The fifth and likely final World Cup for Cristiano Ronaldo got off to a winning start on Thursday at Stadium 974 when Portugal defeated Ghana 3-2. For the best sports betting offers stay tuned on CasinoDaddy!
Ronaldo scored with a second-half penalty after he left Manchester United on Tuesday. And after Andre Ayew’s goal to tie the game at one, Portugal went on the offensive with two goals in as many minutes from Joao Felix and Rafael Leao. Despite a late goal by Osman Bukari, who came on as a substitute, and a close call by Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa in the dying seconds of injury time, Portugal managed to hold on.
With attacking players like Ronaldo, Felix, Leao, Bruno Fernandes, and Bernardo Silva on your team, you should be able to score goals with ease. Portugal’s three versus Ghana were fortunate.
The Black Stars, who barely made it out of qualifying after a playoff with Nigeria, rarely score, but they did here thanks to goals from Ayew and Bukari. After Portugal had already taken a 3-1 lead, Bukari’s late header wasn’t very significant, but it was still enough to cause Ronaldo, who was at that point sitting on the substitutes’ bench, to throw up his hands in despair.
Portugal has forward players that can compete with any other team at this World Cup, but if they consistently lose their focus at the back, they will struggle defensively against teams that are stronger than Ghana. In the last second of stoppage time, when Costa rolled the ball out and nearly was robbed by Inaki Williams, that was best summed up.
Ronaldo appeared to be in for one of those frustrating nights, the kind he has experienced frequently at Manchester United this season, but he ultimately scored to become the first male player to score at five World Cups.
After only 90 seconds, he committed a careless foul, and before 15 minutes had passed, he had wasted a good opportunity from Otavio’s pass due to a heavy touch and missed with a header at the back post. When he had a goal disallowed after 31 minutes for a foul on Alexander Djiku and then received a severe blow to the right ankle from Seidu Alidu, he could have been excused for thinking it wasn’t his day.
However, Ronaldo’s goal was typical of him after a week of headlines about his interview with Piers Morgan and his messy departure from United. He first displayed quickness to win a penalty under a challenge from Mohammed Salisu, then stepped up to slam in his 118th goal for his country. A free agent demonstrating his continued
The lowest-ranked team at the World Cup, Ghana, arrived in Qatar, and all they need to do to turn this tournament around is improve on their disastrous Africa Cup of Nations performance from January, where they finished last in their group with just one point from three games and lost to Comoros.
They had trouble scoring goals in qualifying (eight goals in eight games), and it took them some time to get going here. They finished the first half without a shot, much less one that was on goal. Ajax Amsterdam’s Mohammed Kudus was active in the middle, but they need to give Williams, who switched allegiance from Spain in the summer, more opportunities.
Ghana was disciplined enough to stop Portugal’s attacking attackers for lengthy stretches, but if they want to advance from Group H, they must win against Uruguay and South Korea.
Otto Addo’s team is still in the running for a spot in the knockout rounds thanks to Thursday’s 0-0 stalemate between those two teams, but they will need to avoid the blunders that allowed Portugal to win the match with two goals in the final two minutes. Williams came so close to stealing a stunning equalizer from under Costa’s nose, but Bukari’s header to make it 3-2 came too late for them to be happy.