By Toby Davis
DOHA, November 24 (Reuters) – Cristiano Ronaldo drew a line beneath a tumultuous event accumulation as he wrote his title within the report books to change into the primary man to attain in 5 World Cups in Portugal’s 3-2 win over Ghana on Thursday .
Ronaldo netted a penalty within the sixty fifth minute of the Group H encounter to place his aspect heading in the right direction and whereas Andre Ayew equalized for Ghana, Portugal activated the afterburners with two early objectives to successfully seal the win. case at stadium 974.
Joao Felix produced a difficult end to place them forward and Rafael Leao added a 3rd handy Portugal their first win within the World Cup opener since 2006, though Osman Bukari pulled again one other for Ghana later.
The victory was not probably the most convincing for Portugal and can come as a reduction for Fernando Santos’ aspect, who prime the group with three factors and face Uruguay on Monday when Ghana tackle South Korea.
Regardless of Portugal’s enterprising attacking play and performances from Felix and Leao, it was Ronaldo who as soon as once more confirmed his unequalled skill to command consideration.
“I feel Cristiano is a phenomenon, a legend… in 50 years we’ll nonetheless be speaking about him,” Santos mentioned.
The bitter finish to Ronaldo’s second stint at Manchester United had dominated the build-up to the sport in the identical method the striker appears to dominate the best way Portugal play.
In opposition to Ghana, Ronaldo appeared to exert a planetary gravitational pull on the ball, together with his teammates in search of him out at each alternative.
For giant swathes of the match, it was all about Ronaldo, who lurked menacingly on the fringe of Ghana’s penalty space, with nearly all of his group’s attacking strikes discovering their approach to his ft.
He had two early possibilities, a one-on-one when a heavy throw-in dropped him, and a header the place he usually hovered within the air earlier than watching his effort within the distance.
He then kicked the ball into the again of the online after 31 minutes solely to appreciate the referee had already referred to as a foul.
For Ghana, the youngest group within the World Cup, their early ambitions hardly ever prolonged past the midway line, because the event’s lowest-ranked aspect struggled to maintain almost everybody behind the ball always within the first half.
A lot of the motion was condensed into a comparatively brief interval after the sixtieth minute, with Portugal taking the lead after they have been awarded a mushy penalty after Ronaldo went down after minimal elbow-to-elbow contact with Mohammed Salisu.
Ronaldo closed his eyes ready to start out his run, stuttered and kicked the ball into the online to the keeper’s proper.
The entire Portugal group raced alongside the touchline to win the 37-year-old, who overtook Pelé, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose as the one participant to search out the online in 5 Cups of the distinct masculine world.
It is the tenth consecutive main event through which Ronaldo finds the online though Ghanaian coach Otto Addo was in no temper for charity.
“It was the flawed choice… It was truly a foul in opposition to us,” he mentioned of the penalty.
“If somebody scores a objective, congratulations. However it was a present. A particular reward from the referee.”
The truth is, his Ghanaian aspect fought again shortly when Mohammed Kudus’ cross wobbled its method via the legs of a defender to Ayew who tapped at residence.
Portugal, nevertheless, then kicked into excessive gear with Felix latching onto a via ball from Bruno Fernandes and nonchalantly elevating his end on the keeper.
Fernandes was additionally the architect of their third objective, enjoying one other excellent via ball for substitute Leao to slip his end over the keeper and into the underside nook.
There was pressure on the finish, nevertheless, as Ghana pulled down one other objective with Osman Bukari showing unmarked within the field, heading in a cross from the left within the 89th minute, giving a glimmer of hope to the Ghana followers behind this objective.
There was to be no fairy story ending for the Ghanaians and the night time belonged to Ronaldo.
(Reporting by Toby Davis, enhancing by Pritha Sarkar)
((TobyDavis1@thomsonreuters.com; 0207 542 7933;))
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