Cristiano Ronaldo scores in fifth World Cup as Portugal blasts past Ghana | Football news


Cristiano Ronaldo became the first man to score in five World Cups on Thursday when he scored the opening goal from the penalty spot in Portugal’s 3-2 win over Ghana. The 37-year-old set the record when he netted his penalty in the 65th minute at the 974 Stadium in Doha to send Fernando Santos’ team to a win that took them to the top of Group H, two points ahead of Uruguay and South -Korea. Joao Felix and rising star Rafael Leao secured victory after Andre Ayew’s equalizer briefly threatened to ruin Ronaldo’s celebration.

Osman Bukari scored for Ghana in the last minute, but the bottom-ranked side of the tournament was unable to shock and remain bottom of the group. Ronaldo passes Pele and the Germans Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose, who all scored in four World Cups, after he was brought down by Mohammed Salisu and took the penalty himself.

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Manchester United announced this week that Ronaldo will leave with immediate effect after criticizing the club and manager Erik ten Hag in a TV interview, but from the bitter end of his time at Old Trafford he has shown no signs of strain. All the focus of the game was on Ronaldo and whether he could break the record and he had the perfect chance to do so in the 10th minute.

Mohammed Kudus sloppily gave the ball away in midfield and Otavio slipped Ronaldo through, only for the once clinical finisher to miscontrol the pass and clatter into Ghanaian goalkeeper Lawrence Ati-Zigi as he tried to poke in.

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And soon after, Ronaldo headed Raphael Guerreiro’s deep cross wide from close range, a chance he had almost guaranteed to score in his prime. He had the ball in the net just after the half hour mark when it fell to him in the area, but was judged harshly by referee Ismail Elfath for pushing Alexander Djiku before he turned and scored a classy finish.

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In fact, Ronaldo was Portugal’s only real goal threat against what is on paper the weakest team in Group H, backed by an enthusiastic group of supporters who put on more of a show in the stands than their run-of-the-mill players initially on the pitch.

Ajax midfielder Kudus briefly got the crowd going 10 minutes into the break as he charged forward against an exposed Portuguese defense and fired a powerful shot that eventually sailed comfortably wide of Diogo Costa’s left post. Ronaldo then crashed into his record-breaking penalty kick, but as the chorus of cheers and chants of his name began to die down, a previously uneventful game came to life, Ayew stunned the crowd by tapping in Kudus’ withdrawal in the 73rd minute.

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However, Felix and Leao ensured Portugal took the points with two stunning finishes in as many minutes, both goals from Ronaldo’s former United team-mate Bruno Fernandes.

Bukari then imitated Ronaldo with his goal celebration after going home completely unmarked, but Portugal held on for a big win on a historic day.

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