Cristiano Ronaldo, the captain of Portugal, overcame his sad breakup with Manchester United to set a new record by becoming the first player to score in five World Cups. On Thursday, he assisted his team in a tense 3-2 victory over Ghana by converting a penalty.
With the exception of a few Ronaldo opportunities, the Group H match’s first half was unremarkable, but the second half saw a flurry of activity as Portugal finally kicked off their campaign.
After his second term at Old Trafford came to an abrupt end on Tuesday, Ronaldo became a free agent. In the 65th minute, he scored a controversial penalty after Mohammed Salisu and he collided innocuously.
In the first half, Ghana did little but play aggressive defense, but when Andre Ayew equalized in the 73rd, they gave their rowdy crowd at the 974 Stadium something to celebrate.
Five minutes later, Joao Felix restored Portugal’s lead, but Bruno Fernandes then displayed skill with a jinking run before sliding a pass to Rafael Leao, leaving Ghana speechless.
Portugal survived nine minutes of stoppage time to win their opening World Cup match for the first time in their previous four appearances despite Osman Bukari’s headed response in the 89th minute.