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    Soccer News: Portugal 3-2 Ghana: Ronaldo makes World Cup history, Seleção is too late

    Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to score in five World Cups, but it took a couple of late goals for Portugal to salvage a nervous 3-2 victory over Ghana on Thursday.

    Just two days after his contract with Manchester United was terminated by mutual agreement, free agent Ronaldo converted a penalty to break the reluctant Ghana side in the first leg of Group H.

    Ghana was furious that Mohammed Salisou challenged Ronaldo from a penalty kick in the 65th minute, but in the 73rd minute they hit back through André Aya.

    However, João Félix gave Portugal the lead and substitute Rafael Leão added a third, which proved important when Osman Boukari scored a late consolation goal for Ghana, who missed out on a great chance to take a point thanks to Inaki Williams.

    Lawrence Ati-Zigi denied Ronaldo after a hard first touch and he headed the best of Portugal’s limited chances in the first half before the goal was ruled out on foul.

    Alid Seydou was lucky to only receive a yellow card early in the second half after colliding heads with Joao Felix, but Ghana was less fortunate when a penalty was awarded to Portugal.

    Salisu was penalized for challenging Ronaldo despite appearing to have touched the ball before the player and the superstar striker didn’t make a mistake from the spot.

    This revived Ghana and Ayew equalized after Mohammed Kudus put the ball back on his trajectory, but Portugal’s response was just as quick.

    João Felix rushed to Bruno Fernandez’s pass and outplayed Ati-Zigi, after which Leão, who was on the field for only 45 seconds, made an amazing third shot in favor of Fernando Santos’ team.

    Boukari, who was introduced from the bench, crossed a header from Baba Rahman’s cross to set up a tense finish, and Williams nearly equalized when he kicked the ball off the feet of an unsuspecting Costa before slipping at the crucial moment.

    What does it mean? Ronaldo helps Portugal do their job

    Ronaldo has ensured he stays in the headlines with his breakout goal, but Portugal also needs strikers Joao Felix and Leão to enter the 974 stadium.

    Santos won’t be pleased with his team’s under-par results even if they end up with an expected goals (xG) of 1.92 compared to Ghana’s 0.80.

    However, after shock losses to Argentina and Germany, Portugal eventually pulled through to top spot in Group H, ahead of South Korea and Uruguay, who had previously drawn 0-0.

    CR7 makes history

    Ronaldo’s goal ensures that his name will forever go down in World Cup folklore as the first – and quite possibly only temporarily – player to score in five separate tournaments.

    As a sign of his longevity, the 37-year-old is both Portugal’s youngest and oldest scorer in the World Cup, scoring his first goal against Iran in 2006 at the age of 21 years and 132 days.

    Ghana needs time to get started

    Ghana became the second team in World Cup history to fail to score or touch an opponent’s box in the first half of a game since the record was set in 1966.

    Their first shot came only in the 54th minute, but they came to life in the last quarter of the match with a couple of goals, the last of which Boukari celebrated by performing a Ronaldo Sioux celebration.

    Key facts about opts

    – Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to score in five different World Cups (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, 2022).

    – Portugal won their first match in the World Cup final for the first time in four attempts (D2 L1). In addition, Portugal’s victory marked the fifth consecutive game without a defeat against African teams in the World Cup (W4 D1).

    – Ghana have not won their last five matches in the World Cup (D2 L3) and the Black Stars have lost three of the four opening games of the tournament (L1).

    – Ghana became the third African team to score in six consecutive World Cup matches, after South Africa (6 between 1998 and 2010) and Nigeria (8 between 1994 and 1998).

    What’s next?

    Portugal will play Uruguay on Monday and Ghana will play South Korea on the same day in the second round of Group H matches.

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