Qatar 2022: Fortunate Portugal claim controversial win over Ghana

As Portugal kicked off their campaign with a dramatic victory over Ghana, Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to score at five Fifa World Cups.

Ronaldo made his first appearance since being released by Manchester United a week ago, following his controversial television interview.

After being fouled in the penalty area by Ghanaian defender Mohammed Salisu of Southampton, the 37-year-old stepped up and hammered home the game’s first goal.

Early on, Ronaldo, the team’s captain, had a pair of good looks, but both were thwarted by Lawrence Ati-Zigi. Ronaldo’s low effort was saved, and his far post header went wide.

A goal scored by the striker was disallowed for a shove on Alexander Djiku, and Ghana failed to record a single shot on goal in the first quarter.

A second-half surge by the Africans resulted in a goal by Andre Ayew, who drew the team level after a Mohammed Kudus drill missed the far post by a hair’s breadth.

Both Joao Felix (with a brilliantly clipped finish) and Rafael Leao (as a substitute) scored for Portugal within two minutes of each other to seal the victory.

In the ninth minute of stoppage time, Ghana’s Osman Bukhari scored a consolation goal with a header.

Goalkeeper Diogo Costa placed the ball down without looking back, but Inaki Williams raced to intercept it. Unfortunately for the Black Stars, Ghana’s forward stumbled at the worst possible time, and the clearance attempt was thwarted.

After a scoreless stalemate between Uruguay and South Korea earlier on Thursday, Portugal now sits atop Group H thanks to their win.

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