Portugal kicked up their World Cup campaign with a 3-2 win against Ghana at Stadium 974, thanks to fast goals from Joao Felix and Rafael Leao.
Cristiano Ronaldo pushed his team ahead in the 65th minute with a penalty, making him the first male player to score in five World Cups despite quitting Manchester United by “mutual agreement” earlier in the week.
Ghana’s Andre Ayew equalised in the 73rd minute, but Portugal rallied with goals from Felix and Leao in the 78th and 80th minutes. Osman Bukari’s late attempt made things tricky, but Fernando Santos’ team was able to weather the storm.
Ronaldo was passed through on goal by Bruno Fernandes in the 10th minute, but Ghana goalkeeper Lawrence Ati-Zigi was able to block the forward’s bad first touch. Three minutes later, the Portugal captain was denied again as he rose highest for a header that he skied wide.
Ronaldo scored in the 31st minute after shaking off Alexander Djiku’s tackle and sliding past Ati-Zigi, although the whistle had already sounded for a foul on the Ghana defender.
At the start of the second half, Ghana displayed greater attacking zeal, with Mohammed Kudus sliding a shot beyond of Diogo Costa’s left-hand post in the 55th minute as his team attempted to strike a surprise.
After being fouled by Mohammed Salisu, Ronaldo ultimately put his team ahead in the 65th minute with a calm effort from the penalty spot, creating World Cup history in the process.
Ghana responded in the 73rd minute, when Ayew scored from close range after Kudus’ low cross was diverted into his path, throwing the boisterous Ghanaian crowd into a frenzy.
However, their delight was short-lived, as Felix calmly finished past Ati-Zigi five minutes later to put Portugal back in ahead after Fernandes’ ball split Ghana’s defence.
Leao doubled Portugal’s advantage shortly later, side-footing home another Fernandes ball – the AC Milan winger’s first goal for the country.
Portugal seemed to be cruising to victory, but Bukari’s 89th-minute header ensured that both teams were on pins and needles.
After sending the ball out to the lurking Inaki Williams in stoppage time, Costa nearly fluffed his lines, but the striker slipped at the vital moment and Portugal survived.
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