FIFA World Cup 2022: Portugal beat Ghana 3-2

Status: 11/24/2022 6:57 p.m

Portugal are the better team against Ghana, but have struggled for a long time. Then Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Felix and Rafael Leao put the Portuguese on the road to success. And Ghana complains about a disputed penalty.

Portugal won their opening game in Group H against Ghana spectacularly 3-2 (0-0). Cristiano Ronaldo converted a disputed penalty he had taken himself into the lead (65′). He is the first professional soccer player to score in five different World Cups – and is the sole record holder in this category. The Portuguese quickly found answers to the equalizer from Ghana’s top star Andre Ayew (73′): Joao Felix (78′) and Rafael Leao (80′) scored to make it 3-1. Osmans Bukari’s late header (89′) brought the Ghanaians closer, but in a wild final phase they just missed the equaliser.

Portugal with Ronaldo, Ghana with five defenders

A lot had been said about Portugal’s superstar Ronaldo before the game. After a disappointing half of the season at Manchester United, he gave a controversial interview in which he accused the club of “treason”. The club announced on Tuesday that the striker’s contract had been terminated. Not everyone is convinced of him in Portugal either, but coach Fernando Santos let the 37-year-old captain play as a central striker from the start. Ghana coach and former Bundesliga player Otto Addo fielded five defenders.

Portugal determines the game

And Ronaldo was immediately at the center of the action on the field. After the Ghanaians lost the ball, he was served, but took the ball away uncleanly and was therefore unable to sneak it past Lawrence Ati Zigi in Ghana’s goal (10th minute). Shortly after, he rose highest from a Raphael Guerreiro cross, but headed wide. A game developed in which Portugal, led by Bernardo Silva, patiently allowed the ball to circulate in their own ranks and Ghana tried to stop the technically talented Portuguese from combining with close staggering.

Controversial referee decision annoys the Portuguese

Just when the game threatened to fall asleep, Ronaldo caused a stir again. He beat Alexander Djiku in the penalty area and flicked the ball into the far corner. Referee Ismail Elfath had already blown the whistle because Ronaldo is said to have pushed his opponent away without permission. A very controversial decision. From Ghana, however, nothing came offensively in the first round.

Kudus with the chance out of nowhere

That didn’t change even after the break. But then Mohammed Kudus grabbed the ball, led it a few meters and shot flat and sharp. His shot just missed the goal (55th). Lucky for the Portuguese, who demanded a red card shortly afterwards. Seidu Alidu had at least hinted at a headbutt against Felix, after which he had already run over him at full speed. Alidu only got yellow.

Ronaldo takes the lead from the penalty spot

The game was now picking up speed. And referee Elfath made the next controversial decision. In a duel with Mohammed Salisu, Ronaldo fell in the penalty area and Elfath gave a penalty. Salisu had hit Ronaldo’s foot and the ball. The Portuguese hit the top left corner to take the lead (65′).

Ghana equalize but Portugal have two answers

Ghanaians woke up to this contentious decision. Just a few minutes after falling behind, they equalized through Ayew (73′). The Ghanaian star had been served low by Kudus and only had to push the ball into the goal. However, the Black Stars could not keep the draw for long. Joao Felix (78′) gave Portugal the lead again after a nice combination and substitute Rafael Leao (80′) increased his first ball contact with a low shot into the far corner.

Ghana’s connection in a wild final phase

The game seemed decided, but out of nowhere Ghana’s Osmans Bukaris headed the goal (89th). In a thrilling stoppage time, Ghana put the pressure on and almost equalized. In the last scene of the game, Portugal keeper Diogo Costa lost sight of Inaki Williams behind him. The striker chipped the ball away from him, but could be interrupted shortly before his shot and missed the goal to make it 3:3.

The Portuguese meet Uruguay on Matchday 2 (28/11, 20:00 CET). Ghana plays South Korea (28/11, 2 p.m. CET).


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