December 3, 2023

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their first goal with Joao Felix

Moon Desk: Cristiano Ronaldo got on the scoresheet as Portugal edged out Ghana 3-2 in a Group H match at the Stadium 974 on Thursday. After a goalless first half, Ronaldo opened the scoring with a penalty to become the first man to score at five World Cups. Andre Ayew equalised for the Black Stars, but Joao Felix and Rafael Leao scored their first World Cup goals to put the Portugal 3-1 up. Osman Bukari made it a tense finish with a close-range header and Diogo Costa almost handed Inaki Williams a stoppage-time equaliser only for the forward to slip at the vital moment.

Earlier, 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.

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo during the training session at the Al Shahaniya SC Training Facilities, Al-Shahaniya, Qatar on 23 November 2022

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 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.

Ronaldo left Manchester United this week in an acrimonious split after he said he felt betrayed by the club, but his coach and team mates have said the upheaval was having no impact on Portugal’s preparations for their campaign in Qatar.

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