Fifa World Cup: Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal survive scare against Ghana

The West African team gave their fans something to cheer when Andre Ayew equalised, and Osman Bukari's 89th-minute header set up an anxious ending



Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, coach Fernando Santos and Pepe react. Photo: Reuters
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, coach Fernando Santos and Pepe react. Photo: Reuters

By Reuters

Published: Thu 24 Nov 2022, 10:10 PM

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo shrugged off his bitter split with Manchester United to claim yet another record as he became the first player to score in five World Cups with a penalty to help steer his side to a nervy 3-2 win over Ghana on Thursday.

The first-half of the Group H clash was forgettable apart from a couple of Ronaldo chances, but it burst into life after the interval as Portugal belatedly began their campaign.

Ronaldo, a free agent after his second stint at Old Trafford ended abruptly on Tuesday, thumped home a dubiously-awarded penalty in the 65th minute after an innocuous coming together with Mohammed Salisu saw the referee point to the spot.

Ghana did nothing in the first half apart from defend deeply but gave their noisy bank of fans in the 974 Stadium something to cheer when Andre Ayew equalised in the 73rd minute.

Joao Felix restored Portugal's lead five minutes later, however, and Bruno Fernandes then showed his class with a jinking run before sliding a pass to Rafael Leao to leave Ghana stunned.

Osman Bukari's 89th-minute headed reply set up an anxious ending for Portugal but they survived nine minutes of stoppage time to win their opening game of a World Cup for the first time in their last four appearances.

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