Ronaldo sets another record as Portugal nip Ghana 3-2
Doha, Nov 24 (EFE).- Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo converted a penalty against Ghana here Thursday to become the first player to score in five World Cup tournaments and his team prevailed 3-2 to vault to the top of Group H.
The other two teams in the group, South Korea and Uruguay, drew 0-0 earlier Thursday.
Both Portugal and Ghana came into the match at Doha’s Stadium 874 looking to snap a string of disappointing results in World Cup openers and the first half was less than scintillating.
The 37-year-old Ronaldo forced a save from Lawrence Ati-Zigi in the 10th minute and beat the Black Stars keeper just after the half-hour only to see the goal disallowed because of a foul by the attackers.
Ghana, meanwhile, didn’t even get a touch in the opposition box.
The African squad showed more ambition after the break, though the Portuguese retained their edge in possession.
The match clock passed the hour mark with no goals, but an encounter between Ronaldo and Mohammed Salisu in the Ghanaian area in the 62nd minute led to a controversial penalty for Portugal.
The five-time Ballon d’Or converted with authority to put Portugal up 1-0 in the 65th and set yet another record. Yet the lead lasted only eight minutes, as Andre Ayew equalized for Ghana.
Portugal reclaimed the advantage in the 78th minute on a goal by Joao Felix, assisted by Bruno Fernandes, and late sub Rafael Leao made it 3-1 for the Iberian side two minutes later.
The Black Stars were not ready to give up and Osman Bukari narrowed the deficit with a goal in the 89th minute and nearly stole a point in the 10th minute of stoppage time when Portugal keeper Diogo Costa inexplicably dropped the ball with Ghana’s Iñaki Williams lurking in the box.
The Athletic Bilbao man reached the ball, but slipped on the turf before he could get off a shot. EFE jap/dr