Ronaldo Becomes First Player to Score in Five World Cups as Portugal Beat Ghana 

*Black Stars score Africa’s first goal in Qatar 2022 

Even at 37, Cristiano Ronaldo, entered World Cup history on Thursday, scoring in his fifth World Cup as Portugal defeated Ghana’s Black Stars 3-2 at the 974 Stadium here in Qatar. 

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner who captained the Portuguese team played his first match since that his controversial interview with Piers Morgan that eventually led to his exit from Manchester United this week. 

Like his rival, Lionel Messi did on Tuesday, scoring from the penalty spot to give Argentina the lead before capitulating to Saudi Arabia, Ronaldo also earned Portugal the advantage from the spot after he was tripped by Ghana’s Southampton defender, Mohammed Salisu. 

The Ghanaians who are one of Africa’s five teams here, however scored twice, which were the only goals by teams from the continent in the first round of the group stage. 

In the second half, Andre Ayew brought the Black Stars to parity with the Portuguese from a close range to give hope of an African team bagging their first win of the tournament. 

But Portugal responded with two goals in two minutes to seal the points – Joao Felix converting a delightfully clipped finish and substitute Rafael Leao coolly stroking in just seconds after coming on. 

Osman Bukhari headed in a late consolation for Ghana and there could have been real drama in the ninth minute of stoppage time when Portugal Goalkeeper, Diogo Costa, put the ball down, seemingly unaware Inaki Williams was behind him. But after racing to intercept the ball, the Ghana forward slipped at the crucial moment and a scuffed shot was cleared off the line. 

Victory means Portugal top Group H after Uruguay and South Korea played out a goalless draw earlier on yesterday. 

In response to a question asked him by THISDAY reporter covering the tournament at the post-match conference, Ghana Stars Coach, Otto Addo insisted that hope was not lost for Black Stars yet as they can still qualify for the next round if they defeat South Korea in their next match on Monday. 

“It was a difficult game because we knew we were going to play one of the best teams in the tournament. There is still hope for us if we defeat a South Korea  and get a decent result in the final group game. But I must admit the Koreans won’t be that easy because they are also good,” observed Addo who partly blamed the USA referee, Elfath Ismail for ignoring several obvious calls that would have lifted the Black Stars.

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