Thanks in particular to a new goal from Ronaldo, who became the first player to score in five World Cups, Portugal repelled (3-2) the threat brandished by Ghana. Released by his club Manchester United who terminated his contract on Tuesday, moved to tears during the anthems, the Portuguese striker once again unlocked a locked part as Portugal came up against the wall erected by the Black Stars.
The stainless 37-year-old Portuguese star, opening the scoring (65th) on a penalty obtained by himself after rubbing in the area with Mohammed Salisu, scored his eighth goal at this level, the 118th in 192 selections .
The five-time Ballon d’Or had already scored a goal in the 2006, 2010 and 2014 editions and four in 2018. He notably overtook Pelé, scorer in four World Cups with Brazil (1958, 1962, 1966, 1970).
He then surely thought that this would be enough to offer victory, but a rare offensive movement from Ghana materialized by the other captain Andre Ayew (73rd) put the two teams equal (1-1).
But while the game looked like from the kick-off to an attack-defense in favor of the Portuguese, this scenario had the merit of opening the meeting, to the delight of Paulo Bento’s players, who did not doubted for a long time and took advantage of emerging spaces to regain the advantage through Joao Felix (78th) and even more quickly break with Rafael Leao (80th).
Incidentally, Portugal, who will try Monday against Uruguay to answer the questions raised by their defense, managed an ideal start, which they had failed to do at the last three World Cups. Which is always good for confidence even if Ronaldo’s teammates showed a lot of excitement late in the game after allowing Osman Bukari (89) to take advantage of their passivity.
Enough to give a little regret to Ghana, whose rough game plan that it has long strived to follow, consisted above all of seeing ahead with its two defensive lines and nine outfield players grouped in their camp.
Well in place, it was enough for him to thwart his opponent until the opener but the outcome of the meeting shows that the Black Stars could have hoped for better if they had decided to play earlier.