Cristiano Ronaldo wrote his name in the record books as he became the first player to score in five World Cups after converting a penalty against Ghana in Portugal’s opening Group H match at the Stadium 974 on Thursday, The Times of India reported.
Portugal survived a nervous nine minutes of stoppage time to edge past the African side 3-2 in a five-goal thriller.
Portugal dominated the first half completely but failed to break the deadlock and went into the halftime break at 0-0 against Ghana. Ronaldo broke the stalemate with a penalty conversion in the 65th minute, his 118th international goal for Portugal. Ghana skipper
Andre Ayew scored an equaliser in the 73rd minute, but two quick goals from Joao Felix (78th minute) and substitute Rafael Leao (80th minute) put Portugal back on the top.
Just when all looked in favour of Portugal, Osman Bukari scored a goal for Ghana a minute before the regulation time to put pressure on the European side. Portugal then survived a nervous nine minutes of stoppage time to open their campaign with a win.
Most of the action was condensed into a short period after the 60th minute with Portugal taking the lead when awarded a soft penalty after Ronaldo went down following minimal shoulder-to-shoulder contact with Mohammed Salisu.
Ronaldo closed his eyes as he waited to begin his run up, stuttered and smashed the ball into the net to the keeper’s right, according to The Times of India.
Ghana fired back quickly though when Mohammed Kudus’s cross found its way to Ayew who tapped home.
Portugal then revved into gear with Felix latching onto a Bruno Fernandes through ball and lifting his finish nonchalantly over the keeper.
Fernandes was the architect of their third goal too, playing another superb through ball for substitute Leao to slide his finish across the keeper and into the bottom corner.
There was tension at the end, however, as Ghana pulled another goal back with Osman Bukari heading a cross from the left in the 89th minute.
Portugal, who now top the group with three points, next face Uruguay on Monday, when Ghana play South Korea.