Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first player to score in five successive men’s World Cups, with the free agent registering in Portugal’s 3-2 success over Ghana at the 2022 World Cup.
The 37-year-old was released by Manchester United earlier this week following his shock interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV, but he came up with a goal from the penalty spot in his national side’s Group H opener.
Andre Ayew cancelled out Ronaldo’s effort to leave the two sides level in the 73rd minute, but Portugal scored twice in the space of two minutes through Joao Felix and Rafael Leao to secure the victory, albeit with Osman Bukari netting a late second for Ghana.
Fernando Santos’s side will next be in action against Uruguay on Monday, while Ghana will be looking to bounce back when they take on South Korea on the same day.
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 24, 2022
Ronaldo had the first chance of the match in the 10th minute when Bernardo Silva released the 37-year-old, but Ghana goalkeeper Lawrence Ati-Zigi did brilliantly to crowd out the forward.
The free agent had another opportunity in the 13th minute when he climbed highest at the far post to meet a corner, but his effort just dropped wide of the post.
Portugal were the dominant side in the opening 20 minutes, boasting around 70% of the possession, with Ghana struggling to get out of their own half in the Group H contest.
Felix was next to try his luck for Santos’s side in the 28th minute, missing the target, with the two teams still level at 0-0 heading for the final third of the first half.
Ronaldo did find the back of the net in the 31st minute, although the number seven was penalised for a foul on Alexander Djiku, who was adjudged to have been pushed off the ball.
Alidu Seidu had a half-chance for Ghana early in the second period, but his effort was always moving wide of the post, with the match lacking quality in both final thirds.
Mohammed Kudus then had Ghana’s best chance of the match when he darted into a forward position before firing towards goal, with his effort only just missing the far post.
Portugal were awarded a penalty in the 62nd minute when Ronaldo went down inside the box under a challenge from Mohamed Salisu, and the decision stood following a VAR review.
Ronaldo, as expected, stepped forward, and the forward sent his effort past Ati-Zigi to make the breakthrough in the 65th minute of the contest.
Ghana were level in the 73rd minute, though, when Andre Ayew tapped a low Kudus cross into the back of the net from close range.
Portugal were back ahead in the 78th minute, with Felix racing onto a clever pass from Bernardo before expertly picking out the bottom corner.
Santos’s side then scored a third in the 80th minute, as Leao collected a pass from Bruno Fernandes before slotting the ball into the far corner to secure all the points.
Ghana scored a second in the 89th minute through Bukari, who headed home at the far post, but Portugal were able to close out the match to pick up all three points, surviving a late scare when Diogo Costa dropped the ball inside his own box not knowing that Inaki Williams was there.
Williams slipped at the vital moment, though, costing Ghana what would have been a stunning leveller.
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