a aim, congratulations. But this was a reward. A specific reward from the referee.”
As it was, his Ghana aspect fired back immediately when Mohammed Kudus’s cross bobbled its way by a defender’s legs to Ayew who tapped household.
Portugal, nevertheless, then revved into gear with Felix latching on to a Bruno Fernandes throughball and lifting his end nonchalantly over the keeper.
Fernandes was the architect of their third objective way too, actively playing a different outstanding throughball for substitute Leao to slide his finish throughout the keeper and into the bottom corner.
There was stress at the conclude, even so, as Ghana pulled a further goal back with Osman Bukari, showing up unmarked in the box, heading in a cross from the still left in the 89th minute, providing a sliver of hope to Ghana’s followers at the rear of that objective.
There was to be no fairytale ending for the Ghanaians nevertheless and the night belonged to Ronaldo. ― Reuters