C. Ronaldo wrote history, but luck was needed for the Portuguese to win
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We had to wait until the fifth day of the World Cup for the introduction of the Portuguese national football team and Cristiano Ronaldo in Qatar – the latter naturally attracted enormous interest due to recent events, namely that he terminated his contract with Manchester United by mutual agreement. In the end, Portugal won the match 3-2 after great excitement, thus leading Group H.

Although voices could be heard that the members of the national team were also divided by Ronaldo’s situation and it is not certain that he will get a place in the team at all, in the end he not only got a place, but he even wore the captain’s armband.

The national team captain Fernandos Santos left nothing to chance, in addition to CR, he also named Joao Cancelo, Bruno Fernandes, Joao Felix and Bernardo Silva in the starting line-up. The latter took on a leading role in the first big situation as well, serving Ronaldo, who started from deep, with a great ball, but he took the ball a little inaccurately on the 16-yard line, so Lawrence Ati-Zigi’s 10-meter attempt, running out of the goal, was blocked.

Not long after, the classic, who will turn 38 next February, was in danger after a corner, he jumped a head higher than everyone else, but his slide missed the goal. In the continuation, the game took place in Ghana’s half of the field, the Africans hardly had the ball, the Portuguese’s field dominance was overwhelming. In the 31st minute, Ronaldo turned away from his defender at the left corner of the 16, then rolled nicely into the far corner, however, the referee considered the possession of the ball to be excessively violent, so he did not award the goal.

The last quarter of an hour was more about hard tackles and fouls than sharp solutions, as Otto Addo’s team did not shy away from any means to nip the attacks of its better rival in the bud. It was successful until the break, the teams went to rest with a scoreless score.

After the turn, to some surprise, the first serious opportunity presented itself to the Ghanaians: at the end of a counter attack, the Ajax player Mohammed Kudus shot from 17 meters, just near the bottom left corner. In the 65th minute, however, the ice was broken: Ronaldo was brought down by Mohammed Salisu completely unnecessarily inside the penalty area, and the referee blew the penalty.

Of course, the victim was behind the ball and although Ati-Zigi went in the right direction, he had no chance to block the powerful shot that came to the right side of the goal (1-0).

Ronaldo made history by becoming the first player to score in five different World Cups. However, he couldn’t be happy for long, because practically out of nowhere, they equalized just 10 minutes later The black stars: Kudus made a nice pass on the left side, and his flat cross found its way between Danilo’s legs to Andrew Ayew, who passed into the goal from close range (1-1).

This happiness also turned out to be short-lived: after a possession, Bruno Fernandes teased him Joao Felixwho is from the far right pulled into the center and fired the long corner beautifully in the 80th minute (2-1). And once a business is up and running: Fernandes came in two minutes later, this time coming from the left, having substituted shortly before Rafael Leao presented to him, and the Milan star sold the situation in a textbook manner (3-1).

However, it wasn’t over yet, the Ghanaians were also substituted in the 91st minute Osman Bukari they closed with a close header, who, after Joao Cancelo’s big mistake, sent Baba Rahman’s pass into the goal, and then celebrated with Cristiano Ronaldo’s iconic goal joy – CR, who was already sitting on the bench at that time, did not appreciate the moment so much.

The customary extra time at this World Cup could not be missed either, the Africans were given nine minutes and at the very end they had a chance to equalize: Diogo Costa confidently pulled down a curled ball, but he did not notice that Inaki Williams was behind him, so he unsuspectingly he put it in front of him.

The Bilbao attacker sprinted over, took the toy, but slipped while being supported, and the Portuguese defenders, who were shocked by the incident, had enough presence of mind to clear the ball.

Thus, Portugal entered the tournament with a victory, but it will probably need much more concentration and a better game than today if it wants to go far in Qatar.

SOCCER WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
GROUP H, ROUND 1
Portugal-Ghana 3-2 (C. Ronaldo 65., from 11, J. Félix 78., R. Leao 80., or A. Ayew 73., O. Bukari 89.)
In the other game of the group
20.00:
Uruguay-South Korea 0-0

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(Cover photo: Patricia de Melo Moreira / AFP)